As amazing as it sounds, by the time you are 20 weeks pregnant you've already made it to the halfway point of your pregnancy!
Though many ladies get self-conscious about their weight gain at this point, you should be feeling gorgeous, with a defined bump and a genuine radiance that won't go unnoticed by others. Congratulations, mum! You've joined this wonderful 'club', as you get ready to live the second half of an adventure that's going to change your life forever.
Put on your seatbelt (be careful with your growing belly, of course!) and be prepared for another ride that's going to lead you directly to your lovely little angel. You can start by taking note of these essential tips to get through pregnancy week 20 like a champ.
20 weeks pregnant: You've got a lovely coconut
When you found out that you were pregnant, surely you wanted your future baby to grow healthy more than anything. Well, your wishes are being granted! He's getting so big that, by the midpoint of your pregnancy, he's expected to weigh more than 10 ounces, more or less like a coconut. Also, he's about 10 inches long from head to toe (until now the measurement of his body has been taken from crown to bum, since he was curled up most of the time).
When you reach 20 weeks pregnant, your baby-to-be is expected to be able to:
- Improve his swallowing and work on his digestive system
- Open his eyelids for the first time (not all foetal babies will do it this soon, though)
- Have his skin covered by vernix caseos, a white substance that protects babies inside the womb
- Produce meconium, a substance formed by secretions and amniotic fluid that will grow in the baby's bowels. He'll probably release it in his first poop, so expect to find it when you take off his first nappy!
20 weeks pregnant: Nailing it!
In the week 20, pregnancy can shock you (even more) with some unexpected side effects beyond the weight gain, which is becoming more and more familiar to you. In fact, if you measure yourself now, you may have put on around 4.5 kg since you turned into a future mum! One of these symptoms that may catch you unaware is your nails and hair overgrowing. Again, pregnancy hormones are wreaking havoc on your body, and this is just another example. The extra flux of nutrients cause your nails and hair to be stronger, an effect that will last until delivery.
Other body reactions that you may be going through as a 20 weeks pregnant woman include:
- Hunger 'attacks': it's a natural part of nourishing a baby. You'll find yourself eating a lot more than usual, but try to keep it balanced!
- Heartburn: do you feel 'fire' in your stomach? Don't worry, because it's pretty common among pregnant ladies. Try not to lie down after eating and avoid over-spiced foods.
- Leg cramps: the additional weight caused by your favourite bump can negatively affect the blood circulation in your legs. Staying hydrated may help reduce the pain.
- Belly button pops out: due to the pressure caused by your uterus pushing your abdomen.
- Vaginal discharge: these unpleasant secretions are actually helping to keep your birth canal free of infections
Though it's a little tough to deal with, getting 'more' pregnant implies becoming less self-sufficient. Don't refuse help, being 20 weeks pregnant, it's time to accept it. Especially when it comes to driving. It's time for carpool. It's not entirely safe to drive at this stage, because who knows if you may get hit by any of the symptoms listed, including fatigue or dizziness. Also, pregnancy is related to an increase of car accidents. Be safe!
20 weeks pregnant: “Relax! I'm fine”
If you missed the anomaly scan, which we explained in the 18 weeks pregnant article, this is the last chance for you to take it. You want to make sure your growing little guy is doing well inside the womb and no abnormalities are found in his development.
Also, if you haven’t already found out by now, pregnancy week 20 is a great time to discover if you’re expecting a little boy or a little girl. The baby's genitals are developed enough to provide the practitioner with highly accurate results. (But be aware that even the best doctors can occasionally make mistakes when identifying the gender!)
Finally, remember that as a 20 weeks pregnant mum you still have quite a long journey ahead of you. You can both feel and see (at least, from the outside) your baby, but it will still about 4 months before you are ready to deliver. Be patient, because things are settling down properly and, if you keep doing it right, there's nothing to worry about.