Number 1 priority: second scan
It’s time for your second scan, also known as the “anomaly scan” since it can reveal problems that weren’t detectable at the first scan. This scan covers all of the visible organs (brain, stomach, kidneys, etc.). You can find out baby’s sex, so if you don’t want to know, let the doctor know beforehand. The scan also examines the placenta, blood exchanges between you and baby, and the quantity of amniotic fluid. It usually takes place around week 20.
Your baby’s development
- Muscles: baby’s muscles are stronger and the feet and arms start to move and kick.
- Senses: the senses, particularly sight, develop a lot during the 5th month of pregnancy.
- Nervous system: the brain will finish developing and your baby starts using his/her mind and memory!
- The skin will become thick enough for the network of veins to stop being visible, from the 22nd week onwards.
By the end of the 5th month of pregnancy, your baby has the essential things required for survival; all the organs are in place, but they still need to develop.
Practical steps to take
- Check you have an appointment arranged for your scan, your midwife should have done this for you. The sonographer will examine all your baby’s organs in detail for abnormalities. He will also make a note of the location and thickness of the placenta and observe the fetus’s behaviour.
- Start looking into ways of preparing for the birth and childcare options (nursery, nanny, childminder, etc.)
- Finally, don’t forget to notify your employer of the date you want to start your maternity leave (it can start as soon as 11 weeks before your baby is due). By law, you have to let your employer know 15 weeks before your due date.
Health and diet
- Make sure you keep well hydrated: drink at least a litre of water per day.
Both you and your baby need fluids. Water plays an important role in the prevention of bladder infections, which are very common in pregnancy.
-You might be affected by constipation during the 5th month of pregnancy. If this is the case, eat foods that are high in fibre (fruit, vegetables, cereals, etc.)
- Now's the time to start doing some breathing exercises which will help you throughout the rest of your pregnancy and during the birth.
A growing reality
- Start giving some serious thought to your baby’s name!
- The dad-to-be will also experience something unforgettable: he will usually be able to feel his baby kick by the end of the 5th month!