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Pregnancy guide

5th month of pregnancy:
Weeks 17, 18, 19, 20

17th week of pregnancy

Week 17, Mum's health: The uterus measures about 17cm. It's possible that you may experience some worrying symptoms such as contractions. The first thing to do is speak about these with your doctor or midwife. Note that contractions can occur, but don't necessarily indicate a particular problem...

Week 17, baby: The different organs of the fetus continue to develop. The baby's heart beats around twice as fast as yours. The heart is made up of four chambers. At the top are the atria (the smallest chambers), and...

Week 17, advice: Take care in the sun! You're especially sensitive during pregnant. It's a known fact that exposure to the sun can be harmful, but pregnant women have extra reasons to fear the sun. If you don't want to end up with the 'mask of pregnancy' (chloasma), stay clear of UV rays...

18th week of pregnancy

Week 18, Mum's health: Your bump is fairly round now. You may be finding it difficult to wear your seat belt in the car. By law, all pregnant women must wear seat belts when travelling by car, whether they are in the front or back...

Week 18, baby: During the fourth or fifth month you'll start to feel baby move for the first time... it's a very special, exciting moment, and one you've been waiting for! The first movement can feel different from one woman to the next...

Week 18, advice: The traditional way of preparing for the birth of your child involves learning about the different stages of pregnancy and preparing yourself for the big moment so that you know exactly what you’re going through at every step...

19th week of pregnancy

Week 19, Mum's health: After some potentially difficult months of morning sickness and fatigue, you are now, in theory, entering a more pleasant phase of your pregnancy. Many women feel much better, and it shows! They have found a balance and got their bearings...

Week 19, baby: All of the fetus' organs continue to develop, including the sex organs. At the beginning (at the end of the second and third month of pregnancy), these are quite alike. The forming of testicles or ovaries takes place inside the abdomen...

Week 19, advice: Fundamental hormonal changes take place during pregnancy. Future mums release a hormone, cortisol, which decreases the amount of collagen in the skin and helps to keep skin fibres stretchy. This isn't good news...

20th week of pregnancy

Week 20, Mum's health: You're right to question what kinds of exercise are appropriate. Whether you're athletic or sedentary, you might feel like doing some sort of exercise over the next few weeks. As you've probably guessed, combat/contact sports or SCUBA diving are out of the question...

Week 20, baby: The fetus continues to develop. It now measures around 20cm. Its five fingers and toes are distinct and the nails are beginning to form. The bones of the skeleton are getting bigger. They are currently very flexible, composed mostly of cartilage...

Week 20, advice: For women who have carried babies for 9 months, becoming a mum isn't always easy, but for men it can be even more complicated! Overnight, they have to enter fatherhood and make a place for themselves in the trio...

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