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Mother and Baby

20 weeks pregnant – what to expect

Your baby at 20 weeks pregnant

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! 

Take me back to week 19

Take me to week 21

Read next, our 2017 Mother & Baby award winning car seats:

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Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus Car Seat, £165, Amazon

This i-Size seat is suitable from birth until around 12 months and won a gold award in our Best Car Seat Group 0+ category in the Mother & Baby awards. It’s travel system compatible, can be fit with ISOFIX installation and is super easy to adjust. In addition to being compatible with Maxi-Cosi prams, this car seat can also be used with Quinny, Bugaboo and iCandy pushchairs, which is a super handy feature. You can read more reviews of the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus Car Seat here. 
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Doona Simple Parenting by CuddleCo Infant Car Seat, £279.99, Babyandco

Winning silver in our 2017 awards as the Best Car Seat Group 0+, the first thing you'll notice about this clever little car seat is it's wheels, which allow the car seat to convert to a pram at the click of a button (literally). The Doona attaches best to an ISOFIX base, without which, inserting and removing the car seat can become niggly, yet the concept of this car seat is genius and our mums agreed. Read more real mum reviews of the Doona Simple Parenting Car Seat here. 
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CYBEX Cloud Q Plus, £240, Amazon

Winning bronze in our Best 0+ Car Seat category, CYBEX have spent a long time designing this car seat, with the help of doctors, midwives and safety experts, and it shows. With a flat lying angle between your baby’s head, neck and chest, the car seat is useful with small babies as it provides a secure and snug sleeping environment. Our mums really loved the recline feature, which is perfect for newborns. Read more reviews of the CYBEX Cloud Q Plus here. 
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Ickle Bubba Galaxy, £79, Kiddicare

Shortlisted in our Best Car Seat Group 0+ 2017 awards, the Ickle Bubba Galaxy is fitted with an Isofix Base and has double layered side impact protection and a five position, adjustable headrest that evolves with your baby. Our team of tester mums loved the newborn insert and found the seat to be super comfortable for their precious new arrival. The downside, our mums wished there was more padding to the main base. Read more reviews of the Ickle Bubba Galaxy here. 
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Joie i-Gemm Car Seat, £130, Kiddicare

Another car seat that was shortlisted in our 2017 Best Car Seat Group 0+ awards (having won bronze the year before), this car seat can be installed using a seat belt or used with an i-AnchorFIX or i-Base and is compatible with all Joie Pushchairs, plus other brands with Maxi Cosi adaptors. Our mums found the seat to be incredibly comfortable, but also easy to move in and out of the car - perfect if you're carrying a newborn baby! Read more reviews of the Joie i-Gemm Car Seat here. 
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Silver Cross Simplicity Car Seat, £150, Mothercare

Shortlisted in our 2017 awards for Best Car Seat Group 0+, this is a sturdy and practical car seat and has been designed with simplicity in mind. With colour coded indicators to help with fitting, it’s super comfortable for newborns’ as it comes with a comfort cushion, harness straps and a headrest. Our mums loved how easy to use this car seat was. Read more real mum reviews of the Silver Cross Simplicity Car Seat here. 
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Joie Every Stage, £199, Amazon

Winning gold in our Best Car Seat Group 1+ category, the Joie Every Stage can be used from birth, up to the age of around seven years old (or 36kg). Growing with your child, you can adjust this car seat in just about every way, this well designed car seat is a great investment. Our panel of mum testers loved how easy it was to fit in their cars (a great option if you're going to be moving the seat between cars) and how comfy their little one looked in the seat. Read more real mum reviews of the Joie Every Stage here. 
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Cybex Sirona Car Seat, £349, Amazon

Winning silver in the Best Car Seat Group 1+ category, this clever car seat not only rotates 360 degrees, but can be used until your little one turns four. The height adjustable headrest also allows you to keep your little one rear facing as long as possible, which is advised by many safety professionals. Our mums loved how easy the car seat was to install, and the recline angle for smaller babies, that said, a few of them found it pretty fiddly to get in and out of the car, so this might not be the best choice if you'll be moving it a lot. Read more real mum reviews of the Cybex Sirona Car Seat here. 
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Axkid Apollo High Back Booster, £115, Amazon

Winning bronze in our 2017 Best Car Seat Group 1+ awards, this car seat has been designed with side impact protection in mind. With seven different headrest heights and three seat reclines available, the car seat grows with yourr child, ensuring they are always in the safest position. Our mums loved how easy the seat was to use and comfortable their tots looked in it. They also loved the little extras, like the handy cup holder to avoid on the go spills. Read more reviews of the Axkid Apollo High Back Booster here. 

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