You were too engrossed in your baby’s growth to notice how fast things were happening. Just a few weeks ago you spilled the news of your impending motherhood and today you’re rejoicing at another milestone crossed- the midpoint of your pregnancy. Another 20 weeks and your bundle of joy will be in your arms. Doesn’t that sound exciting?
At 20 weeks, your little peanut measures 6 inches (head to bottom) and 10 inches (head to heel). The fetus is roughly the size of a banana. He weighs 10-10 ½ ounces.
The skin coated with Lanugo and vernix continues to develop. It thickens with each passing day. The development of the lower layers of skin and the small deposits of fatty tissue make the skin less transparent. The nails and the hair continue to grow. The eyebrows and eyelashes get thicker.
This is the stage when, you child starts developing his immune system.
You’re little one has started swallowing. The swallowing action is good. Her tiny taste buds have also developed and start to function. She is slowly developing a taste for things. So, watch what you put into your mouth. And as usual, your baby continues to remain active. He explores the world in his aqueous environment and spends half his time stretching, yawning and kicking.
Changes to your body
Pregnancy is a roller coaster ride. So, there’s always a blend of good and bad. The good is you feel more energized. You may also feel an increased desire to engage in a few intimate moments with baby’s daddy. Go ahead if you and your partner feel up to it. With morning sickness no longer dominating the scene, you can indulge in your favorite foods and satisfy your food cravings.
The bad in this week are backaches, leg cramps, heartburn, swelling and weight gain. Women complain of a burning or tingling sensation in your legs. Mild swelling develops on the face, hands and feet. It will disappear after delivery. Speaking about weight gain expect to put on a pound every week. There is an increase in vaginal discharge and should remain till after delivery. You will also feel lightheaded and dizzy. You will be spending more hours in the bathroom on account of frequent urination.
20 weeks: Pregnancy Health and Nutrition
- Make sure you’re eating well and getting the right amount of iron and other vitamins.
- Eat around two to three hours before going to sleep.
- Avoid standing for very long hours.
- Try sleeping with a few extra pillows to get comfortable.
- Excessive sweating during the nights may disturb sleep. Keep the room cool and ventilated. Wear breathable night wear.
- If you’ve found out the gender of the baby, you’ll have a few more extra tasks to do. Prepare the nursery; shop for adorable baby clothes and shortlist a few names. How about putting together your baby’s registry? This is the best time for it.
- Enroll for a childbirth class in preparation for labor and delivery. They will also teach you to calm all the birth fears and anxieties.
- If you haven’t had your mid pregnancy ultrasound, you better go for it. Your baby’s brain, kidneys, spine, arms and legs, abdominal wall and other organs will be examined for defects. The healthcare provider measures the height of the uterus. The uterus is at the same level as your belly button and henceforth will grow upwards in the direction of the rib cage. This second trimester ultrasound also involves taking a look at the amount of amniotic fluid and the position of the placenta.
- Take good care of your teeth
- Don’t forget to practice Kegel exercises.