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20 Weeks Pregnant: Week by Week Pregnancy

Symptoms, Tips and Fetal Development

 

Congratulations! You're pregnant at 20 weeks, which means you’ve made it to the pregnancy halfway point. If you haven’t already done it, you might have the anatomy scan ultrasound this week, which will give you a good look at your baby and also let you know your baby’s sex (if you choose to know). Here’s what else you can expect when you’re 20 weeks pregnant.

Baby at 20 weeks pregnant

Now about 6.5 inches in length and weighing in at 10 ounces, your baby is the size of a large tomato (and your belly might be the size of a melon!). His or her skin is growing thicker and developing layers, and those tiny nails continue to grow. With eyebrows, hair, and well-developed limbs, your baby looks like a tiny doll!

If that baby is a girl, she already has seven million primitive eggs in her ovaries, two million of which will remain at birth. In baby boys, the testes have begun their descent from the abdomen. Regardless of gender, your little has plenty of room for kicking, punching, and even somersaulting, and you could be feeling it. If you think of it, make a note of when you first feel the movement, sometimes called quickening, to tell your caregiver.

Your body at 20 weeks pregnant

At your prenatal appointments, your practitioner might begin measuring your belly’s fundal height using a measuring tape. The fundal height is the distance from the top or far end (the fundus) of your uterus, to your pubic bone. Your belly measurement matches the number of weeks you are along in your pregnancy, so a 20-week belly will measure 20 centimeters. The fundal measurement will be less accurate if you are obese, carrying twins, or have a history of fibroids.

 If you haven't felt your first kick yet, you can expect to feel them soon! At first, kicks, punches and other movements will feel like butterflies in your belly, but you'll soon feel a definite kick. These movements are reflexes, but your baby is using his hands and feet to explore his environment. Your baby’s early movements will be erratic at the beginning but become more regular later.

pregnancy week 20 embryo
Weekly development of a human fetus at 20 weeks pregnant.

20 weeks pregnant ultrasound

Many women have their big ultrasound when they're pregnant at 20 weeks. The anatomy scan checks that all organs and limbs are developing normally. This ultrasound can often reveal your baby's gender, but it's important to remember that there's always a chance that the scan is wrong. If you don't want to know the baby's sex, make sure to discuss this with your healthcare provider so that he or she knows to keep the news a secret!

How big is my baby at 20 weeks pregnant?

two large tomatoes, tomato is roughly the same size as a 20 week human fetus

At 20 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a large tomato, measuring at 6 inches long and weighing 10 ounces on average.

20 weeks is how many months pregnant? 

At this stage in your pregnancy, you're 5 months 0 weeks (5m0w) pregnant. 

Common symptoms at 20 weeks pregnant

These are some of the symptoms you might expect at 20 weeks pregnant.

  • Nasal congestion, nosebleeds, and bleeding gums: With your circulatory system still expanding, and blood production continuing at rapid rates, you might be seeing the effects in the form of nosebleeds, bleeding during tooth brushing, and a stopped-up nose. Also, your blood pressure remains on the low side.
  • Sluggish digestion: Pregnancy hormones may continue to wreak havoc on your digestive system, resulting in constipation, heartburn, and indigestion.
  • Breathlessness: Despite a respiratory system that’s pulling 20% more air into the lungs, many pregnant women continue to experience some breathlessness.
  • Swollen breasts: As your body prepares for breastfeeding, your breasts might have increased two full cup sizes at this point and be boasting a veritable road map of blue veins. You might even be noticing a few drops of colostrum, or the first breast milk, from your nipples. 
  • Waddling posture: By now your weight gain has changed your center of gravity. To help your posture, consider getting some gentle exercise, such as swimming or walking.
  • Aching belly and leg cramps: Being 20 weeks pregnant means that you might start feeling aches in your belly, caused by your growing uterus. Leg cramps and backaches can also become more frequent as your pregnancy progresses.
  • Skin pigmentation: Skin pigmentation, such as the linea nigra on your belly, is a common side effect of pregnancy. Any pigmentation will fade and most likely completely disappear after pregnancy.
  • Increased libido: Many women notice they feel “in the mood” more often during the second trimester. Unless your doctor says otherwise, sex is safe during pregnancy
  • Increased appetite: As nausea fades, you might be feeling hungrier. Pregnant women need about 300 additional calories per day (so not a lot, really!). Aim to use them on nutrient-rich foods that benefit fetal development (with a few treats now and then of course!).
  • Blurred vision: This is caused by water retention and generally disappears after birth. During pregnancy is not the time to get a new prescription or undergo eye surgery, lest you overcorrect your regular vision for your pregnancy vision!
  • Dry eyes: Hormones are to blame if you’re experiencing decreased tear production. Your eyes may feel dry and it can make wearing contacts less comfortable.

Pregnancy checklist at 20 weeks pregnant 

Now is a good time to start tackling these things when you’re 20 weeks pregnant.

  • Check out prenatal classes: If you haven't signed up for prenatal classes yet, now's the time. These classes typically start in your seventh or eighth month of pregnancy, but they can fill up rapidly so it's a good idea to sign up early. Talk to your healthcare provider about the different types of classes that are available in your area.
  • Read labels: When you're pregnant at 20 weeks, it's a good idea to read the labels of any cleaning products that you use on a regular basis. Some of them can contain harmful chemicals that should be avoided during pregnancy. Also, if you're getting ready to paint your baby's nursery, make sure that you're using low VOC paints so that you're not breathing in harmful fumes. Check out all of these ways to create a nontoxic nursery.

What to Expect at 21 Weeks Pregnant

 
3 19 Weeks Pregnant: Week by Week Pregnancy
21 Weeks Pregnant: Week by Week Pregnancy 4

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