Congratulations! 20 weeks pregnant is the halfway through the mark of pregnancy! The most difficult stages of pregnancy have gone by as you come to the end of the 2nd trimester. The intensity of nausea will be reduced considerably as the 2nd trimester progresses.
You might also feel that the days were progressing very slowly during the 1st trimester of pregnancy. However, as you reach the middle of the 2nd trimester, you will feel that the days are going by faster.
Symptoms Of Pregnancy At 20 Weeks:
The many 20 weeks pregnant symptoms are as follows:
- Weight gain
- Increase of the waistline
- Increased appetite
- Indigestion and heartburn
- Skin pigmentation
- Dry skin on hands
- Swollen feet
- Loss of body balance
- Increase in the body hair
- Low blood pressure
- Varicose veins
- Leg cramping
- Lower back pain
- Pain on the sides of the abdomen
Baby Development At 20 Weeks:
The various developments taking place in the body of the baby at 20 weeks are as follows:
- The weight of the baby will be about 10 ½ ounces.
- The baby will measure around 6 ½ inches long from the head to the bottom, and 10 inches from head to heel.
- The size of the baby can be comparable to that of a banana.
- There will be remarkable growth taking place in the baby, with its size and weight continuing to increase.
- The baby will be weighing more than the placenta at 20 weeks pregnant, though there is not much of fat deposition around the baby.
- Fat will get deposited around the baby slowly as the pregnancy progresses.
- The specialized areas of the brain for identifying the senses of smell, taste, hearing, touch, and vision will be entirely developed by this week.
- The baby can actively swallow the amniotic fluid thereby practices the digestion process to get the ease after birth.
- By the 20th week of pregnancy, maximum women will be able to feel the baby moving inside their tummy.
- The initial baby movements might feel like gas or hunger pangs.
- The movements of the baby will continue to get more pronounced and intense as the pregnancy progresses.
- The soft cartilage of the baby’s body will soon start developing into a hard bony skeleton as the pregnancy progresses.
- The translucent skin of the baby will start producing the pigment in it during this week.
Understanding The Baby Movements:
One of the most memorable experiences of pregnancy for any woman is to feel the baby move inside her. The movements of the baby inside the womb will help in creating a strong bond of love between the mother and the child.
- The initial movements of the baby in the womb will be like gas moving inside the tummy or even hunger pangs.
- As the pregnancy progresses, the fetal movements will get stronger, especially at 20 weeks pregnant.
- The intensity and frequency of the baby movements will be stronger when you are relaxed, sleeping or lying down.
- Keeping track of the movements of the baby in the uterus is of prime importance.
- Lesser 20 weeks pregnant baby movement can denote a problem, so it is essential to count the kicks!
- Different women will feel movements differently.
- Many women will feel the fetal movements as early as the 15th week, while many women feel it in the later weeks of the 2nd trimester.
Body Changes At 20th Week Of Pregnancy:
The various developments taking place in the body of the baby will bring out visible changes in the body of the expectant mother at 20 weeks, as follows:
- By the 20th week of pregnancy, the upper part of the uterus and the belly button will get in level.
- There might be an approximate weight gain of about 10 pounds by the 20th
- Weight gain of about 1pound a week is expected from this week onwards.
- The 20 weeks pregnant belly will be protruding out and visible to others.
- Rapid hair growth in all parts of the body is observed in most expectant mothers.
- The nails will grow fast and observe thicker as the pregnancy progresses. Some women feel their nails get brittle and weak during pregnancy. The changes in the nail structure can be blamed to the excessive secretion of hormones.
- Snoring is a common problem faced by many women during pregnancy. The swelling of the membranes of the nose, due to excess secretion of hormones, leads to snoring during sleep.
- Indigestion and heartburn are commonly associated with pregnancy due to the increase in the secretion of hormones.
- As you progress towards the end of the 2nd trimester, you will start feeling hotter than the other people.
- The increased metabolism of the body is responsible for making you feel hot and increase the sweat production.
- As the belly increases in size, you will observe that the body balance gets unstable.
- The center of gravity of the body shifts owing to the increasing body weight, which might lead to lower back pain.
- Sudden and sharp pain on the sides of the stomach is common during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy. It is called as “round ligament pain.”
- Many women develop skin problems such as dry skin, skin pigmentation or darkening of the skin in patches during pregnancy, especially during 20 weeks pregnant.
- The increased secretion of hormones during pregnancy is responsible for the various skin problems.
- Blurred vision and dizziness are common problems associated with the 2nd trimester of pregnancy owing to a drop in the blood pressure.
- Dental problems such as sore gums, bleeding gums, swelling of the gums etc. might crop up during pregnancy.
Following A Pregnancy Calendar:
Now that you are well aware of the various symptoms of pregnancy and the developments taking place in your body, you must understand the weeks and months of the pregnancy. Following a pregnancy calendar will aid in understanding the 20 weeks pregnant weight gain, the health tips, the development of the baby and the various precautions.
|1st Trimester||Month 1||1 to 4 weeks|
|Month 2||5 to 8 weeks|
|Month 3||9 to 13 weeks|
|Month 4||14 to 17 weeks|
|Month 5||18 to 21 weeks|
|Month 6||22 to 26 weeks|
|Month 7||27 to 30 weeks|
|Month 8||31 to 35 weeks|
|Month 9||36 to 40 weeks|
Pregnancy Tips At 20 Weeks:
The various pregnancy tips to be followed at 20 weeks pregnant are as follows:
- Concentrate on the iron medication and foods rich in iron, to maintain the hemoglobin content of the blood.
- Pregnancy involves a lot of iron utilization in the body to support the growing baby and the placenta.
- Delivery of the baby incorporates a lot of blood loss from the body, which can lead to anemia and weakness.
- Concentrating on the 20 week pregnancy diet is essential to stay healthy.
- Getting a good night’s sleep and rest is mandatory during pregnancy.
- As the pregnancy progresses into the 3rd trimester, sleeping can become increasingly difficult.
- You can use ample pillows or cushions to give you a comfortable position to support you during sleep.
- It is an excellent idea to sleep on the sides of the bed to help you get up in the morning time.
- You must first sit by getting up from the sides and slowly get out of the bed from a lying position.
- You can help in reducing snoring at bedtime by sleeping on the sides or by keeping the head elevated slightly.
- You can protect yourself from heartburn and indigestion by avoiding fatty foods.
- It is an excellent idea to allow the food to get digested before you can lie down on the bed.
- Leg cramps are very common during pregnancy, especially after 20 weeks pregnant. You can ease the cramping by straightening the leg with the heel first and then the toes.
- It is advisable to wear cotton material and comfortable clothing during pregnancy.
- You must wear loose and breathable clothing to allow the free movement of the baby in the womb.
- It is advisable to wear comfortable slippers during pregnancy as the body balance becomes unstable.
- Good dental hygiene is essential to keep the dental problems at bay.
- You must brush your teeth twice daily, use mouthwash to keep away bacteria and gum problems.
Varicose Veins During Pregnancy:
The increased flow of blood in the body and accumulation in the sensitive parts of the veins is termed as “varicose veins.” The legs are the most likely areas of the body of a woman to develop varicose veins. Women who suffer from varicose veins must avoid standing or sitting in one place for a long time at a stretch. Moving the legs and feet frequently will help in reducing the discomfort caused by the problem.
The Formation Of Stretch Marks During Pregnancy:
Stretch marks are very common during pregnancy. Each and every woman suffers from stretch marks during and after pregnancy, though the intensity might vary. Stretch marks can be defined as the fine wrinkles or lines formed on the surface of the skin, especially at 20 weeks pregnant. The gain in weight and bulging tummy will stretch the skin of the abdomen. Sudden weight loss after the birth of the baby will lead to the formation of silver or pink streaks around the belly.
The parts of the body where stretch marks can be formed are the abdomen, buttocks, arms, breasts, hips, etc. Stretch marks mostly fade away with time post the birth of the baby. However, the skin won’t be the same as it was before, which is essential for any women to understand. The topical application of creams for reducing the stretch marks will be helpful.
Sex Life During 20th Week Of Pregnancy:
Sex is one of the major points of concern for most couples during pregnancy. According to many gynecologists, sex during pregnancy is completely safe and reasonable. However, there are very points to be kept in mind especially at 20 weeks pregnant.
Sex must be avoided if there are many complications in the pregnancy such as vaginal bleeding, low lying placenta, history of previous miscarriage, etc. Your gynecologist is the best person to advise you about your sex life during pregnancy. Sufficient precaution must be taken so that direct pressure isn’t exerted on the abdomen of the pregnant woman.
It is essential for any couple to understand that pregnancy is just a phase of life. Making your partner comfortable is crucial and vital. If sex seems difficult with the growing belly or if the gynecologist suggests you abstain, then you can indulge in cuddling, kissing, body massages, and bonding with your partner.
Anomaly Scanning At 20th Week Of Pregnancy:
An anomaly scan or a mid-pregnancy scan is mostly carried out at the 20th week of pregnancy. The scan will have a complete look at all the individual organs of the baby and how they are developing.
- The anomaly scan will check the fetal heart, the heart chambers, the valves, and the arteries.
- All the vital organs such as the lungs, the kidneys, the stomach, etc. of the body of the baby will be checked in the anomaly scan.
- The external features of the baby such as the nasal bone, the lips, the eyes, the ears, the hands, the feet, etc. will be checked in the scan.
- The baby’s fingers, toes, and feet will be checked during the scan.
- During the scan, the sonographer will be able to check the individual bones of the baby.
- The amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby can be checked in the anomaly scan.
- The head circumference, the shape and the structure of the head, etc. are visible clearly during this week of gestation.
- The positioning of the placenta can be identified by the sonographer in the scan.
- The baby’s gender can be identified during an anomaly scan. However, the main purpose of the scanning is to check for the fetal growth and not the sex!
Predicting The Baby’s Gender:
It is ok to get curious about the gender of the baby growing inside your belly. Though the external genitals are very underdeveloped, you can still make out the sex of the baby through the 18 weeks to 20 weeks pregnant ultrasound scan.
- Scanning during the 2nd trimester is mandatory for checking for the growth of the baby.
- If it is a girl, the development of the uterus takes place in her body.
- If you are carrying a boy, then the testicles have begun formation by this week.
- Identifying the gender of the baby will be dependent upon the position of the baby at the time of the 20 weeks pregnant ultrasound scan.
- If the baby is too curled up, then the external genitals won’t be clearly visible.
- There are many home ways to predict the gender of the baby.
- However, the non-medical ways of sex determination of the baby have no medical or scientific evidence. You can carry out these for the sake of fun.
Problems In An Anomaly Scan:
There is a rare possibility of repeating the anomaly scan in few women. Your gynecologist might ask you to repeat the scan in case of:
- During the scan at 20 weeks pregnant, if the baby is positioned in such a way that the internal organs or the external features aren’t clearly visible, you might be asked to repeat the scanning.
- If the doctor suspects a problem in the fetal heart, you might be asked to go ahead with a fetal echo scan for further detailing and investigations.
- The anomaly scan can detect if there is a major problem in the head or brain of the baby.
- The anomaly scan can detect problems in the vital body organs such as the lungs, the kidneys, the stomach, etc.
- The anomaly scan will be able to detect any deformity in the fetal limbs, lips, nose, ear, etc.
- A deformity in the fetal spine can be detected during the anomaly scan.