You’re officially half way through your pregnancy! Your baby (and your waistline) has grown by leaps and bounds since conception, but what exactly is going on during the 20th week of pregnancy?
Your Body at 20 Weeks Pregnant
Your uterus is about even with your bellybutton. By this week, you may be visibly pregnant, but you may not be showing much, if at all. Growth up to this point is very different from woman to woman and the size of your bump shouldn’t be a cause of alarm.
The movements your baby is making may increase in intensity during this week. Although these movements will not become consistant or regular until the 26th week of pregnancy, they may occur more frequently and more intensely from this point forward.
Although your belly isn’t that large by this point, you may begin to feel more clumbsy and awkward than you normally do.
It isn’t uncommon for women to start complaining about their skin itching during this week. This itching is usually due to the stretching of the skin on the stomach. This stretching can lead to stretch marks, so it’s important to remain well-hydrated. If the itching becomes an issue, try using lotions or oils to help alleviate the itch.
If you haven’t already, it may be a good time to sign up for a childbirth education course. These classes may help better prepare you to deal with late pregnancy, recognize the signs of labor, and cope through labor and delivery.
Your Baby at 20 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby now weighs around 9 ounces and measures just between 5.5 and 6.5 inches long! Your baby is approximately one-eighth of what their birth weight will be.
Your baby’s bones are continuing to harden throughout this week, and will continue to do so even beyond birth. Your baby’s tooth buds have also begun to form beneath the gum. Your baby’s arms and legs are more proportionate to the rest of their body and begins to resemble a miniature newborn, rather than an alien!
During this week, your baby’s skin begins to separate and form different layers. This includes the layer that will become the pads of the fingers and toes and contain your baby’s own unique fingerprints.
Your baby is now making breathing and swallowing movements. Your baby is inhaling and swallowing the amniotic fluid. Don’t worry though, they don’t need air to “breathe” as your baby receives her oxygen from you through the umbilical cord.
If your baby is a girl, her uterus continues to develop throughout this week! Surprisingly, a baby girl is born with all of the eggs she will ever have, while boys don’t develop their reproductive cells until puberty.
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