Your Pregnancy: Week 20

Pregnancy week by week: You are 20 weeks pregnant


Your Body

Congratulations are in order once again: you’ve reached yet another milestone, the halfway point of your pregnancy! Second trimester ultrasounds are booked between weeks 18 and 22 so you will have an opportunity to learn your baby’s gender and confirm if your due date is correct. During the exam, the technician will take measurements and examine the fetus in detail to see if everything is developing normally. Keep in mind, only a doctor can share the ultrasound results with parents so the technician won’t be able to answer questions. You will receive a sonogram photo of your baby at the end of the appointment, an added bonus!

Feeling short of breath? You may not be aware that your ribcage has adjusted itself, travelling up and outward to provide you with a higher lung capacity. Your body is also doing a more efficient job of filtering oxygen and carbon dioxide and your breathing deeper now than in your pre-pregnancy life.

Noticing a thicker, healthier head of hair this month? That’s because increased blood flow and pregnancy hormones make your hair follicles and nails thrive during pregnancy (some women are not so lucky though). Prenatal hair loss is minimal but you may find hair growing in undesirable spots. But this eventually passes and normal hair shedding returns after delivery.

Sleeping on our stomach is impossible not to mention illogical these days given you new side profile. And you can add snoozing or lying on your back for long stretches to your list of pregnancy don’ts. Your blood vessels, spine, back muscles and intestines bear the full weight of your uterus as you lie on your back. This can decrease circulation to the fetus, cause hemorrhoids, muscle aches and your blood pressure to drop. Side sleeping (on your left) with a pregnancy pillow or wedge will make a difference. But don’t worry if you wake up on your back; it’s the effort that counts.

By the way, it’s a good idea to register for birthing classes now before they fill up.

Baby’s World

She is about the size of a melon, measuring 14 to 16 cm. (5.5 – 6.3 in.) from her head to her bottom and weighing 255 g (0.56 lb.). Her curls and kicks are more evident. A physician may be able to listen to baby’s heartbeat with a stethoscope instead of a Doppler. Tiny teeth buds are visible, and her face, fingers, toes and vagina are complete. A little boy’s testicles are descending into his scrotum. Two layers of skin are forming: the upper layer or epidermis and a deeper layer, the dermis. Mom can now transport immunities to the fetus.

Fun Fact

Give credit to your uterus for your new “outie” belly button, which is being pushed from behind.

Week 19     Week 21

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