By the 20th week, your pregnancy is halfway. You are only remaining with 20 weeks. In fact, the remaining time could be less because some babies are born even at 37th week. The baby is growing rapidly, and the baby bump is increasing equally fast.
Baby’s growth and development in week twenty
By the 20th week, the baby is growing fast and has reached 6.5 inches and 10 ounces. While most of the organs are approaching maturity, they still have some growing to undergo for complete independence.
The eyes: Though the eyes are closed and will remain closed until 27-28th weeks, the eyebrows continue thickening and become completely visible by close of the 20th week. The movement of the eyes continues more rapidly inside the eyelids. However, these movements are controlled by reflex.
Skin development: Even by this week, the baby’s skin is still very light and has little body fat in some parts. Lanugo hair continues to increase and covers all parts for extra protection and insulation. A more complex skin with multiple layers is seen forming during the 20th week of pregnancy.
Other developments in the 20th week include continued growth of teeth bud, abdominal organs, and joints. Notably, the kicks and movements keep intensifying so that you can feel them easily.
Changes to expect in Mom’s body during week 20
By the 20th week, you will find it more difficult to stand for longer hours because of blood flowing and pooling in the legs. Therefore, take regular breaks to change positions, sit, walk around, and rest. Besides, you should only use low-heeled shoes and always get proper arch support.
- The fundal height keeps changing rather fast signifying the growing baby. The doctor will measure the fundal height by the 20th week to confirm it is approximately 20 centimeters. Though this measurement is still used, it only gives an estimate that rarely gives the correct size. To get a more accurate figure on size and weight of the baby, the doctor will use an ultrasound scan.
- Skin changes: At the 20th week, you skin will show some deep darkening in various areas such as the areolas and stomach, thighs, and face. If you had not started showing stretch marks, they will begin emerging in your breasts, thighs, and hands as the body pack more fat and baby bump pushes skin to the limit. Make sure to keep the skin properly oiled.
- Chloasma (mask of pregnancy): This is a major occurrence in the second trimester that happens because of elevated production of melanin. You will notice splotches on the face especially on the nose, chin, upper lip, forehead, and cheekbones.
- Braxton Hicks Contractions: These are false labor contractions that are painless and should not bother you much. However, you should contact a medical assistant or caregiver if they become painful.
- Snoring: This problem is very common during the second trimester and a major cause of sleeplessness. Here are some helpful tips to assist you to address the issue;
- Make sure to always keep the head elevated and sleep on your side.
- Buy a wedge-shaped pillow for extra head and neck support.
- Use a nasal lubricating spray to make air passage easier.
- Weight gain: As the baby continues to grow rapidly, your body equally adds weight to catch up, cushion the fetus, and prepare for afterbirth care such as breastfeeding. By the close of the 20th week, you should be about 12-th13 pounds. However, this is the average rate, and your weight gain may be slightly more or less.
The second-trimester ultrasound
Unlike the first-trimester ultrasound scan, the second-trimester ultrasound is more in-depth. This is because most of the baby’s organs are developed and are easy to examine. Here is what you can expect from the ultrasound;
- A close check of the baby’s brain and cerebellum shape to confirm it is normal. If the head has an abnormal shape, it could indicate chromosomal defects like Down syndrome.
- The ultrasound will help examine the spine to check for possible defects such as Bifida.
- Arms and legs are carefully examined to confirm there are no deformities like clubfoot.
- The diaphragm and stomach are also checked.
- The bladder and kidney will be examined to guarantee users that both kidneys are okay and have no blockage.
- The ultrasound scan also checks the umbilical cord to ensure it has all the blood vessels.
- The ultrasound will also measure the baby size to guarantee that he/she is growing well.
Things to do during the 20th week
- The 20th week is an ideal time to go for the second-trimester baby scan. Once the scan is complete, you should discuss it in detail with the doctor to understand the status of the baby.
- Take some more time to discuss the scan with your partner back at home. The developments of the baby and health report indicate the efforts you have put into making the pregnancy successful. This will be critical to motivating you through the remaining part of the 2nd trimester and thereafter.
- Because you can now tell whether the baby is a boy or girl, you can finalize or keep digging more info about names. For instance, if you had collected names for both boys and girls and the ultrasound tells you it is a girl, you cancel out all the names you had picked for a boy.
- Get reinvigorated to go shopping for more baby products at your store of preference of even online.
- Continue with the weekly exercises to keep your healthy and the body systems in top conditions.
- Depending on the time of the year, you might want to stock the food store. Think of your favorite fruits and vegetables to establish whether they are about to run out of season and get enough supplies.
- Fill your diary on a weekly basis with the focus on exercises, diet, and even baby’s movements.
- Attend your pregnancy classes and keep in touch with other pregnant women on the 20th week of pregnancy.
- Stay blissful and avoid stress as much as possible. It is important to stay away from things that will cause extra pressure on you. For example, consider waking up earlier and getting to work on time.
- Though many people might have the reservations about pregnant women, do not fail to ask for help because most of them are willing and respect pregnant mothers. For example, you will find everybody ushering you to go and get served without following the queue.