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20 Weeks Pregnant

At 20 weeks pregnant, you may be feeling slightly less dainty and slightly more bulky. By now, your physician or health care provider will start taking regular measurements of your belly to help confirm your baby’s growth and development.

Now you’ve hit the halfway mark in your pregnancy. The top of your uterus is about level with your belly button, and you’ve likely gained around 10 pounds. Expect to gain another pound or so each week from now on. (If you started your pregnancy underweight, you may need to gain a bit more; if you were overweight, perhaps a bit less.) Make sure you’re getting enough iron, a mineral that’s used primarily to make hemoglobin (the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen). During pregnancy, your body needs more iron to keep up with your expanding blood volume, as well as for your growing baby and the placenta. Red meat is one of the best sources of iron for pregnant women. Poultry (especially the dark meat) and shellfish also contain iron. Some common non-meat sources of iron include legumes, soy-based products, spinach, prune juice, raisins, and iron-fortified cereals.

By 20 weeks, your baby is now practicing breathing and swallowing on a regular basis. Your baby continues to grow and fill out, with the head becoming slightly more proportional to the rest of the body.

Your baby’s skin is becoming more complex now, forming different layers. The epidermis, or surface of your baby’s skin, has four layers that contain ridges for fingertips. The layers that form in your baby’s palms and feet will provide him with his own unique fingerprint later in life.

By pregnancy week 20, your baby is now almost 10 to 11 ounces and is 10 inches long! The pregnancy week by week changes occurring at this stage are truly remarkable. Note – starting at 20 weeks, length measurements are calculated from your baby’s head to it’s toes.

Pregnancy Week 19< >Pregnancy Week by Week Guide< >Pregnancy Week 21

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20 Weeks Pregnant – Your Pregnancy Week by Week

 

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Pregnancy Week 20

Fertile Mind Belly Belts, Pant Extenders at MaternityandBabyShoppingmart.com

Practical Baby Shower Gifts at MaternityandBabyShoppingmart.com

Pregnancy Pillows at MaternityandBabyShoppingmart.com

**Please note- Your Due Date is calculated from the date of your last menstrual period, which corresponds to our Pregnancy Week by Week articles.

Week 20 How Big is the Baby at 20 Weeks Pregnant?
By pregnancy week 20, your baby is now almost 10 to 11 ounces and is 10 inches long! The pregnancy week by week changes occurring at this stage are truly remarkable. Note – starting at 20 weeks, length measurements are calculated from your baby’s head to it’s toes.

Your Baby’s Growth and Development
By 20 weeks, your baby is now practicing breathing and swallowing on a regular basis. Your baby continues to grow and fill out, with the head becoming slightly more proportional to the rest of the body.

Ultrasound pregnancy week 20- boy

Your baby’s skin is becoming more complex now, forming different layers. The epidermis, or surface of your baby’s skin, has four layers that contain ridges for fingertips. The layers that form in your baby’s palms and feet will provide him with his own unique fingerprint later in life.

Your Growth and Development
By 20 weeks, you are at the midpoint of your pregnancy, and onlookers are definitely starting to notice your bump! After pregnancy week 20 your uterus has likely reached your bellybutton. Growth typically starts to become more regular from this point on, so you should be noticing regular changes in your belly.

Remember that you are now halfway through your pregnancy, only 20 more weeks to go! Some ladies will deliver slightly sooner than 40 weeks, while others will delivery shortly after. A typical pregnancy usually lasts anywhere from 37-42 weeks. Where you fall in this spectrum will depend on a number of factors, including the accuracy of your due date, the health of your baby, and even your genetics!

Changes in You

Memory Foam Pregnancy Pillow - Snoozerpedic MD

Supreme Snuggle Nest Co-Sleeper by Baby Delight

Stretch Marks Cream

At 20 weeks pregnant, you may be feeling slightly less dainty and slightly more bulky. By now, your physician or healthcare provider will start taking regular measurements of your belly to help confirm your baby’s growth and development.

There are several ways your healthcare provider can keep track of your baby’s growth and development after 20 weeks. Many healthcare providers will use a measuring tape to measure your fundal height. Fundal height is determined by measuring from your pubic symphysis to the top of your uterus (called the fundus). This technique typically correlates with the gestational age of your baby when you are between 14 and 32 weeks pregnant. After 32 weeks, the use of the fundal height measurement is ambiguous. In the later weeks of pregnancy, it is best to assess the overall size and health of your baby with serial ultrasound examinations. The size and weight of the infant can be assessed with an accuracy of plus or minus 20% when serial ultrasound is used. Serial ultrasound exams can show the growth curve for your baby. These measurements may enable you to determine the exact percentile of growth or the growth rate for your baby.

If your fundal height measurements are much larger than expected, your healthcare provider might suspect that you are carrying twins, that the baby is growing larger than normal for your gestational age, or that your baby may be due sooner than expected. Ultrasound exams will help to clarify any size or date discrepancies. Some women will measure slightly smaller than expected for their expected due date and this is perfectly normal. This could be due to miscalculation of your due date, the fact that the baby is growing smaller than expected for your gestational age, or it can sometimes be the result of intrauterine-growth restriction. The ultrasound exam is of greatest benefit when there is a size discrepancy because it can clarify between a small size due to miscalculated due dates or intrauterine-growth restriction.

Intrauterine Growth Restriction or IUGR is a condition that results in significantly smaller weight babies at the time of birth. There are many factors that can affect your baby’s growth in the womb. Risk factors for fetal growth restriction are:

  • A history of previous fetal growth restriction infant.
  • Chronic hypertension.
  • Diabetes Mellitus.
  • Elevated alpha fetoprotein (AFP).
  • Antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Chronic medical illnesses.
  • Low maternal pre-pregnancy weight.
  • Poor weight gain during pregnancy.
  • Twin Gestation.
  • Substance abuse (tobacco, alcohol, drugs).
  • Abnormalities of the afterbirth or placenta.
  • Anemia.

Typically growth that occurs in the womb is very rapid. A typical baby will be born somewhere around 7 pounds. Premature babies are smaller but their growth is often proportionate to the number of weeks they were growing in the womb. When growth is not proportionate to your baby’s gestation, IUGR may be suspected.

If IUGR is suspected, your healthcare provider will want to conduct several tests to help determine what the cause may be. Typically, newborn babies diagnosed with IUGR experience more medical problems and difficulties than normal weight babies. The good news is that proper health and prenatal care during pregnancy goes a long way toward preventing IUGR, and early detection will allow appropriate treatment and the best possible outcome for your baby.

Abdominal itching is often common during this point in pregnancy. Typically, itching occurs as a result of your skin stretching. Consistent application of moisturizers can help reduce irritation. A very small number of women develop itchy red bumps during pregnancy, and hive like rashes on their belly, usually in the last couple of months of pregnancy. This type of irritation is often referred to as Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy or PUPP. Usually these bumps are harmless, and serve more as a nuisance than anything.

Fortunately, your healthcare provider can prescribe a topical ointment that will help reduce the amount of itching you are experiencing. Very rarely a woman will develop severe itchiness that is a sign of something more severe, such as a condition called intrahepatic cholestasis. This condition is the result of a liver problem that occurs in pregnancy. When affected by intrahepatic cholestasis, bile in the body doesn’t flow normally throughout the small ducts of the liver, resulting in accumulation of bile salts in the skin. This can result in excessive itching and red irritated skin. If you have itching that seems to have spread all over your belly and you are not able to relieve it with warm soaks and moisturizing, contact your healthcare provider. They will have to conduct some blood tests to confirm whether or not your liver has been affected by this condition. Fortunately this condition usually affects less than 2 percent of pregnant women, so it is unlikely that you will develop this condition during your pregnancy.

Pregnancy Pillows
Finding A Quality Pillow During Pregnancy

Some women think they can get by with a “make shift” pregnancy pillow during pregnancy. I’m here to tell you, that no combination of pillows will work the same as a high quality pregnancy pillow like Snoozer Pregnancy Pillows . If you try to mimic the effects of a pregnancy pillow by using many pillows, you’ll only end up frustrated.

I know… I have about 15 pillows at home. No matter how hard I tried, no combination of pillows worked better than my pregnancy pillow to support my back, neck, and legs during pregnancy. A good quality pillow is just the right firmness and runs the entire length of your body, an important concept during pregnancy!
Watch our pregnancy pillows video on youtube.com.

Maternity Clothes
Modern Mom’s Go For Maternity Denim

Think you’ll miss your favorite pair of jeans once you get pregnant? Think again! Modern moms know that there is an exceptional selection of Maternity Jeans available at Destination Maternity! No longer do pregnant women have to suffer wearing paneled pants with no style or class. Today’s maternity denim is often made of breathable, stretchy fabric and comes in a variety of styles, including non-paneled versions for the fashion conscious mom-to-be!

You can typically find great looking casual wear, skirts, pants, shorts and even tops all made of denim when looking for maternity items to complete your pregnancy wardrobe. Most maternity denim is made of stretchy fabric that is designed for functionality as well as comfort!

Pregnancy Health Tips
Many women decide to sign up for childbirth education classes during their pregnancy, particularly first time moms. These classes can be particularly beneficial for the labor and delivery process. Childbirth classes are a means to focus on your impending role as a parent, and a means to express your concerns and worries prior to delivery. Most childbirth classes will teach you the ins and outs of labor and delivery, help you understand what you can expect during the first few weeks of parenthood, and offer vital tips and tricks for coping with fatigue, stress, and other concerns in the postpartum period.

Most classes will instruct you regarding the signs of labor or pre labor, and help you learn relaxation and breathing techniques for labor and delivery. Others will also cover important aspects of labor and delivery such as pain medication options and hospital procedures. Your instructor may also cover natural birthing options, recovery from a vaginal delivery, and information on c-sections. While most women predict that their labor will go off without a hitch, you simply never know when a c-section might be necessary. Because of this, it is important that you are prepared in the event that you may need one.

For the most part, you will want to dress comfortably for class and bring a pillow and partner. Your partner will help coach you through the relaxation and breathing exercises you need to adopt for labor and delivery. The two most popular childbirth classes are the Lamaze classes and Bradley Method Classes.

Lamaze classes typically emphasize managing your pain through relaxation, meditation, and breathing techniques. Lamaze is a natural approach to birth, but can be used in conjunction with pain relief. The Bradley Method is often considered a comprehensive approach to pregnancy and delivery. Typically, this method emphasizes diet and exercise and teaches deep breathing techniques for labor and delivery.

Some other classes you may find useful include newborn baby or infant CPR and breastfeeding. A breastfeeding class can be invaluable if you plan on breastfeeding your baby exclusively. Your instructor will cover a variety of topics including pumping and storing your breast milk, different latch positions, and methods for coping with problems while breastfeeding. A breastfeeding class may also provide you with contact information for local lactation consultants that can help you with the breastfeeding process after delivery.

Read About Pregnancy Week 21

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