This week you’ll be getting ready for your next scan, and your baby’s bones are getting stronger. Find out more about what your baby and body is doing and the common symptoms to look out for at 20 weeks pregnant.
How big is my baby at 20 weeks?
Your baby is now about six and a half inches, or about the size of a small cantaloupe melon if we keep up with the fruit analogies!
What’s my baby doing at 20 weeks?
This week, if you want to, you’ll be able to find out whether your little melon-sized baby is a boy or a girl! If you’re carrying a mini-me, she’ll already have seven million primitive eggs in her ovaries, this will be down to two million when she’s born. If you’re carrying a boy, his testicles will start moving from his abdomen this week.
At 20 weeks, your baby’s growth spurt means her arms and legs have lengthened in the last few weeks and she’s starting to look more and more like a baby every day! Her internal organs, such as her lungs, digestive system and immune system are all growing and developing and her bones are getting stronger.
What is my body doing at 20 weeks?
Up until this point in your pregnancy, your placenta has weighed more than your baby, but from this point onwards, your baby will overtake it in weight. However, the placenta is still going to carry on growing, and will have trebled in size by the end of your pregnancy.
Whilst we’re talking about the placenta, it will be something your sonographer checks during your scan this week. A placenta positioned close to or covering your cervix and the opening to the womb, known as placenta praevia, can cause difficulties when it comes to giving birth. Luckily, as your uterus grows, it can pull the placenta up and away from the cervix, so even if you have a low-lying placenta now, it could sort itself out by the time you give birth, so don’t panic!
Now you are pretty much at the half way point, you’ll be feeling your baby more and people will probably be noticing your baby bump. You might also notice your hair and nails are growing faster than normal – this is one of the benefits of those pregnancy hormones.
Everything you need to know about your 20 week scan
Now for the exciting part, 20 weeks means it’s time to see your baby on ultrasound again at your anomaly scan. Your little one will be much more developed than at the last scan, and if you want, you can ask your sonographer to tell you if it’s a boy or a girl. This decision is completely up to you, and is one worth thinking carefully about.
The anomaly scan also checks your baby’s heartbeat, the structure of her abdomen, the head, the spine, the brain and the volume of amniotic fluid. The sonographer will also take detailed measurements of your baby’s bones, to ensure everything is as expected.
Once the scan is complete, you can usually take a printout home with you. Find more information about the scan and what’s happening here.
Common symptoms to look out for:
- Heartburn and indigestion: Yep, it’s still very much a problem, and unfortunately, it’s set to stay as your bump gets bigger. Try eating smaller meals, not lying down after meals and chewing sugarless gum after mealtimes to alleviate the symptoms.
- Headaches: Another normal side effect of pregnancy, be sure to take regular breaks to get fresh air and talk to your GP if they are too persistent.
- Leg Cramps: We’re still not sure why this happens during pregnancy, but if those shooting pains are waking you in the night, try and put your feet up more during the day and make sure you’re drinking plenty of water.
- Edema: If your feet and ankles look like you’ve just got off a long-haul flight, you’re suffering with edema – basically water retention in your ankles and feet. Don’t do a Victoria Beckham – ditch those heels and make sure your shoes are comfy and not too tight. Also, if you can avoid wearing tight socks or tights as these can cut off the blood flow and make the swelling worse.
- Your belly button changes: You knew it was going to happen, but in the next few weeks your innie is probably going to become an outie as your uterus pushes your abdomen forward. Don’t worry – it will go back to normal after you give birth.
What to do this week:
- Make sure you’re getting enough calcium: If your baby were to have an X-ray, her skeleton would show up more clearly because more calcium has been deposited within her bones. Help her along by including plenty of calcium-rich foods in your diet!
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