You are almost 5 months through your pregnancy (4.5 months since conception) and your life is changing more and more everyday in a wonderful way. You are probably already in maternity clothes with people wishing you the best, and some even wanting to touch your belly to feel your baby, wherever you go. The second trimester is the best time of being pregnant with a relatively higher energy level and fewer unpleasant symptoms.
With all the major organ developed and in place, your baby is now poised to grow in size and gain weight. He is swallowing larger amounts of amniotic fluid this week as the digestive system gets a better workout . The meconium production (the dark sticky substance that will be your baby’s first bowel movement) continues from the previous weeks as a result of the digestive function .
The small bones in the inner ear are now properly developed while the characteristic external structures of the nose begin to form . The eyelids that have been fused shut for the past weeks may begin to open this week in some babies . Your baby also has working taste buds at this stage .
Vernix caseosa, the waxy white substance produced by the fetal sebaceous glands  to protect him from the amniotic fluid, is now covering your baby’s entire body . The transparent skin also starts forming fat layers underneath it, making him look less skinny .
He also starts growing scalp hair this week that will be present at birth. But, this hair will fall out within a couple of weeks after your baby is born before the lighter, permanent hair can begin to grow .
He is now almost as big as a banana, weighing around 10.2 oz (289.17 gm) . His crown to rump length is about 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) while he is approximately 10 inches (25.4 cm) long from head to heel . The fetus’ legs remain curled up in front of his body until the 19th week, making it impossible to measure his length from head to feet. However, they begin to straighten up from the 20th week onward, enabling your health care provider to measure his actual height.
Your body is undergoing many changes apart from the obvious – the growing baby bump; and you must also feel these changes with every passing day. Your changing center of gravity due to the growing belly and the considerable weight gain are the most evident ones .
Your uterus is now three times as big as its original size with the top of it now being at the same level with your bellybutton . It will be growing about 1 cm every week until delivery . Your baby is growing inside the uterus as those kicks and punches start to feel more like real fetal movements rather than the quickening in the earlier weeks.
You will have your mid-pregnancy ultrasound around this week (if it has not been done last week) as it is usually performed between the 18th and 20th weeks . Known as an anomaly scan, it is performed for evaluating the fetal growth, screening for certain birth defects (like neural tube defects and Down’s syndrome) and confirming your due date . The ultrasound also allows your doctor to observe the baby’s limbs, fingers and toes for any abnormality, while assessing the umbilical cord, placenta and amniotic fluid to make sure that the baby is getting everything necessary for proper growth . You can also see the straightening spine  in addition to finding out the gender of your baby .
In a twin pregnancy, two babies are generally scanned separately to screen for any physical or other abnormalities. The appearance and size of the two babies is evaluated as well to make sure they both have the same growth rate .
Published on July 8th 2014 by Pregmed Editorial Team.
Article was last reviewed on 13th August 2014.