At 20 weeks pregnant you are officially halfway through your pregnancy and this is certainly a milestone to be celebrated.
This is a key point in pregnancy with a lot of developments and we are going to guide you through it to make it a little be easier on your body and mind.
How Big Is My Baby?
At 20 weeks, your baby is around 6.5 inches long and will weigh 10.58 ounces.
For reference, this is about the size of a classic Troll Doll.
Your Baby’s Development
During this stage of your pregnancy, your baby is essentially half-way finished baking and there have been a lot of developments to get you to this stage.
From this point onwards, your baby will continue to grow bigger and stronger.
This is something that you are certainly going to notice as they will begin to kick stronger and make bigger movements.
As well as these developments, your baby will also be:
- Developing Taste
At this point in pregnancy, your baby’s taste buds will be developing nicely.
They may now be able to notice strong flavors from the food you are eating, like garlic and spicy dishes.
- Developing Their First Poop
It is around the time that you are 20 weeks pregnant that your child will go through a big milestone – developing their first poop.
This is because at this stage of pregnancy your baby’s digestive system will be continuing to grow and they will start to develop meconium. This is a result of the amniotic fluid and any other cells that have been swallowing so far.
These are what will become your child’s first poop when they come into the world.
Some babies can pass this meconium just before birth or even on the way out, but most of them will wait to do so until after they have been born.
- Developing Their Moves
This is the stage in pregnancy when your baby will find their groove and will start becoming more active.
It is likely that you will be able to feel your baby moving around, kicking and floating inside of you.
Feel The Groove: Your Baby’s Movement And Kicks
Between weeks 18 and 25 in your pregnancy, you will be able to feel your baby moving around.
This will often start with what is known as ‘quickening’ which is a light fluttering sensation.
However, it will not be long before you will be able to feel kicks, jabs and even somersaults as your baby moves around and continues growing.
If you are not feeling your baby moving yet, then this does not necessarily have to be a cause for concern. As long as you are getting regular checkups, your uterus is growing properly and you are not experiencing irregular bleeding then this may not mean there is anything wrong.
Make sure to speak to your healthcare provider about your concerns and they will check that everything is developing as it should.
You will not have to start monitoring your baby’s kicks for regular movement until your third trimester.
If you are 20 weeks pregnant with twins, then you may be feeling two distinct sets of kicks and movements – which can be quite painful but is a sign that you have happy and active babies.
The 20 Week Ultrasound
This is the week that you should be going for your 20 week ultrasound, which is also known as an anatomy scan or mid-pregnancy scan.
This is a very exciting scan for parents as it will be the first time that you may be able to see your baby clearly and will get your first photograph.
During your 20 week ultrasound, the technician will scan your baby’s body to make sure that they are developing at the right rate. They will check that their body is developing at the right pace for their gestational age and they are looking as expected.
They will also take time to look at your uterus and placenta to check that they are in the right position. The technician will also measure your amniotic fluid to make sure that your health is in the right place too.
If you want to find out whether you are having a boy or a girl, then this is the time to do so.
For some women, 20 weeks may be the best part of pregnancy. This may be the point where you are not expereicning too much fatigue and morning sickness so you still go about your day as you would like to.
At 20 weeks, your baby is also not too big that they have become uncomfortable.
If you are one of the lucky women who still feel good during this stage of your pregnancy, then enjoy it. This is a special time so make the most out of it.
Here are some of the other things you should expect during this stage:
- Expanded Uterus
At 20 weeks your uterus will have expanded a lot and may even be up to your belly button
- Gaining Weight
Gaining weight is totally normal during pregnancy and at this stage you may have gained eight to ten pounds.
From this point on, you will start gaining an average of half a pound per week.
- Swelling Body
At this stage in pregnancy, most of the weight gain you have experience will come from excess fluids. This causes your body to swell and it is totally normal at this stage – especially in the ankles and feet.
This is known as ‘edema’ and it can sometimes become uncomfortable.
You can alleviate some of this discomfort by taking the pressure off your feet by sitting down regularly. You can also reduce your sodium and caffeine intake to manage the swelling.
If you notice sudden, extreme swelling in your hands and feet you will need to contact your doctor. This can be a sign of preeclampsia and will need to be treated.
- Increased Sex Drive
Sex is safe during pregnancy for almost everyone and it is likely that you will find that your sex drive fluctuates a lot.
This is due to a lot of changing hormones, but many women find that their sex drive drastically increases at 20 weeks.
If this is you, then take this time to make the most out of it. As you get further into your pregnancy you may find that your sex drive decreases due to anxiety, fears of the future and other concerns so make the most of it while you can.
At 20 weeks, you are halfway through your pregnancy and this is something to be celebrated.
Although you still have a long way to go, there are some things that you can do to make the rest of the process feel a bit easier.
A good place to start is celebrating this unofficial milestone by doing something kind for yourself. Take some time that’s just for you and treat yourself in whatever way feels most special.
It is also important that you keep yourself hydrated during this and all stages of pregnancy.
Not only is this good for your health, but drinking water can actually reduce cramping and the pain it causes.
Now is also a good time for you to start thing about what you want on your baby registry so you can get excited about the upcoming future.