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As cool as a cucumber, with measurements coming in at about the size of a banana, your little superhero is hard at work, fully immersed in the glorious environment within your womb as they practice and perfect a wide spectrum of movements, abilities, and responses.
Weighing in at an impressive 10.58 ounces and measuring nearly 6.5 inches, your baby is well on its way to becoming a heavyweight champ, boxing its way around the ring of your womb and becoming stronger and more adept at a variety of movements every day.
During this time, your baby is swallowing and gulping much more as their digestive system begins to kickstart into overdrive.
Simultaneously, your baby will have also started to produce a substance referred to as meconium. Accumulating in their bowels, meconium is a viscous, black-colored material that is derived from ongoing digestive processes.
With measurements similar to a banana, your baby is now a sizeable fetus and couldn’t be happier within the cozy confines of your womb. As they continue to develop new sensations, abilities, and skills, your baby is immersed in its own veritable wonderland.
Read on below to learn more about the twentieth week of pregnancy and all of its many amazing aspects!
Your Physical and Emotional Health
20 Weeks Pregnant
At twenty weeks, you are four months plus two weeks pregnant. It’s during week twenty that you will have hit the halfway mark in your pregnancy term. During this, it’s not unusual to experience aches and pains your abdominal area as your baby bump continues to expand in overall size.
Resulting from the stretching of ligaments positioned on the sides of your womb, aches located in this abdominal area should be more or less expected and may increase in severity as your baby continues its growth.
For some women, pains in their abdominal and pelvic area can develop into symphysis pubis dysfunction. As is the case with pelvic girdle pain, symphysis pubis dysfunction is not dangerous or life-threatening. Rather, both conditions merely pose discomfort for pregnant women, as well as presenting feelings of annoyance and irritability due to a lack of comfort in mobility.
Both symphysis pubis dysfunction and pelvic girdle pain can be easily treated with support girdles that offer an increased level of support to help manage symptoms resulting from a growing baby bump.
For many women who suffer from either of these conditions, getting in and out of bed can become arduous, sleep may become vastly interrupted, and overall mood may become greatly impacted.
To help aches and pain from waking you up during sleep, try sleeping on your side and investing in specially designed pregnancy pillows that offer you the support where you most need it and ensures a comfortable night’s sleep.
Symptoms commonly experienced in week twenty are mostly holdovers from the previous week and include:
- Hot flashes: Expect hot flashes and feeling much hotter in overall body temperature. Wearing loose fitting, comfortable clothing and drinking plenty of water will help mitigate hot flash-type symptoms
- Leg Cramps: Practice light exercise, stretching, and yoga to improve painful cramping experienced in the legs.
- Dizziness and lightheadedness: Largely abated by eating small meals throughout the day and drinking copious amount of water to keep hydrated, dizziness and lightheadedness result from a lack of available oxygen in addition pressure placed upon blood vessels.
- Blurry vision: Closely related to issues from water retention, women in their twentieth week of pregnancy may experience blurry vision/
- Weight gain: Many women will continue to gain weight during this week
- Vaginal discharge: Completely normal during this phase of pregnancy, women in week twenty can expect the vaginal discharge throughout the day and evening hours
Your Baby’s Health and Status
20 Weeks Pregnant
Now equipped with taste buds, your twenty-week-old baby is practicing its swallowing techniques while it gulps down copious amount of nutrition-packed amniotic fluid. Helping with the development of their respiratory and digestive systems, the breathing in and swallowing of amniotic fluid is critical to your baby’s health.
As a byproduct from the intake of amniotic fluid comes your baby’s first experiences with taste. He or she is able to taste flavors of the fluids and liquids you consume, as they ultimately pass through the bloodstream to its destination within the amniotic fluid.
With these initial experiences to flavors within foods, your baby is now able to taste and distinguish between sweet, savory, and spicy foods.
Even after birth, your baby’s taste buds will be ultra-sensitive and undergoing development. Easily able to distinguish between sweet and sour tastes, your baby will have an automatic preference for sweeter tasting flavors, such as the the flavor of your breast milk.
In week twenty, your baby will start producing meconium in their bowels. A combination of swallowed amniotic fluid, dead skin cells, and digestive secretions. A fancy scientific name for your baby’s first stools, meconium is a harmless mixture of elements that every baby produces as they undergo physical developmental processes
Tips, Tricks, and Knowledge
20 Weeks Pregnant
- Strongly consider Pilates during your pregnancy term. Helping to strengthen your core, stomach, back, and pelvis muscles without straining muscles or joints, Pilates is great way to engage in muscle-targeted exercise in a gently low-impact fashion. Women experiencing pelvic girdle pain and symphysis pubis dysfunction can benefit greatly from Pilates and may be able to significantly, if not completely, eradicate painful symptoms.
- At the twenty-week mark, your doctor will begin measuring “fundal height” at each of your pregnancy-related visits. Fundal height is defined as the distance from the very top of your uterus to your pubic bone and should correlate with your week of pregnancy, with growth occurring at about a centimeter per week. Fundal heights that are either higher or lower than expected will result in additional testing as it can be an indication of a range of issues including gestational diabetes, a breech baby, or growth problems.
Week 20 To-Do List and Reminders
20 Weeks Pregnant
- Schedule your twenty-four-week prenatal visit
- If you prefer, find out your baby’s gender
- Plan your baby registry
- Make sure you have your mid-pregnancy ultrasound scan, which is an extremely detailed scan that gives you the ability to see your baby’s heart chambers, kidneys, brain hemispheres, and far more. This scan also ensures that your baby is properly growing and right on schedule
- Consider the pet situation at home and devise strategies to introduce your pets to your new baby, while also ensuring your baby comes home to a safe and clean environment. Talking with your vet, doctor, and other mothers with pets can yield useful information as you plot out this process.
Meconium: The scientific term for baby’s first stool
Fundal height: The measurement from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus
Cool Things to Know
- Pregnant women often experience “baby brain” – a period of forgetfulness and absentmindedness due to less oxygen circulating in the brain
- At birth, your baby is able to smell the difference between your breast milk and another mother’s breast milk
Ready to find out what’s next in your pregnancy journey?