5 Months Pregnant: Symptoms & Fetal Development

Welcome to the best month of pregnancy! Cute baby bump, a surge of energy, first baby kicks, ultrasound picture to keep, and that most-talked-about rosy pregnancy glow – all this awaits you in this month. Don't believe us? Take a look below to know.

5 Months Pregnant Symptoms

Although you might be still enjoying the boost of energy popular in the second trimester, there's a chance that you might also experience some pesky symptoms like:

Swollen feet

Your feet might swell due to pregnancy hormone relaxin, fluid retention, and pregnancy weight gain. While preparing for childbirth, the muscles in your body and the joints in your feet loosen up by relaxin, expanding your feet. Try a cool foot bath to help relieve the swelling. You can also keep your feet elevated using a pillow.

Lower back pain

At five months pregnant, as you adjust to your expanding uterus, your posture may begin changing. When your bump begins growing, your centre of gravity will shift. While your muscles work extra hard to support your additional weight and changing body shape, it can put some strain on your lower back. Practise exercises that help strengthen your back muscles and sit in chairs with good back support or place a pillow behind your back. In case of too much discomfort, seek help from your doctor.


During pregnancy, a change in your blood circulation can result in less blood flow to your head, causing a giddy feeling. It can happen when you stand up or change positions suddenly. Take things slowly and be careful. Avoid standing when you feel dizzy.

Nasal congestion

Pregnancy hormones can dry out the mucous membranes in your nasal passages, leading to symptoms like nosebleeds, or stuffed nose or runny nose. Use saline drops or a humidifier to help relieve the congestion.

Pregnancy brain

Don't remember your phone's password or your keys? Worry not! This forgetfulness during pregnancy is completely normal. Though not an official medical condition, it's very common. Hormonal changes, stress, or sleep deprivation can be the reasons behind this absentmindedness. If you're worried about forgetting important stuff, make lists or use sticky notes or scheduling apps.

Difficulty sleeping

Unable to find a comfortable sleeping position due to a bigger bump? Consider sleeping on your side with a pillow placed between your knees. You can also keep a pillow under your belly for extra support. Try regular exercises like walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga before going to bed. Taking a warm, soothing bath before sleeping may also help you get a good night's sleep.

Braxton Hicks contractions

You possibly feel mild tightening or more painful abdominal cramps called practice contractions. These contractions can more likely appear later in the day or after exercise or sex. Usually, Braxton Hicks disappear after moving or changing positions. However, if you aren't sure about what you are feeling, contact your doctor right away.

5-Months Pregnant: Baby's Development

Yay! Your little wonder is becoming more active month by month. You will soon feel the kicks and flips. Your baby will now begin sleeping and waking up at regular intervals. Outside noises may awaken her, so don't be surprised to feel a reaction after a loud sound. By the end of 5 months, your baby's sucking reflex will start to kick in, preparing for feeding after birth.

Your 5-month baby in the womb is growing vernix caseosa, a slick, greasy coating that will protect his skin in the amniotic sac. This vernix will cover your little one's body after her birth. Your baby will also develop lanugo - soft, fine hair that holds the vernix in place on the skin. After your baby's birth, most of this lanugo will disappear. However, some babies still have small patches of lanugo on various parts of the body even after their birth.

Track your baby's development with our month-on-month expert tips on pregnancy.

Diet and Exercise in the Fifth Month of Pregnancy

If you had been maintaining a fitness routine before your pregnancy, you can continue to do so throughout the pregnancy with some pregnancy-safe exercises. Regular exercise will help you during labour and also in faster recovery post-delivery. However, if your pregnancy is high-risk or complicated, you should always talk to your doctor before starting with exercise.

During pregnancy, you can continue to:

  • Jog or walk

  • Practise yoga, especially prenatal yoga

  • Swim

  • Hike outdoors or go on trails safely with a fellow partner

  • Take low-impact aerobics or dance classes

  • Lift light weights and focus on reps more for strength training

  • Do stationary cycling

  • Practise stretches and leg lifts

When it comes to diet, consuming about 300 extra calories per day is important in the second trimester to keep your little one fed and happy. However, do not get those extra calories through fast food burgers and night-time milkshakes. An occasional indulgence is acceptable as long as your diet majorly includes:

  • Low-fat dairy – milk, yoghurt, cheese

  • Whole grains – quinoa, brown rice, rolled oats

  • Lean protein – seafood, chicken

  • Monounsaturated fats – avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil

  • Fresh vegetables and fruits

Ensure to still avoid foods and beverages that are a big no-no for pregnancy. These include alcohol, raw or undercooked seafood and meat, raw eggs, and unpasteurised milk and cheese.

Advice for Partners

Have you started working on your baby's nursery or preparing your house for the baby's arrival yet? The plans might include cleaning and painting. Although mom-to-be would be adamant about decorating the nursery or the room where your baby will stay after coming home, participate in the task. Let her handle only the decoration part while you take over the cleaning and painting work. This is to lower her exposure to paint fumes, paint remover, and other strong cleaning products, as they can be dangerous for her and the baby. Here's a small guideline for you to get the work done safely:

  • Carefully read paint labels and follow all the safety instructions

  • Never use outdoor paints for indoor painting

  • Do not let your spouse spend time in freshly painted rooms to avoid fumes

  • Keep your windows open and switch on the fan to air out rooms after painting

  • Use low-VOC or zero-VOC paint - as water-based paints give off fewer vapours (VOCs) than oil-based paint

  • Read the ingredients on the cleaning products' packages or containers

  • Never mix cleaning products

  • Always use cleaning solutions in areas that are properly ventilated.

Adjusting to Your Pregnancy Body

You’re doing an important job by providing a safe home for your growing baby, but this doesn’t mean you’ll always feel fully comfortable with your new shape. During the second trimester, enjoy getting some comfortable and flattering maternity clothes, either at local stores or online.

You may wonder how to respond when you get advice, questions, and comments about your pregnancy from strangers and loved ones alike. One good strategy is to thank them, letting them know you’ll think about what they've said, and leave it at that.

You may have already chosen to share your news with your boss and others at your workplace and begun maternity leave plans. At five months pregnant, it’s worth starting to plan how you will hand over your responsibilities to your colleagues so that you’re not leaving big, stressful jobs until the third trimester.

Frequently Asked Questions

You will mostly experience one of the best moments of being pregnant in the fifth month as you will feel your little one move for the first time.

It's your time to shine! So, make the most out of your pregnancy honeymoon period while you can. Stay active, pay attention to those first baby movements, and meet your baby virtually at this month's ultrasound. For more details, you can refer to week-by-week pregnancy or take a look at other months here.

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