So, you have crossed the first trimester and have successfully managed to glide through most of your second trimester as well. 6th month marks the completion of the second trimester of pregnancy and you are more than halfway through your gestation. Is that a happy cheer? No? Well okay, yeah, you have been through a lot and all those future worries may be taking over some of the baby joys. But it’s certainly not the time to sulk.

Are you planning baby names yet? Have you decided which medical facility you are going to give birth at? Apart from planning your post-pregnancy care, you should also be aware of your work rights and postpartum care of the baby. The work to do is never-ending, isn’t it?

By the end of this article, you’d be aware of most of the changes that occur in your body during the sixth month of pregnancy. You’ll also get to know how your baby looks like by this time and what to look for in terms of diet and exercise.

(Read more: Pregnancy month by month)

  1. 6 month pregnancy diet
  2. 6 month pregnant: signs and symptoms
  3. 6 months pregnant baby
  4. 6 months pregnant exercise
  5. 6 month pregnancy tests and vaccines
  6. 6 month pregnancy care

Your baby is now growing fastly inside your womb and to supply for its nutritional requirements you might have to eat more. In fact, by now you may already be feeling a much higher appetite and frequent hunger pangs.

Generally, a non-obese woman needs to add 400 calories to her daily diet in the second trimester. But then again, it does not mean that you would start overeating and put on extra weight. Maintain a healthy diet.

Eat frequently instead of in bulk. It would not only keep you satiated but also make sure that your body gets a constant energy input without raising your blood sugar levels. Here is a list of foods that you can add to your diet without hampering your or your baby’s health.

Green leafy vegetables and fruits with peels: These not only provide for your mineral and vitamin requirements and are an excellent source of fibre in your diet. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables alleviates constipation thereby reducing the risk of piles.

(Read more: Is it safe to eat papaya during pregnancy)

Dairy products: Apart from being a natural source of fatty acids, they make sure that your body gets its daily dose of calcium. You can always opt for 1 to 3 servings of dairy per day. However, it may vary depending on your physical and physiological condition and your baby’s needs. So, it is always recommended that you talk to a nutritionist to know the right serving size.

However, it is advisable to avoid soft cheese like brie and camembert.

Fluid intake: While you are maintaining a healthy diet it is never too difficult to miss your fluid intake. A pregnant woman needs about 2-3 litres of water every day. So, keep a tab of your water intake. You can also opt for certain juices but it’s better you make them at home as processed juices may contain preservatives and added colours which won’t do any good to your or your baby’s health. Also, they contain added sugars in excess. This increases your total calorie count without providing you with any nutritional help.

Coffee and tea should also be avoided because caffeine isn’t good for the baby’s development. Same goes for alcohol.

Meat, fish and eggs: It is best to opt for cooked meat, fish and eggs and opt-out raw and undercooked meats as most of these products increase the chances of listeriosis and salmonellosis. Cooking them completely makes sure that the pathogens for these are killed. Also, lean meats are a better option than high-fat meals and it is best to cut down on oily fishes like tuna, trout, sardines and salmon.

Apart from the aforementioned foods, it is advisable to include whole grains and unsaturated fats in your diet.

(Read more: Pregnancy diet)

You have already gone through a series of physical changes but the 6th month is when you actually need to go shopping for maternity wear. Your baby bump would be more apparent and with this, you might start to notice increased back pain and oedema. But this is not all that constitutes the 6th gestational month. Here are some of the common signs and symptoms you might experience during this month:

Some women might also suffer from problems like piles and vaginal infections. In such a condition, it is best to talk to your physician instead of going for home remedies or self-medication.

Just like your body, your baby also goes through a series of changes this month. Not only does it start moving more frequently but by the end of this month, it would have a much higher chance of survival in case of preterm delivery. However, that comes with a risk of abnormalities and/or disabilities.

6 months pregnant baby size and weight

By now your baby has started storing a lot of fat and has grown to weigh around 1.5 pounds that is more than ½ a kg. From crown to toes, it is about 8-10 inches in size.

Although a number of finer features still need to develop, it completely looks like a baby, only much smaller. Let us have a look at the list of changes that your baby goes through during the 6th month.

  • Your baby’s growth is finally larger than the placenta. However, it remains the single point of exchange for food, waste material and respiratory gases.
  • Nails keep on growing and the body has developed a thin layer of foetal hair, commonly referred to as lanugo. However, the foetus doesn’t retain this hair by the time of delivery. These are mainly present to keep the baby warm.
  • Brain and spinal cord are present but they are not fully developed yet.
  • As the ears are developed, your baby can hear your voice and sounds from the outside. This is probably the time to start talking to your baby.
  • Taste buds have been developed
  • Breastbone begins to develop and spine bones come in place ascertaining an upright posture after birth.

(Read more: Foetal development month by month and week by week)

6 month pregnancy baby movement

The sixth month may be the first time that you feel your baby kicking inside you and the kicks would just keep on increasing with time. It is a sign that your baby’s brain is developing properly. Baby movements are, however, not as pronounced till the end of this month, especially for first-time mothers but some women may feel some baby movements before this time even. It is not uncommon if you feel 8 to 10 movements at regular intervals (if you do feel).

However, every baby has a different pattern of movement and it is okay to have your baby kick and move around in an entirely different time than someone else’s.

If you are too bothered about your baby’s movements, or if the pattern of movement changes or slows down, you can always talk to your doctor. Some common factors that can influence the movement of your baby include:

  • Being obese or overweight
  • Having very less or too much of amniotic fluid (fluid that is present around your baby)
  • If you are on some kind of prescribed or non prescribed drugs
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Baby size

A healthy diet ensures that you get proper nutrients but what about your muscle activity? Are you going to sit around and leave your workout routine just because you are pregnant? While it is good to be cautious of strenuous movement while you are pregnant, there is no evidence that says you can absolutely not do any kind of exercise. In fact, pregnant women are advised to opt for mild exercises to keep their body fit and reduce some of the pregnancy distresses including high blood pressure, constipation and back pain. Furthermore, it increases the chances for natural birth instead of a cesarean section.

Generally, it is advisable that you do 30 minutes of exercise every day, but you can always start with 10-15 minutes and gradually increase this time.

Some of the activities you can include in your schedule are walking and swimming. You should talk to your doctor before taking up a new workout routine.  

It is the best time to start some pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your rear muscles. Apart from reducing tension in the pelvic muscles, they also make sure that you don’t leak a bit every time you laugh or sneeze.

Foot exercises would make sure that your swollen feet don’t hurt you as much.

You can also hire a yoga instructor and practice some easy yoga and meditation techniques to relieve stress and tension.

(Read more: Exercise during pregnancy)

Apart from your monthly checkup, you might need to get tested for gestational diabetes. This test can be done within 24 to 28 weeks of your pregnancy but it is best to get it done at the earliest. It generally includes a glucose screening test and a glucose tolerance test. Together, these tests determine the upper limit of your blood sugar and changes in your blood sugar levels.

Additionally, urine and blood samples may be taken to negate the chances of any abnormalities in your body.

(Read more: Checkups and tests during pregnancy)

Vaccination

If you aren’t already vaccinated for flu and whooping cough, now is the time to get your shots. Both of these problems can be very serious for the baby. As you get these shots, antibodies will pass through the placenta and to the baby, keeping your little one safe after childbirth.

Depending on your vaccination status, you might also have to get vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B.

(Read more: Vaccination during pregnancy)

So, you are being extra cautious with your day to day activities and taking proper care of yourself. But, there are several things that you should keep in mind during the sixth month of pregnancy. Also, now that you are closer to your due date, there are certain things you can start working on. Let’s explore some dos and don’ts to follow this month

Dos

  • Follow a balanced diet
  • Eat plenty of fruits and green vegetables
  • Drink enough water
  • Exercise regularly
  • Start looking for work rights and pregnancy leaves
  • Decide what kind of medical facility you want to give birth at
  • Make a list of things you might need for your postnatal care
  • Start searching baby names
  • Meditate
  • Join a hobby class
  • Go for maternity yoga
  • Note your baby’s movements
  • Take your glucose tests on time
  • Be wary of the signs of premature labour and consult with your doctor in case of frequent contractions, vaginal bleeding and sharp pain in the stomach.
  • Avoid smoking and if possible, stay away from smokers as passive smoking is as harmful

Don’ts

  • Opt for processed drinks
  • Eat junk food
  • Consume cold or under processed meats and eggs
  • Do strenuous exercises
  • Miss your doctor’s appointment
  • Miss vaccinations
  • Self-medicate
  • Consume alcohol
  • Do home remedies

References

  1. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Week 24 – your second trimester.
  2. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; You and your baby at 24 weeks pregnant.
  3. Department of Health, Government of South Australia. Parent Information: for babies born 25 weeks. [Internet]
  4. Office on Women's Health [Internet] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Stages of pregnancy.
  5. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; You and your baby at 21 weeks pregnant.
  6. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; You and your baby at 23 weeks pregnant.
  7. South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. Baby’s movements: What is normal? . [Internet]
  8. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; TRACKING YOUR WEIGHT For Women Who Begin Pregnancy at a Normal Weight
  9. Florida Health. Food for a Healthy Mother and Baby. Florida Department of Health [Internet]
  10. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; The Pregnancy Book.
  11. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Week 21 – your second trimester.
  12. Office on Women's Health [Internet] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Prenatal care and tests.
  13. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human; National Health Service [Internet]. UK; What tests might I need during pregnancy?
  14. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists [Internet] Washington, DC; Vaccinations for Pregnant Women
  15. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Maternal Vaccines: Part of a Healthy Pregnancy
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