Welcome to all Mummies in 5th month of pregnancy i.e., from week 18-21. In this article about “fetal development week by week”, we will be discussing about fetal development and how your baby is growing inside your womb.
Most beautiful thing about this month is, there are high chances for you to feel Quickening (baby’s kicks) for the very first time and you will keep on getting these kicks throughout your pregnancy. If you haven’t felt any kick yet, don’t worry, you can feel it anytime from week 18 to week 21.
It is different with every pregnancy and varies from mother to mother. When I was expecting my daughter, quickening started at week 16 but my son started quickening at 20th week. So, it might be different every time. So, you will feel your baby kicking very soon. Now let’s have a look how your baby is growing inside mummy’s tummy.
WEEK 18: Your little baby is so busy in practicing kicks, bouncing, wiggling and jiggling. Though they are growing very fast but still have a lot of room inside the womb to practice all these gym activities😊. Your baby can now kick and punch, flex and relax his/her joints, which give the muscles and joints strength. Baby’s nervous system and nerve pathways are growing and functioning more and more efficiently now. Baby’s ears are at their final place and your little one can now hear sounds not only from the outside world but can also hear your heartbeat and gut sounds inside you, which even you can’t hear. If baby is a girl, her fallopian tubes are also formed. In case of both boys and girls their external genitalia are fully developed and we can see on a scan very clearly, either it’s a girl or boy.
Baby’s length (head to rump): 5.5 inches i.e., size an average sized mango, Baby’s weight: 190 g.
WEEK 19: During this week Vernix Caseosa is formed i.e., a waterproof fatty substance that covers your baby’s body. It will disappear later but some babies do born with some verix caseosa on their body. Baby’s bowels also started to form in the form of blackish sticky substance called meconium, that’s baby excretes after birth as poo. Your baby’s digestive system started to produce digestive juices which help him/her to digest engulfed amniotic fluid and as you know your baby is also peeing into the amniotic fluid as well. So, all the preparations for after birth life is going on so perfectly inside 😉.
WEEK 20: In your baby at week 20, though there are a lot of maturation process still needs to happen but baby’s growth has now slowed down a little bit. Its only maturation that baby needs more. Baby’s skin is developing and getting thicker and sucking reflex is also getting more and more developed as your baby sucks his/her thumb. All the organs are in their place and fully formed. Your baby’s nails and hair are developed as well. So, your fetus is a little baby, just need more and more maturation day by day.
Baby’s length: 10 inches, Weight: 300 g.
WEEK 21: As your baby is growing and enjoying his//her kicks and jumps, if you haven’t felt quickening until now, it’s the time when you start feeling your baby’s kicks. Your baby’s skeletal system is getting mature, bones and muscles are getting stronger. When you eat or drink anything hot or cold, you might notice that your baby’s movement gets intense, not only this, baby’s bone marrow also started producing blood cells. Not only your baby’s digestive system is getting mature and can digest sugars and water in amniotic fluids but also his/her taste buds on the tongue are also developing. Baby can now taste different flavours.
Baby’s length: 10.5 inches, Weight: 360g.
CHANGES IN MOTHER’S BODY:
As you are in the mid of second trimester now, your baby bump is visible now. Because of increase in bump size during pregnancy week by week, now you might be feeling uncomfortable while lying on bed or if lying, you will find it difficult to sit or stand up, and to turn sides whiles lying. Use a pillow under your back or between your legs while lying. These difficulties along with mood swings, light-headedness, worries about being a parents and fear about labour and birth especially in first time mums can make us angry or moody at times.
You might get prominent veins on legs or you might be just feeling tired, or you might be having swollen legs, in that case raise your legs by putting a couple of pillows or cushion under your feet while lying, or if your are sitting on a sofa the keep your legs up rather than hanging. It is also common to feel lower abdominal and back pain because growing baby puts pressure on pelvic muscles, ligaments and joints.
Don’t hesitate to share each and every worry with your partner and health visitor or doctor to get proper support, this will help you keep your mind happy and relaxed.
To keep yourself relaxed and active, join antenatal classes or NCT group near you and go out for a cup of coffee or a walk or just some exercise in the open air/park (as per your doctor’s advice) with your friends. These activities work like wonder in making you relax and happy. One more thing comes with the growing bump and i.e., stretch marks and linea nigra (black vertical line in the middle of the tummy). For stretch marks you can use olive oil, bio-oil or any stretch mark cream or gel.Your appetite is increasing by day by day because of increase in nutritional requirements. So, eat healthy and drink a lot of water is the best advice for all the wonderful mummies. By the end of this month your uterus is as big as a cantaloupe and putting a lot of pressure on your bladder, so a lot of toilet trips might make you tired and irritated as well. Just keep one thing in mind that you have crossed half of your pregnancy and just half is left. This time will also pass and these symptoms will be gone by the time you give birth to your little bundle of joy. From week 18 – 22 your will have an appointment at midwife’s clinic and for ultrasound scan to see the baby’s growth and development, you can also ask about the gender of your little one. Some parents want to keep it a surprise until birth time but some do ask as it makes it easier to do baby shopping which itself is a wonderful feeling that cannot be forgotten and it’s even easier to decide names or themed baby shower parties. Well, each and everything related to your baby is beautiful, awesome and overwhelming.