20 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist
- Celebrate — you’re halfway there!
- At your ultrasound scan, learn whether you’re expecting a girl or a boy (or choose to wait and be surprised).
- Relax. Too much stress can have negative effects on you and maybe even your baby. Try some gentle pregnancy exercise, or speak to your doctor for expert advice.
- If you happen to have a prenatal care appointment this week, you can ask your doctor or nurse whether you should sleep in a certain position to help you feel more comfortable.
At about 20 weeks pregnant you’re halfway there, and it’s natural to wonder, “How big is my baby?” Turns out your baby may weigh about 7.5 to 10.5 ounces and measure anywhere from 6.3 to 8.5 inches — just big enough that you could cup the little guy in the palm of your hand. Besides rolling and kicking, your baby might now be hiccupping too! It’s also during this week that you might go for your mid-pregnancy ultrasound. Pregnancy symptoms this week include constipation, a burst of energy, and hunger pangs. At this stage of pregnancy, gaining about 1 to 2 pounds per week is normal. For even more information about what you might experience during the mid-point of pregnancy, keep reading for our summary of this week’s most exciting milestones.
Your Baby’s Development
You’re halfway there! Twenty weeks into your pregnancy, your baby has grown significantly from that first dividing cell and now weighs about 11 ounces (312 grams) and measures about 6.3 inches (16 cm) from crown to rump. The baby is taking up increasing room in your uterus, and continued growth will put pressure on your lungs, stomach, bladder, and kidneys.
Under the vernix caseosa (a protective, waxy coating), your baby’s skin is thickening and developing layers. Hair and nail growth continue.
If you haven’t already had one, your health care provider may recommend that you receive an ultrasound, a diagnostic test that uses sound waves to create an image. An ultrasound can determine the size and position of the fetus, and any structural abnormalities of bones and organs that are visible by this time. Depending on the position of the fetus, the sex can usually be determined by now. During an ultrasound, the umbilical cord, placenta, and amniotic fluid can also be examined. Talk to your health care provider about whether you should have this test.
Pregnancy symptoms at 20 weeks
Feeling out of breath after going up just a short flight of stairs? Breathlessness is normal during pregnancy. It happens because your ribcage moves outwards to give you greater lung capacity, and your body processes oxygen and carbon dioxide more efficiently. This means that each breath you take is deeper than it was before you became pregnant. It’s this that makes you feel breathless.
As your womb continues to expand, it will start to push against your lungs, which can make your symptoms worse. You shouldn’t need treatment for breathlessness, as it is just part of how pregnancy changes your body. However, if you also feel faint or have heart palpitations, speak to your GP or midwife for advice.
What you need to know at 20 weeks pregnant
You should have your anomaly scan around now. The purpose of the scan is to check that your baby is growing and developing as expected. The sonographer will measure your baby, and check her organs are working well. He will look for signs of congenital conditions such as a cleft lip or heart problems.
Your sonographer will point out your baby’s face, limbs and heart on the screen. You’ll probably be given a print-out of your scan picture, although you may need to pay for this. If you’d like to know whether you’re having a boy or a girl, your sonographer may be able to tell you at the end of the appointment.