Pregnancy Week 20
By now, you must be feeling quite heavy in your tummy? Aren’t you? This is your growing baby which is increasingly putting on weight by extracting valuable nutrition from your body. Anyways, a good sign! At 20th week, you have completed your half journey but baby is still not half of what he will be at birth. That means there is lot more development and weight gain to happen in the coming weeks.
Growth and Development of Baby
By 20th week, your baby is around 8.5 inches from head to toe (now, your baby need not be measured from crown to rump). He or she weighs approximately 9 ounces. Being so small in this small world, your baby is experiencing lot many things. As his brain has developed all his senses, they are now coming alive. Your baby is using them for moving and for responding to external sounds. Surprisingly, baby has also become aware of the taste of amniotic fluid.
As we said last week, vernix started to coat your baby skin, well, by this week the work has been finished. The baby’s body is completely covered with that creamy protective layer.
The whole day, baby is busy in kicking, rolling or diving inside your womb. Along with these movements, you may feel rhythmic jerking which is actually baby’s hiccupping. In-utero hiccups are due to his immature diaphragms having spasms. Don’t worry; your baby would not be harmed with these hiccups.
In the last weeks, you must have read that baby is developing hair pattern called lanugo. But now, he is reaching to the next level. The hairs are now growing. However, do not expect a lustrous mane at birth. Even if he gets so, those hairs will fall down in a week and baby will get new one gradually. The baby has started getting that peculiar face with the shaping up of nose.
You must have gone through your ultrasound which tells about the baby’s well being. The scans also reveal that baby’s reproductive systems are well developed now. If it’s a girl, the uterus is fully developed, vaginal canal is developing and she had already stored primitive tiny eggs in her small ovaries. In case of a boy, testicles must be descending from this week as they are still in abdomen.
Generally, doctors ask for mid pregnancy ultrasound between 18-22 weeks. If you haven’t had one yet, go for the same in this week. You may be asked to come with the full bladder for ultrasound. The baby’s room is constricted with the large and full bladder giving the sonographer clear images. Apart from verifying the baby’s growth, development, sex and physiology, it also helps in calculating due date, screen for birth defects and analyze the placenta and umbilical cord’s status.
At times, the ultrasound locates placenta on the lower side due to which doctor may suggest you to be little cautious in your physical activities. However, it’s still long time to go. Your uterus will grow in size and move upwards which may change the position of placenta too.
Changes in Mother’s Body
- You have been through many changes in the last four and half months. Now, your uterus is about three times its original height. The top of which may be now near to your belly button. Do you know that your uterus will be growing one cm each week till delivery? Imagine how big it would be.
- By now, your waist would have completely disappeared and you must be becoming wider. Don’t worry; just enjoy stacking up your wardrobe with new clothes.
- You must be getting annoyed with the varicose veins and hemorrhoids in pregnancy. This is because your child needs more nutrition and to fulfill his requirements, more blood is pumped out of the body. This causes blood vessels to lax to allow blood flow. However, the problem will settle down once the baby is out.
- As you have completed half of your journey, you may get emotionally weak at times with the thought of birth, delivery, labor etc. This mental shift can also make you terrified or anxious which is not good for your developing baby. So, better go for an ante-natal counseling or take help from your family or partner.
- Your hairs are lustrous and shiner than before but your glowing and happy skin is hidden behind the darkly pigmented facial mask of pregnancy which is often referred as Chaosma. Not all, but around 50-75 women are affected by this pregnancy side-effect. Also termed as butterfly mask, this settles after birth. However, you just need to take care while moving out in Sun. make sure to use sunscreen otherwise UV rays can make it worse.
- Sudden body movements can make you feel dizzy, so watch your moves while sitting and standing. Keep it slow.
- Thrush, or urinary tract infections or yeast infections are quite common while you are pregnant. This is because of the body changes pregnancy is going through. To avoid these infections, first of all you must drink lots and lots of water and other fluids like coconut water, lassi and soups. Sometimes, there can be only a burning sensation while passing urine. If you are regular with your fluids, you can get relief from the same too.
- Sweating whole day, needing ACs on every time or going for multiples baths? Hey, you are not alone. Every pregnant woman feels higher inner body temperature than usual. Wear cotton clothes especially just touching your body. Make sure that clothes are comfortable rather than being snug. A dust of fragrant talcum powder can also be helpful.
Tips to Consider
- If you are a working woman and drive to office all by yourself, you must think of carpool now. Sometimes, nausea, fatigue or scatterbrain can be the reason of accidents of pregnant women especially in second trimester.
- Your available shoe sizes may not fit you now as your shoes must be biting you. Try getting some bigger sizes because you may require them post pregnancy also.
- If varicose veins are bothering you too much, you can get support of stockings. However, sitting most of the time and elevating legs and feet would also work.
- Treat your hemorrhoids with high fiber diet which must include fruits, vegetables, bran based cereals, legumes and beans. Do not strain while in toilets and also do not be there for long.
- Backache can be big issue now. Taking good care of the same can ease the problem. Try warm baths, showers, massage, heat packs and mild exercises. Avoid lifting heavy objects and twisting. Apart from precautions, you can opt for some gentle exercises which tones and strengthens your muscle group in spine.
Special Activities of this Week
You may think it to be too early but it is better to start thinking about the birth plan. Though, the time will tell everything but of course you must set some hopes, wishes or doings for that special, memorable and exciting experience. Think of thoughts, ideas and plans and try to articulate them. Write them down so that you can share them with your doctor during your labor.
Pregnancy has brought many unwanted changes in your body making you little low and upset. Why not trying pampering yourself with some great ideas? Here are some:
- Go for a prenatal massage and spa in your parlor and relax there.
- Get yourself new nightgown or pajamas and try slow dancing moves with your small bump.
- For a keepsake, click pictures of your pregnancy and make a memorable collection of the same.
- Write down your thought, wishes, hopes and plan of baby and parenting.
- Try making a beautiful frame all by yourself for the baby’s first picture after birth.
- Though you have gained weight but still you should look sexy. Invest in sexy attire and get a makeover.
Making preparations for the newborn arrival needs lot of time. You are still 15-20 weeks away from your delivery but right now, you are in much better condition than you will be having in third trimester. Moreover, you can do more research on stores, items, varieties and prices. Talk to your partner and plan what all things you will be requiring and from where you will get them. However, if you are falling short of money right now, you can leave it to later too.
You must have subscribed many pregnancy and parenting e-mails through different websites. You must have also made net mums as your friends. Why not share with them your pictures.
Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman’s life because despite giving lot of pains, unwanted body changes, emotional wrecking, it fills you with joy, excitement and positivity. All credits goes to that little bundle of joy inside you. So, for him we would say Stay Happy Stay Healthy.
Take good care of yourself!