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  Month 5 : (18 – 22 weeks) Seeing and feeling the baby
 
Feeling the baby

During this month you may feel a light fluttery movement – Yes, it’s the baby! Suddenly all the changes and problems seem trivial and the baby seems very real. The baby is very active, especially in the evenings and when you stop to take a rest. This may be an incentive to rest more, when you feel how much the baby appreciates your relaxed condition. From 20 – 28 weeks call the doctor if you feel no movement of the baby in a 24 hour period. Many parents use these opportunities to make contact with the baby, by playing gentle music or talking to the baby. There is scientific research linking the baby’s heart rate to the mother’s voice! It is a wonderful way to begin the bonding process with the baby.

Seeing your baby for the first time

There is a good probability that your Doctor will ask you to have an ultrasound scan during this time – it is a routine test which checks the general well being of the baby and also its position. You will be able to see an image of the baby on the screen as well as see the baby move and hear the heartbeat. It is amazing and special moment, and you will probably be given a picture of the baby to take home.

Milestone month!

During this month you reach some other milestones: you are half way through your pregnancy, your baby reaches half its birth length and your uterus has risen to the level of your belly button. (This may cause your belly button to pop out but it should return to normal after the birth.)

More pregnancy symptoms

You may also be experiencing some new symptoms – lower abdominal pains as the muscles and ligaments stretch, backache as you compensate for the weight of your abdomen and also due to the loosening of all your joint in preparation for labour. The backache may be accompanied by a sense of being off balance because your centre of gravity is changing as your stomach grows. Your gums may swell and bleed due to pregnancy hormones. You may experience heartburn as the combination of the pressure of the uterus and the loosening of the stomach valve, due again to pregnancy hormones, allows stomach acid to reflux. Consult your doctor if you want to take antacids – and take extra vitamin C and iron in your diet if you decide to take the antacids. A stuffy nose and nosebleeds can also be attributed to hormones which are having a softening effect on your gums.

You know the story – take it easy

By now you should have got the picture about the importance of taking care of yourself. The food you eat is also vital at this time, when the baby has no choice but to be nourished by your own diet. Your baby needs you to be wise right now!

When to call the doctor?

 
   
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Baby Robyn
 
- fetus 18-23cm long
 
- fetus about 450g in weight
 
- muscles strenghten
 
- nerve network
expands
  - bones continue to
harden
 
- fetus more active
  - ears are developed
  - recognize sound
  - periods of
wakefulness
  - facial expressions
  - eyebrows & head
visible
  - fetus covered in white
fluid called vernix
  - baby boy - testicles
start developing
   
 
   
 
- gentle movements
of the fetus will be experienced
 
- uterus will reach your
belly button around the
20th of this month
   
 
 
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