You’ve reached the halfway mark of pregnancy, which is a landmark moment in this journey. You’ve made it through a gruelling first trimester, and you’re ready for the next one.
The weeks might have crept or raced by depending on your pregnancy experience. Share with us in the comments how the first twenty weeks went!
Life will change immeasurably in another twenty or so weeks. The exact timing of your delivery date is hard to predict, depending on whether your baby is impatient to meet you or content to stay in the womb longer.
You might question whether the 20-week-old fetus in your womb is a fully-formed human. Technically, yes, but this tiny person isn’t nearly ready for the world yet.
Until then, the nurturing environment inside your womb prepares your baby and helps them grow until their birthday.
So, what’s in store for the next twenty weeks? Stay with us for weekly updates on your ever-growing bump, advice for overcoming recurring symptoms, preparing for a baby, and more. Feel free to scroll to our new FAQ section if you’re in a hurry!
Here’s what to expect during week twenty
At a Glance: Week Twenty Pregnancy
- Your baby’s banana-sized, an essential potassium-rich fruit recommended in your pregnancy diet. Measuring an impressive 25 centimetres, did your baby grow overnight? We explain later.
- At less than 300 grams, your baby’s weight gain journey has only begun. Did you know the average newborn weighs between 2.5 kilograms to 4.5 kilograms?
- Having made it to the 20-week mark, you may feel better and have a reasonable amount of energy. But due to the unpredictable nature of pregnancy, you might be dealing with challenging symptoms again. However, not all body changes are negative; consider that sweet bump, thick hair, and strong nails!
- This week, consider getting stuff done and making important decisions. As always, prioritise self-care. Pregnancy can make you feel stressed, scared or overwhelmed by the changes.
Week Twenty Pregnancy Overview
Congratulations, you’re now twenty weeks pregnant!
The first twenty weeks have been equally tumultuous and exciting, featuring nail-biting pregnancy tests, first ultrasounds, strange body changes, and unpleasant pregnancy symptoms.
What can you expect from the latter part of your pregnancy? Anticipate a fast-growing bump, countless pregnancy symptoms, aches and pains, an awe-inspiring body transformation, and many memorable moments.
Whiile might seem like your baby has grown a lot this week, that’s not the case. Your baby will be measured from head to heel for the remainder of your pregnancy now they’ve fully straightened out.
Baby Size and Latest Developments for Week Twenty Pregnancy
Now 20 weeks old, your growing fetus is approximately the size of a small banana, measuring about 25 centimetres. Additionally, now over a quarter of a kilogram, your baby also weighs 290 grams.
Over the last twenty weeks, your “ripening” baby has undergone several developmental stages and achieved many milestones, with more to come.
Take a look at what might be happening womb-side this week.
- How has your baby suddenly shot up to 25 centimetres? Not exactly. By week 20, no longer curled up but now fully straightened out, a fetus can be measured from head to heel.
- This week could be when your baby gives you a gentle kick in the tummy to say ‘hello”.
- If you’ve already experienced quickening, you’ll recognise the motions as slight and irregular, but they’ll grow in strength and frequency over time.
- Hiccuping started a couple of weeks ago for your little bub, which you might be able to feel more distinctly.
- Your baby’s first fetal movements coincide with their sleep cycles becoming regular. You’ll observe activity when they’re awake with moving and squirming or stillness when they’re asleep.
- Baby girls have a fully developed uterus containing seven to eight million primitive eggs. Vaginal canals are also forming. You might see your little boy’s external organs on ultrasound, but their testicles remain in the abdomen. It won’t be long before they drop.
Because every pregnancy is unique, the above description generalises fetal development. Variations in the timing of milestones can occur.
Body Changes for Week 20 of Pregnancy
Are you finished with terrible symptoms now that the second trimester’s well underway?
No, sorry, you’ll encounter many more symptoms during your pregnancy.
Thankfully, unless you’ve been diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), a severe form of morning sickness, you’re likely passed the hugging-the-toilet-bowl phase.
So what lies ahead? Some bothersome symptoms may cause hassle and discomfort as your body changes shape and grows. But it’s not all bad and unfun; some changes you might like or even embrace.
It’s important to note that all pregnancies are unique. The timing and experiences of pregnancy symptoms may vary.
1. Enjoyable Body Transformations
Over the next couple of months, you might experience these pregnancy perks. They’re temporary, and many find them enjoyable.
Hair Quality and Growth
Increased levels of oestrogen that prolong the growth phase and reduce shedding may leave you with fuller and more lustrous locks. Effectively, you’re not growing more hair, only losing less. But the reverse can also occur, and you could experience hair loss.
Another positive to pregnancy, if you’ve struggled with stubby nails, is longer and harder fingernails. You can flaunt glam nails (yes, manicures are pregnancy-safe), but prepare for fast growth by trimming and maintaining your digits.
On the contrary, many women can also experience soft and brittle nails that are prone to breaking – another common pregnancy effect.
People often talk about the pregnancy glow, but is it real? While some women experience radiant skin and other benefits over their pregnancies, pimples and oiliness can also occur.
A small bump might be visible at week twenty of pregnancy. It’s the perfect time to wear flattering maternity clothes or the clothes you love in slightly larger sizes.
Are you smaller or larger than expected? Your expanding belly doesn’t reflect the actual size or development of your growing baby. Bumps come in different shapes and sizes for various reasons.
If you’re tall, toned, or overweight, or this is your debut pregnancy, you might have a smaller-looking bump. On the other hand, being short, small in stature, or having been pregnant before might leave you with a prominent belly.
You might have some energy, but will it last? Unfortunately, you have limited days to feel vibrant, with the third trimester known for sapping that sense of vigour. Make the most of it!
2. Tolerable Symptoms
These symptoms are annoying, but they shouldn’t ruin your day.
Vaginal discharge is a normal symptom of pregnancy that increases over time. Healthy discharge is white, mildly odorous, and jelly-like. If you detect green or foul-smelling discharge that may indicate an infection, urgently contact your doctor.
Many pregnant women swear by various lotions and moisturisers to keep stretch marks at bay. However, it’s unlikely that you can prevent them forever.
It’s common to see pink, purplish and purple across your body at 20 weeks of pregnancy, the result of your skin rapidly stretching to accommodate your growing baby.
While stretch marks often fade, they’re unlikely to disappear.
Instead of criticising your stretch marks, why not embrace your body imperfections as evidence of growing a new life?
3. The Inevitable Changes
You can’t avoid this pregnancy occurrence.
Although difficult to accept, a steady weight is essential for your growing fetus. Focus on healthy for controlled weight gain, and try not to obsess about your size.
4. And Negative Symptoms
These ailments may affect your sleep, cause discomfort, and force you to alter your lifestyle.
Heartburn is an uncomfortable, burning sensation caused by juices escaping the stomach and flowing back up. Hormones and an expanding uterus contribute toward recurring heartburn. Although it can cause extreme discomfort, sleep loss and more, pregnancy heartburn is manageable and falls away after pregnancy.
Low blood pressure can trigger dizziness and fainting if you move too quickly, have low blood sugar, or, in serious cases, suffer from an affliction that may require treatment. Although disorientating, confusing and sometimes even scary, dizziness and fainting can sometimes be experienced over pregnancy. One of the most significant risks of dizziness or fainting is the possibility of falling, so find a secure place to sit or lie down if you feel these symptoms coming on.
Bodily Aches And Pains
Do your abdomen pain, lower back aches, and leg cramps affect you at all hours? From round ligament pain to leg cramping, back pressure, and more, growing baby is tough on the body.
Week Twenty Pregnancy Tips and Tricks
You’ve clocked another pregnancy milestone halfway through your pregnancy.
Hopefully, no longer merely surviving your pregnancy, you might be looking at how to have a more proactive second trimester and care for yourself.
From pregnancy survival kits to making some pretty big decisions, here’s how to make the most of this time.
1. Pregnancy Belts, Oversized Pillows and Flat Shoes
Comfortable and versatile to wear, pregnancy belts provide you with all-day back support, even while exercising.
Not only have these belts shown to relieve back strain and other aches, but they’re also designed to stabilise you and prevent bad falls. Spider tapes are similarly helpful.
Adding to this, we can’t emphasize the benefits of a pregnancy pillow enough. They relieve ailing muscles, bones and ligaments and minimise heartburn by keeping you propped up in bed.
If you’re a fan of stilettos, it might be time they go to the back of your wardrobe. Your centre of gravity changes during pregnancy, making you unsteady on your feet. Swap heels for a cute pair of flats. There are tons of options from which you can choose.
2. Baby Registry and Nursery
Though it might seem too soon to think about onesies, nappies and baby accessories, as parents-to-be, you’ll soon realise that infants need so much stuff despite their small size.
Whether shopping for your baby or hosting a sprinkle or shower, baby registries are good for keeping track of what you have and still need.
Have you thought about the nursery yet? By now, you may know if you’re having a baby girl or boy and want to decorate their room accordingly. Or you might opt for gender-neutral colours and themes.
3. Consider Birthing Classes and Locations
You’ll gain valuable insights at birthing classes, like relaxation and breathing techniques, labour positions, communication skills during childbirth, breastfeeding, and more. Choose from various classes depending on your interests, principles and beliefs.
Start researching classes now, as they tend to fill up quickly!
Whether in a hospital or at home, choosing where you’ll have your child is important. Find a setting where you’re calm and comfortable while ensuring medical advisors are close by for medicine, emergencies and unforeseen outcomes. Always consider the advice and recommendations of your doctors, whatever you decide, especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy.
Do I Need an Ultrasound for Week 20 of Pregnancy?
Your anatomy or anomaly scan is a mid-pregnancy ultrasound that provides an in-depth look at the growing baby in your belly.
Of course, a veritable highlight for many is finding out the sex, but the ultrasound also checks the health and development of your baby.
Every inch of their bodies, including the various organs, the heartbeat, placenta and amniotic fluid, is closely scrutinised for potential problems during the scan.
Your fundal height, the distance from the top of your uterus to your pubic bone, is also measured. It’s an important measurement that should correspond to your week of pregnancy, plus or minus one or two centimetres. A fundal height way above or below the average could indicate an issue.
If prior genetic screenings detected potential abnormalities, you might have an amniocentesis scheduled this week. Your doctor will provide you with a rundown on what to expect during the test. Have friends around for support, as this could be a stressful time. Fortunately, you might not have to wait long for results.
FAQ Section: Week 20 of Pregnancy
Your burning questions for week 20 answered.
1. How Big Is My Baby?
Your baby is the size of a banana, measuring 25 centimetres long or less.
2. Did My Baby Just Grow Approximately 10 Centimetres in a Week?
Understandably, mothers-to-be get confused by this. Your baby hasn’t suddenly grown several centimetres. Instead, your baby is now measured from top to toe, instead of head to bottom or crown to rump, because your baby has fully straightened out.
3. How Much Does My Baby Weigh?
Your baby weighs about 290 grams, give or take.
4. Will I Feel My Baby Yet?
Possibly – if you haven’t already. The first fetal movements occur between weeks 18 to 22, so there’s still nothing to worry about if you haven’t felt bub kick yet.
5. What Is My Baby Doing in the Womb This Week?
Your baby’s sleep cycles are more defined by week 20, meaning you may soon learn to tell when your baby’s awake and sleeping.
6. What Are Some Major Developments in the Womb This Week?
The way your baby is measured has changed. They’re now measured from head to toe, whereas previously, they were measured from head to bottom or crown to rump. In addition, sleep cycles are becoming regular, and if you’re having a girl, she has grown a uterus, and her vaginal canal is forming. For baby boys, while their external organs can be seen on screen, their testicles haven’t yet descended but will soon.
7. What Are Some Common Pregnancy Symptoms and Body Changes at Week Twenty?
20-week symptoms range from good, tolerable, inevitable and adverse this week. You might see body changes, like different hair and nails, stretchmarks and vaginal discharge. You could also experience dizziness, fainting, heartburn, constipation and various bodily aches and pains.
It’s important to note that this gives you a rough guideline of the symptoms you might experience. As all pregnancies are unique, symptoms might vary.
8. What Are Some Good Week 20 Pregnancy Tips and Tricks?
If you still have energy, focus on getting things done, like planning parties, baby registries, scheduling birthing classes and more.
Fun Facts for Pregnancy Week Twenty
- Do you sometimes forget to eat because you’re too busy doing other things? Don’t worry; your baby knows when you’re hungry and may gently nudge you to remind you to eat. Consider your baby an in-built body clock.
- Experiencing braxton hicks contractions? Braxton Hicks is considered practice for real labour, starting early in pregnancy. The good news is you won’t feel them until the second or third trimester.
Week Twenty Pregnancy Checklist
- Start a pregnancy registry to keep you organised for baby shopping and showers.
- Consider birthing classes and where you’d like to give birth.
- Consider themes and cribs for your nursery.
- Buy a pregnancy belt for back support.
- Loving what you’re reading? Our week 21 article is coming soon.