Week by Week Pregnancy Guide: 20 Weeks
At 20 weeks of pregnancy, you have a champion in your belly. Your little champ is all grown up, with much more weight and height. You may be thinking that your baby is getting bigger and all but you will be surprised to know that there is still plenty of growing room which allows him to twist and turn. 20 weeks of pregnancy is 5 months of pregnancy and you have only 4 months to go.
When you become 20 weeks pregnant, it is a good thing to know that you are in the last week of the first half of your pregnancy journey. At this stage, if you are privileged to go through the anomaly scan you make, it is likely you find your baby sucking his or her thumb. The essence of this is that they are practicing how to suck which is very important because of the time when they will start to nurse.
Here is a 3D ultrasound of the baby in his mother’s womb:
While they are still growing bigger, it is worth noting that there are some nerves positioned in their brains that control their senses which will still be forming so that eventually, they will be able to see, touch, smell, taste, and hear.
How big is my baby at 20 weeks pregnant?
Your little one, by now, will weigh around 10 ounces with a height of about six and a half inches (measured from crown to rump). Even though the baby is still growing, he or she will be performing lots of acrobats by twisting and turning all of which are likely to feel.
Your baby at 20 weeks is big and your tummy is about a melon’s size. If you are so curious to know whether you are carrying a baby boy or girl inside of you, this is the best time for you to take a peek. Amazed? Even though there is still room for the genitals of your baby to grow, by now, you will be able to find out his or her gender through the second-trimester ultrasound which is usually scheduled to be carried out any moment between the 18th and 20th week.
This scan gives your practitioner the chance to monitor the way things are going within you. So, if you are carrying a baby girl, at your 20 weeks pregnant, the uterus would have been fully formed now and the canal for the vagina would have begun to develop.
Apart from that, another amazing thing is that the primitive eggs will now be in those tiny ovaries so that by the time she is born, the number would have come down to about two million. And for your baby boy, this week, the testicles would have begun to descend even though he is still inside your abdomen waiting for his scrotum to finish growing.
Your body at week 20 of pregnancy
20 weeks is practically the midpoint of your pregnancy. You have 20 more weeks to go for that little person you are carrying to become more of a reality. At 20 weeks, you can feel his movements and draw smiles for people who pass you by when they see your baby bump. You can even get away with moving ahead of the queue at the grocery store.
Your pregnant belly
At 20 weeks, your pregnant belly is really taking shape as an adorable baby bump. Given that your appetite is likely pretty hearty, chances are that you have popped enough for people to know you are pregnant. It’s now time to wear those cute maternity clothes that accentuate your bump. At this time, you can also feel your baby kick. The pregnancy becomes more real at this point.
Even with baby bumps becoming more visible at 20 weeks, there is still a wide range of normal when it comes to baby bump size. Your bump may be bigger or smaller than the next-door bump. This should not concern you too much. There are other factors that determine the size of your bump including your size and shape, genetics, and the number of pregnancies you have had previously. If you are worried about it, then you can check in with your doctor but don’t over scrutinize it. Read more about baby bump here.
All 20-week baby bumps are beautiful and normal whether they are big or small.
It is possible you experience some aches in your tummy while your bump keeps growing. This is because of the stretches of the ligaments on both sides of your womb as your baby is growing bigger.
And if you suddenly discover a linear vertical line showing up in your abdomen, it is called Linea Nigra. It is a normal thing and it will disappear after you have delivered your baby.
Hair and nail growth
At 20 weeks, you will observe that your nails are stronger and your hair is growing faster than usual. It will even feel fuller and thicker. Well, all this is thanks to the pregnancy hormones that you are producing. These hormones trigger a surge in circulation that brings extra nutrients to your hair and nail cells. Though your nails will be a little long, they can be dry and brittle. Your locks may lock so lavish at the moment but this will end with delivery. The normal daily hair loss that is suppressed during pregnancy and results in the thicker mane is eventually released and picks up right where it left it off.
Feeding your growing appetite
The weeks of nausea, vomiting and food aversions are all gone and it is time for you to eat more. You will find that you are more than ready to make up for the lost eating time. Away with the crackers and in comes the four-course meals. But before digging into that four-course buffet, you might want to consider the fact that the grazing approach you used during those queasy months is still the best way to feed yourself and your baby. It will help fend off pesky second-trimester tummy troubles like heartburn and indigestion which are common at this time. By your second trip to the buffet, heartburn and indigestion will have kicked in. Furthermore, it ensures that the baby is getting a steady supply of calories when they are needed the most.
According to several studies, moms who eat at least five small meals and snacks in one day are more likely to carry their pregnancies to term. So don’t just indulge in eating anything and everything. Keep it as you did in your queasy months for the best results.
Take prenatal vitamins every day
Prenatal vitamins are recommended by most doctors if you are planning on becoming pregnant or are pregnant. They provide essential nutrients for the prenatal development of your baby. Taking prenatal vitamins is especially important when you’re so nauseous you can’t eat properly. Many of us don’t get all the vitamins and minerals we need from our food, which becomes critically important when you’re pregnant. If you have nausea during pregnancy, you should know that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends vitamin B6 first-line in prenatal vitamins (such as this pack of vitamins) to help alleviate nausea. Make sure to read this detailed article about the best prenatal vitamins available on the market today to take during pregnancy.
Pregnancy symptoms at week 20
Heartburn and indigestion are probably more frequent in the second trimester. Given that you are prone to suffer from these conditions, it is good to find a fix for the problem. For instance, you can try chewing a piece of sugarless gum after meals. More saliva produces a neutralizing effect on the gastric acid and helps to force fluids back into the stomach.
Occasional headaches also mark the 20th week. They are more likely to crop up when you are overheated, in windowless, stuffy places or under fluorescent lighting. You will need a lot of fresh-air breaks outside a couple of times in one day. You also need to dress in layers to avoid getting too hot and triggering a headache.
Faintness and dizziness happen a lot if you are in stuffy, hot rooms. Stuffy hot rooms cause light-headedness especially when the body is already generating heat of its own because of the baby. Keep yourself cool with frequent fresh-air breaks and wear loose-fitting clothes.
Leg cramps can occur which may be triggered by compressed blood vessels in the legs due to the extra weight and swelling. Put your feet up when you can to help blood circulate throughout your body more easily.
Edema which is swelling of the feet and ankles due to water retention in these areas. Wear comfy shoes and avoid tight socks and the like.
If you find yourself becoming sadder than you get happy and the feeling does not go on time, feel free to talk to someone.
By now, you need to take time to exercise. Do Pilates as often as possible. Pilates is one type of exercise that works on your muscles and also improves your flexibility. It is good as it does not overstress your joints.
20 weeks is a growth milestone for you and your baby. A lot of changes and growth have happened. Only four months to go and you will have your much awaited bundle of joy with you.