20 Weeks Pregnant
- July 15, 2021
- by Melissa Lawrence
WOW, mommies and daddies-to-be! You’ve made it to the halfway mark! Pat yourself on the back (or the belly). You’ve made it through the worst of the first trimester and are cruising through the second trimester like it’s a cakewalk — keep up the great work, mama! This week, many expecting parents find out the sex of their baby. I found out back when I had my CVS diagnostic test during week 13. Let’s get into the nitty gritty of Week 20!
20 Weeks Pregnant: Recurring Symptoms
20 Weeks Pregnant: Common Symptoms
Braxton Hicks Contractions
Have no fear, you are not going into labor this early. In the same way that your baby is practicing breathing and moving around, your uterus is practicing going into labor. I definitely have had a few moments in past pregnancies where I was about to drive myself to the hospital. However, false labor consists of irregular contractions that are constantly weak and will go away when you move around. Real contractions increase in intensity and have regular patterns.
Innie Becomes an Outie
If you’ve told a couple of lies recently, you may be concerned that the bump emerging from your belly button means you’re related to Pinnochio. Whether you previously had an innie belly button or an outie belly button, you might think that things are changing in your navel. Actually, your baby is taking up so much room that the scar tissue of your belly button that typically lies underneath the skin has inverted. While this definitely wasn’t my worst pregnancy symptom, it was definitely one of my least favorites. After childbirth, the process should reverse: your outie belly button should shrink back to an innie belly button.
Thanks to pregnancy hormones, your skin will become more sensitive during pregnancy. I’ve found that some of my usual lotions, shampoos, and conditioners were harsh on my skin over the past few weeks, so I’m trying out some new brands. If your regular treatments or creams start to bother you, find a more gentle alternative. In addition to sensitivity, hyperpigmentation or skin darkening may occur during pregnancy. You also may experience heat rashes during pregnancy more frequently.
Stages of Fetal Development: Baby Growth & Size at 20 Weeks
At week 20, your baby weighs 10 ounces and is 6.5 inches long, about the size of a banana. Brown fat is continuing to form this week, but this is not the fat that you typically associate with your baby’s cute cheeks! That is called white fat, which has yet to develop, meaning that your baby is still looking very skinny.
In other exciting news, your baby is beginning to have hair grow in at the eyebrows and on the head and their skin is getting thicker! If you’re having a girl, she has started to develop a vagina and her uterus has completely formed by week 20. If you’re having a boy, his scrotum is still under construction. After the scrotum has formed completely, the testicles will begin to descend.
Fun Fact About Pregnancy
The most babies born alive at one time was 8! Mama mia!
My Pregnant Belly Progression
Tada — the bump at halfway through pregnancy! I’m feeling good and loving the process of getting rounder and bigger. I do feel a little more out of breath than usual, since there’s less and less space every week. Check out my 20 weeks pregnant belly!
The Importance of Measuring your Fundal Height
At your mid-pregnancy ultrasound, your doctor will measure your fundal height — the distance between the top of your uterus and your pubic bone. Your fundal height equals the number of weeks you’re pregnant (give or take 2 weeks). If your bump doesn’t fit these guidelines, your doctor may recommend testing as it could be the sign of multiple conditions that arise during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes or a breech baby. If you’re expecting twins or more than one baby, this rule does not apply to you at all! With more than one baby, it becomes much harder to use this rule to identify signs of these pregnancy conditions. Check out the graphic below to learn how to measure fundal height.
Your Pregnancy at 20 Weeks: Prenatal Appointment
20 Week Pregnancy Ultrasound
Most women will have an ultrasound when they reach week 20 of their pregnancy, but I’m actually getting my ultrasound next week during week 21 of my pregnancy. So, this week I’ll talk about what you can expect at your 20 week ultrasound appointment.
The mid-pregnancy ultrasound is probably the most in depth and lengthy ultrasound you will receive during your entire pregnancy, so make sure you block out the time needed for the appointment. Expect to be at the doctor’s office for at least an hour.
During your 20 week ultrasound, you have the option to find out the gender of your little one. I found out earlier thanks to my CVS test results. In addition to gender, your doctor will keep an eye out for any structural defects, measure the amount of amniotic fluid, evaluate your baby’s heart rate, and conduct measurements of various parts of your baby to make sure everything looks normal. If there is anything that may cause concern, your doctor will likely recommend that you consider having additional testing conducted. If you are interested in seeing your baby in more detail, you can ask your doctor about getting a 20 week 4D ultrasound.
20 Week Prenatal Tests
Here are the prenatal tests that are available at 20 weeks of pregnancy:
Week by Week Pregnancy Food Guide
Quick, Healthy Snack
Spinach Chips: coat 1 cup of spinach in a ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Add garlic powder and sea salt to taste and cook for 7-10 minutes at 325 degrees (WebMD)
Pair Iron with Vitamin C
Your body has a hard time absorbing iron, however, when paired with Vitamin C, absorption of iron increases significantly. Therefore, it’s a great idea to pair foods high in iron (whole wheat bread, broccoli, and spinach) with foods high in vitamin C (red peppers, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower).
How Many Months Is 20 Weeks?
Although your pregnancy won’t be measured in this fashion, 20 weeks in months corresponds to being around 5 months pregnant.
Week 20 Pregnancy Checklist
- Schedule your week 24 prenatal appointment!
- Write down and alert your doctor when you first notice your baby’s movements
- Consider having a baby shower (who should host?)
- Research breast pump accessories
- What to Expect & What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 5th Edition (2016)
- The Bump
- Baby List
- The Mama Natural Week to Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth (2017)
- Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – Second Edition (2018)
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists