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20 WEEKS PREGNANT
Congrats! During week 20 of pregnancy, you’re at the halfway point.
If you’ve recently found out baby’s sex, you’re in a completely new mindset—are we right?
Now, those baby names you’re throwing out are more likely to end up as baby’s actual name, and when you find yourself in a baby store, those little blue or pink outfits aren’t just adorable, they’re must-haves.
And since now you can add clothes and other boyish or girlish things to your wish list, 20 weeks pregnant is the time you probably want to start finalizing your baby registry too. Happy shopping!
How Big Is Baby at 20 Weeks?
At 20 weeks pregnant, baby is the size of a banana.
He or she weighs about 10.2 ounces and measures about 6.5 inches from crown to rump.
(Starting next week, baby will be measured from head to toe.)
Baby’s still got a lot of growing to do but has an excellent start!
20 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
20 weeks pregnant is four months and about two weeks.
During week 20, you’ve hit the halfway point of your pregnancy.
20 WEEKS PREGNANT SYMPTOMS
Making it to 20 weeks pregnant probably feels pretty darn good.
After all, your energy’s high, your sex drive is high, and as long as your partner is up for it too, things are probably happening between the sheets.
Of course, it wouldn’t be pregnancy if you weren’t experiencing some annoying symptoms.
Right now, it’s likely swelling, heartburn, leg cramps, and more of this not-so-fun stuff:
You can expect the discharge to keep increasing until delivery.
It’s just your body’s way of keeping the area clear of bacteria.
But let your doctor know if the discharge is yellow, green, or foul smelling.
Leg cramps. Do stretches regularly, and drink plenty of water to prevent your legs from cramping.
Heartburn and/or indigestion. As baby starts to crowd your digestive system, it might not work exactly as it did pre-pregnancy.
Watch what you’re eating—acidic and spicy foods can cause tummy troubles
High energy. Enjoy this energy (and libido) surge while it lasts! You might find yourself more fatigued in the third trimester.
Swelling. Don’t worry unless the swelling is sudden or severe. Mild swelling is normal and should subside after delivery.
In the meantime, put up your feet whenever you can.
Shortness of breath. As your uterus expands, it pushes against your lungs, causing you to feel short of breath.
You might find this to be especially true if you’re 20 weeks pregnant with twins.
Don’t push yourself too hard, and sit down and rest if you feel yourself gasping for air.
20 WEEKS PREGNANT BELLY
Starting around 20 weeks pregnant, your doctor will measure fundal height at each prenatal visit.
Fundal height is the distance from the pubic bone to the top of your uterus.
In centimeters, the fundal height should match your week of pregnancy, give or take two centimeters.
So for example, your 20 weeks pregnant belly should measure around 18 to 22 centimeters.
It should continue to increase about a centimeter each week.
A higher or lower fundal height could be the sign of a pregnancy condition such as gestational diabetes, a growth issue, or a breech baby, so if it doesn’t appear to be average, further testing may be necessary.
At 20 weeks pregnant, weight gain is happening slowly yet surely.
You may have gained around 10 pounds by now
Remember: You’re aiming to gain about 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Recommended pregnancy weight gain for moms of average BMI is about 25 to 35 pounds.
If you began pregnancy with a high BMI, your OB will likely advise that you gain a total of 15 to 25 pounds.
If you were at a low BMI, 28 to 40 pounds will likely be the recommendation.
If you’re 20 weeks pregnant with twins or other multiples, don’t expect your doctor to measure your fundal height.
That’s because it’s harder to say what’s average for moms-to-be carrying multiples.
Instead, your OB will likely put more emphasis on your weight gain
Now that you’re 20 weeks pregnant with twins, you should aim to put on slightly more weight each week.
In the first half of a twin pregnancy, the recommendation is about 1 pound per week, and in the second half, it’s about one to two pounds.
That’s because healthy weight gain is gradual.
Most OBs advise that twin moms-to-be of average BMI gain about 35 to 45 pounds total during pregnancy.
20 WEEKS PREGNANT ULTRASOUND
Your 20-week fetus now has working taste buds.
He or she is gulping down several ounces of amniotic fluid each day—that’s significantly more than before.
If you haven’t already had your mid-pregnancy ultrasound, you will very soon, since this prenatal test happens between weeks 18 and 22.
This is a detailed 20-week ultrasound—you’ll see parts of baby you might not have dreamed possible, including the chambers of his or her heart, the kidneys, and the brain hemispheres.
The technician and OB will look to see that everything seems to be developing properly and that baby’s growth is on track.
If you’re 20 weeks pregnant with twins, the ultrasound technician will check to see if babies’ heads are approximately the same size.
If they aren’t, more measurements will be taken to be sure neither twin is having growth problems.
The technician will also likely be able to tell you baby’s gender, so let them know if you want to find out if you’re having a boy or a girl.
Ask for printouts of the ultrasound photos.
These are wonderful keepsakes of your rapidly developing baby. How cute is that little nose?!
20 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby's Development
You’re at the halfway mark of your pregnancy, and there are lots of developments to celebrate — here’s are just a few of them.
Your baby is looking more babylike than ever, as facial features including the nose take shape.
His sucking reflex is coming along, and it’s possible that he may suck his thumb this week or sometime soon.
Rapid brain growth continues, particularly in the nerve centers dedicated to the senses.
Your little one is in the process of developing a definite sleep-wake cycle and is also becoming responsive to sounds in the environment.
From time to time, loud noises may even wake him.
Around this time your baby’s skin is thickening and layers of skin are forming as well.
The skin is protected from the amniotic fluid by a waxy coating called vernix.
Around 20 weeks of pregnancy, your baby’s digestive system starts to produce a greenish-black, sticky substance called meconium, which will accumulate in his bowels over the rest of the pregnancy.
Typically, your baby will pass this substance after he’s born, and you’ll see it in your baby’s first few diapers.
How Big Is Your Baby at 20 Weeks?
By this stage your baby may weigh about 9 to 11 ounces pound and is over 6 inches long, crown to rump — you could cup your little guy in the palms of your hands.
Mom's Body at 20 Weeks Pregnant
At this point in your pregnancy, or sometime soon, you’re likely to feel your baby’s movements, which is sometimes called quickening.
Both the timing and the actual sensation vary from woman to woman — this is another way in which each and every pregnancy is unique — but you may sense tiny flutters or rumblings in your tummy!
In the next few weeks, you might also detect some rhythmic jerking — baby hiccups!
If you have a checkup at 20 weeks, your healthcare provider may measure the distance from your pubic bone to the top of the uterus, which is called the fundus.
This fundal height measurement gives your provider information about your baby’s growth.
At around 20 weeks of pregnancy, the top of the uterus reaches the navel, and your fundal height would be about 7 to 8.5 inches (18 to 22 centimeters).
Here’s a fun fact about the fundal height measurement:
Your fundal height in centimeters is roughly equal to the number of weeks you are pregnant!
20 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms
Constipation. Hormonal activity and your growing baby pushing against your intestines can lead to constipation.
Although this condition can be uncomfortable, drinking more water and eating more fiber can help get things moving.
Congestion and nosebleeds.
Increased levels of hormones and extra blood volume during pregnancy can make the mucous membranes in your nose swell and dry out.
This can lead to both congestion and nosebleeds.
It’s helpful to use a humidifier to moisten the air and to drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
Lower back pain.
As your belly grows and you gain pregnancy weight, you might find your back hurting, particularly toward the end of the day.
There are a few things you can do to prevent or ease this discomfort, including wearing low-heeled shoes (not high heels but not completely flat shoes either), doing gentle exercise that helps stretch and strengthen your back muscles, and wearing a belly support band.
Forgetfulness. You may be having a hard time concentrating as well as you used to, and you may find that you’re forgetting small things.
It might help to create checklists or reminders (on paper, sticky notes, or your phone), and to give yourself some extra breaks while doing tasks that require your concentration.
Swollen feet. This condition can be caused by both weight gain and fluid retention, but a hormone called relaxin also contributes.
This hormone relaxes ligaments and joints to help make it easier for your baby to pass through the pelvis during birth, but relaxin also loosens the ligaments elsewhere in your body — including those in your feet, causing them to spread.
To help you feel more comfortable, you may need to go up a shoe size; also, try propping your feet up on a pillow or footrest as often as you can.
Your Baby at Week 20
You’ve got a heavyweight in your belly at 20 weeks pregnant (well, in baby terms, anyway).
Your little champ weighs about 10 ounces and has a height, crown to rump, of about six-and-a-half inches.
While your baby is definitely getting bigger, there’s still plenty of growing room in there, which allows him to twist and turn (and allows you to feel his acrobatics!).
20 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
If you’re 20 weeks pregnant, you’re in month 5 of your pregnancy.
Only 4 months left to go! Still have questions? Here’s some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
Boy or Girl?
Curious about whether that melon-sized belly has a boy or a girl inside? Now’s your chance to take a peek!
Though the external genitals in both male and female fetuses still have a way to grow, you’ll be able to find out your baby’s gender via the second trimester ultrasound, usually scheduled for anytime between 18 and 20 weeks.
This routine exam gives your practitioner a chance to see how things are going in there (and wow, are they going!).
If you’re carrying a girl, your baby’s uterus is fully formed this week and the vaginal canal is starting its development (which means that in a few decades, you might be a grandma!).
Your little girl also has primitive eggs in tiny ovaries now, seven million of them
By birth, that number will be down to two million.
If your fetus is a boy, the testicles have begun their descent this week, though they’re still in the abdomen waiting for the scrotum to finish growing so they’ll have a place to go in a few weeks.
Your Body at Week 20
Now that you’re at the midpoint of your pregnancy (20 weeks down, 20 more to go!),
that little sweet potato you’re carrying is becoming more of a reality as you feel his movements and draw smiles from passersby who see your baby bump.
Your 20 Weeks Pregnant Belly
Now that you’re 20 weeks pregnant, you’re halfway through your pregnancy — congratulations!
And your 20 weeks pregnant belly is probably really taking shape as an adorable baby bump by now.
Your appetite is likely pretty hearty, and chances are you’ve popped enough that people know you’re pregnant and you can wear those cute maternity clothes to accentuate your bump.
Plus, around now is when you may be starting to feel baby kicking, so it’s all becoming more real!
But there’s still a wide range of normal when it comes to baby bump size, even at 20 weeks.
So don’t be concerned if your bump is bigger or smaller than the bump next door.
Just remember that other factors like your size and shape, whether this is your debut pregnancy or you’ve already got one (or more) under your belt, and even genetics can dictate what your 20 weeks pregnant belly looks like and how you’re carrying.
As always, check in with your doctor if you’re really worried, but try not to over-scrutinize.
All bumps are beautiful and normal, no matter how big or small.
Hair and Nail Growth
You might also be noticing that your nails are stronger and your hair (all over your body) is growing faster than usual, feeling thicker and fuller.
You can thank pregnancy hormones again, which trigger a surge in circulation that brings extra nutrients to hair and nail cells.
But even though your nails might be long, they can also turn dry and brittle (of course, it’s those pregnancy hormones).
And though you may love your lavish locks now, don’t get too attached: Your good-hair-day run ends with delivery, when the normal daily hair loss that’s suppressed during pregnancy (thus the thicker mane) picks up where it left off and then some.
Feeding Your Growing Appetite
Are you in the Hunger Zone? With weeks of nausea and food aversions behind you, you may be more than ready to make up for lost eating time (move over crackers, hello four-course meals!).
But before you dig into that all-you-can-eat buffet at lunchtime, here’s something you might want to consider.
The grazing approach that was your mealtime MO during those queasy months is still the best way to feed yourself and your baby now that food’s no longer a four-letter word.
Not only does it help fend off pesky second-trimester tummy troubles (like the heartburn and indigestion that are sure to set in by your second trip to the buffet), but it also ensures that baby’s getting a steady supply of calories when he needs it the most.
In fact, studies show that moms who eat at least five or six small meals and snacks a day are more likely to carry to term. So bring on the grub when pregnancy hunger hits, and lots of it — just bring it on a little at a time.