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Month 5

What’s happening with you

After 20 weeks, the number of centimeters measured from the pubic bone to the fundus (or top) of the uterus will be approximately equal to the number of weeks of gestation. This becomes the standard for rating normal growth.

Feeling the baby move for the first time is called quickening – it makes the magic of pregnancy become very real. As the baby grows, the movements will feel like stronger bumps, turns and kicks. During the course of a day, the baby will have very active periods alternating with quieter spells when the baby is resting.

Common skin changes in pregnancy

It's normal to develop new moles or for existing moles to get bigger and darker. Do not assume that any mole with a significant or rapidly changed appearance is “normal” or just due to the pregnancy. Moles are on the skin and easy to examine, so if you see changes – get it checked out.

Other common changes include:

  • darkening of the pigmentation on the inside of your upper thighs
  • a splotchy darkening of parts of your face called melasma or “mask of pregnancy” – avoid the sun exposure to your face as it makes this condition worse.
  • stretch marks
  • spider veins
  • inflamed palms
  • itchy, dry skin
  • pimples or breakouts

These are entirely normal and are all part of the incredible change that is happening to you as a new life grows inside you!

How you may feel

By now, any lingering nausea or morning sickness should have disappeared. Your normal energy level should return. For those who experienced a lagging libido – you may enjoy this renewed energy.

Many women and couples worry that sexual activity may somehow harm the baby or harm the mother. In fact, there is no evidence that either is true in a healthy pregnancy. The baby is well protected by the muscle walls of the uterus and the sac of fluid the baby is floating in, cushions against any trauma. A protective mucus plug seals the cervix.

Later in pregnancy, it may be obvious that positions need to be adjusted for comfort during intercourse. The pregnant woman should not have the weight of another adult against her growing belly. This type of pressure should be avoided. The woman on top position or side by side may be more comfortable during pregnancy. Your own comfort is usually a good guide for sex during pregnancy.

Feeling the baby move for the first time is called quickening – it makes the magic of pregnancy become very real. The attachment and bonding process is well underway. Remember, the kind of movements you feel be gentle butterflies at first. As the baby grows, the movements will feel like stronger bumps, turns and kicks. During the course of a day, the baby will have very active periods alternating with quieter spells when the baby is resting.

How baby is growing

At month five, your pregnancy has reached the halfway mark, and the signs of life are evident with a bulging tummy evident from the outside. On the inside, the heart is beating and mom can feel the first fetal movements. These movements are first felt around week 20 of pregnancy. Early movements feel like a flutter of butterflies or big bubbles moving around. Most women find this very exciting – proof that you’ve got something special going on!

As far as fetal development, the lungs are now able to exhale amniotic fluid. A system of blood vessels and a pumping heart are working with great precision. The urinary system is functioning and making urine. The external genitalia are now distinctly male or female, and if the baby is in the right position, an ultrasound can usually identify the sex if you wish. The growth continues to be phenomenal with a weight of approximately 1/2-1 pound, and a length of 8-12 inches long.

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