20 Weeks Pregnant
What’s happening this week?
You’re now 20 weeks pregnant and reached the half-way mark. Congratulations! Now find out your baby’s latest achievements, like fingerprints or teeth.
How is my baby developing?
At 20 weeks pregnant your uterus is the height of your belly button. Your baby’s growth becomes more regular, and you will see your bump expanding more rapidly from now on.
Your baby’s skin is developing, now with different layers, allowing your baby to form his own individual fingertips.
Your baby’s body gets covered in lanugo, a fine, downy hair, to keep your baby warm and snug. This will be lost by the time your baby is born. Interestingly, tooth buds are already in place underneath the gums, although teeth won’t appear until after birth.
In the meantime, your baby continues with his breathing and swallowing practices. By 20 weeks pregnant, your baby measures 25 cm and weighs over 300 grams.
As your baby grows and puts on more weight, his head will seem more and more proportional to the rest of his body.
At this stage your doctor will use several measurements to determine if your baby is growing normally. These include circumference of the head, tummy, and the length of the upper leg bone.
How is my body changing?
You’re 20 weeks pregnant, and from now on, your baby’s height will correlate well to the measurement from your pubic area to the top of your uterus (called the fundus).
This technique is called “fundal height” and works up to 32-36 weeks pregnant. If you’re measuring more than expected it could be because you’re expecting twins or you’re more advanced than you thought.
If the measurements are smaller than anticipated, it could the result of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), but this is rare. Either way, an ultrasound scan will clarify the issue.
Interesting symptoms at 20 weeks pregnant include clumsiness, heartburn during pregnancy and skin darkening in certain areas, such as nipples or freckles, or just generally on your face (called chloasma), which will disappear after delivery.
You may also notice that your abdomen is incredibly itchy, due to skin stretching; and your belly button has popped out! Weight gain at 20 weeks pregnant is probably about 10-11 pounds, possibly more.
Should you go to pregnancy classes?
Particularly first time mums chose to attend classes to receive support and find the information they need about pregnancy and labour. These classes offer vital tips and tricks for coping with a newborn baby and other baby-related concerns.
They will look at labour in depth, looking at stages of labour, pain relief, breathing techniques, types of delivery, etc. If possible, take your partner with you to the classes.