20 Weeks Pregnant
Congratulations to you and your baby as you make it to the halfway mark of your pregnancy this week. At 20 weeks pregnant, you are just 20 weeks away from holding your precious little gift in your arms. Your baby has achieved quite a few growth milestones already and maturing and putting on weight are the tasks on his mind now. Wondering how big is baby at 20 weeks, well your little one is already a whooping 10 inches tall from head to toe; as big as a banana and weighs approximately 280 grams.
How Your Baby is Growing This Week?
Your baby at 20 weeks has come a long way developmentally with all the vital organs formed and functioning in sync. This week onwards, your baby will begin to put on layers of fat beneath the skin which will give him the cute and cuddly look that you have been dreaming about.
He is practicing his skills and is swallowing a lot of amniotic fluid. Also, a good amount of meconium, which is the stool of the baby, is accumulating in the intestines. This will be passed as the first black tarry stool after birth.
The body of your little 20 week fetus is totally covered by the sticky substance vernix caseosa which acts as protective layer. The scalp is sprouting hair and the face is beginning to look more and more mature each day.
The baby has grown in the last few weeks but there is still some space left for him to practice his moves. As weeks go by, this space will get lesser and your baby will get snug in his little world.
Changes in Your Body at 20 Weeks Pregnant
As you approach the half way mark in your pregnancy, you have already gained 10 pounds and are likely to gain more weight steadily in the weeks to come. Your uterus has grown out of the pelvic cavity and has grown upwards pushing the abdominal organs up. It has now reached the level of your belly button. The abdomen has become rounded and you now sport a 5 months pregnant belly. In case your weight was already on the higher side before you got pregnant, then expect to gain fewer kilos. Also being cautious about what you eat can help to maintain a steady weight gain.
At pregnancy 20 weeks, you can now feel your baby’s punches and kicks prominently and can in no way be mistaken for gas bubbles. You will also begin to notice a pattern; there will be times of activity and quiet times when the baby is sleeping. You will also observe that the baby moves or reacts to loud noises. It is lovely to feel them respond to the outside stimuli although there’s still time before they enter this world full of sounds and stimuli.
Due to the pregnancy hormones and nutrient rich diet, you will notice your hair fall has reduced and you sport thick, lustrous hair and also the rate at which the nails are growing has fastened. It is seen that the extra growth of hair begins to shed of once the pregnancy gets over which means you will have to deal with hair fall sooner or later.
Week 20 Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms
This week you touch the halfway mark in your pregnancy and it is interesting to learn what the 20 weeks pregnant symptoms are. They remain more or less similar to the symptoms of last week.
- Round ligament pain
- Leg cramps
- Linea Nigra
- Feeling hungry at night
- Acidity and heartburn
- Frequent urination
- Mood swings
- Muscle cramps
- Backaches and joint pain
- Itching of skin over the abdomen, hips and breasts
- Pelvic pain
- Oedema of feet
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Engorgement of breasts
- Swollen gums
- Vivid dreams
- Unable to sleep sound at night
- Weight gain
- Visible baby bump
- Darkening of acne or moles all over the body
- Varicose veins
- Increased sweating due to increased blood volume
- Lustrous hair and fast growing nails
- Breathlessness on exertion
It is common to feel hungry at night these days because your baby is growing and so are his needs. You may also have cravings and feel like having certain things. Go ahead and pamper yourself and fulfill those midnight cravings. It will keep your spirits high and remember a happy mother will have a happy baby.
Diagnostic Tests and Ultrasound Results in Week 20 of Pregnancy
This week the 20 weeks pregnant ultrasound scan is aimed mainly at studying the detailed anatomy of the baby in order to assess normal structural growth. The anomaly scan is carried out normally between the 18-20 weeks of pregnancy.
The detailed anatomy is studied and measurements are taken for the various growth parameters like the length of long bones, diameter of the skull etc. The chambers of the heart are checked and heart rate is measured.
The placenta blood flow, condition of the cervix and amniotic fluid is checked for adequacy. All these parameter put together give a fair idea whether the baby is growing normally.
If you are 20 weeks pregnant with twins, the babies at this stage are scanned very meticulously, and the growth assessment of both babies is done separately to check if they are both growing at the same rate. It is seen at times that one baby is growing at a faster rate than the other.
Pregnancy Health Tips
- As your baby is growing, so is your circulating blood volume and iron need in the body. Get iron rich foods like legumes, spinach, beet and iron fortified cereal on a daily basis. This will help to prevent anemia and its complications.
- X-rays and any kind of radiation exposure is very harmful and should be strictly avoided during pregnancy as it can cause harm to the unborn baby.
- Weight gain is the most important change in your body and it is advisable to have a balanced diet for a steady normal weight gain.
- Sleeping on your side can be a good habit to start as it will help you sleep better and is also good for an effective circulation across your 20 weeks pregnant belly and entire body.
- Increased discharge can make you prone to getting vaginal infections. Maintain good hygiene and keep your private parts dry and clean.
- Wear a good fitting bra to ensure your growing breasts are well supported.
- For itching of the skin due to stretching, you can use a mild moisturizer or coconut oil. It will help to reduce itching and keep the skin more moist.