Week 20 of Your Pregnancy
You are halfway through the pregnancy. By now, you are probably already feeling the baby’s movements. The baby is growing and needs more and more space, which can be accompanied by abdominal pain or backache.
Your baby gets soft, white fuzz and small gray cells in the 20th week. The senses, especially brain and taste cells, are now developing rapidly. You yourself are probably doing pretty well right now.
Enjoy the time – and read here why it’s a good idea to pack your travel suitcase in the 20th week.
Table of content
- The development of your baby in the 20th week of pregnancy
- 20th week: What is the fundal level?
- Your body at 20 weeks of pregnancy
- 20 weeks of pregnancy: Your symptoms
- 20 weeks of pregnancy: This is what you should pay attention to
- Your checklist for the 20th week
- FAQ – Twentieth week of Pregnancy
- 20 Weeks Pregnant – Video
Here you can find all of our 2nd trimester articles:
The development of your baby in the 20th week of pregnancy
Congratulations! You are now 20 weeks pregnant and have reached the halfway point! At this 20th week of gestation, your little one is now completely covered by a creamy layer of sebum called Vernix caseosa. It wraps around your baby like a second skin, shielding him or her from the amniotic fluid like a little wetsuit. This substance, also known as cheese goo, also protects your baby from bacteria in the womb and acts as a kind of external immune system. During the birth itself, it acts as a lubricant, making the birthing process easier. Afterward, the cheese goo protects your newborn from heat loss. Gradually, it then absorbs into the skin by itself or dries out. These dry hard flakes should then be removed very carefully from the folds of skin the next day, otherwise, they could cause sores due to the baby’s movements.
In the 20th week of gestation, your baby’s head sprouts. And this time it is not just fluff, but real hair. The bones of the inner ear are now fully formed, and the nose is developing its unmistakable shape, which can be seen beautifully on the ultrasound from this 20th week. The eyes have finally taken their final position on the head since the previous week.
Quite independently of the hair, small sebaceous glands form in the area of the glans or the labia minora in the 20th week of pregnancy. In girls, the clitoris is formed quite large in relation to the rest of the small body and is therefore easily recognizable. Whether you know the sex of your little treasure or not, it is always a particularly nice task for parents to think about a possible name for their joint child. Let our name generator inspire you in this regard.
In recent times, your baby’s brain has been working non-stop to develop the nerve centers that control his senses. These are now working better and better. That is why in the 20th week of pregnancy your little one already reacts to your activities, sounds from outside, and even to the taste of the amniotic fluid.
At every checkup, your gynecologist or midwife will feel the fundus level – the upper curved part of the uterus. In the past, it was considered the most important indicator of pregnancy. Today, it is still a good indicator for your midwife and gynecologist whether everything is going well.
In the beginning, the fundus is still just above the pubic bone. By the end of pregnancy, it will have migrated to just below the breastbone. You ask yourself: Where does the baby lie in the belly now? In the 20th week of pregnancy, the fundus lies about three transverse fingers below the belly button.
Where is the baby lying?
Now it is still below the belly button. Exactly how and where the baby lies will only become important in the last few weeks before birth. The position of the baby will help decide whether a spontaneous birth or a C-section makes more sense in your case.
Your body at 20 weeks of pregnancy
The size of your uterus has tripled by your 20th week of pregnancy. At your next checkup, your doctor may notice that the fundus is now at the level of your navel.
From now on, your uterus will continue to grow about one centimeter each week until the time of delivery. This will also be reflected in your weight gain.
An ultrasound scan will allow your doctor to check the baby’s growth and development, set your due date, check the fetus for any developmental delays, and make sure everything is okay with both the placenta and the umbilical cord. Whether you want to know the sex of your child already or not, a look inside the uterus makes the fact that you will soon be parents become more and more real in the 20th week of pregnancy.
Now is actually also the perfect time to start thinking about a baby shower. Usually, this is organized by your best friend or a close relative. A baby shower before birth will allow you to experience beautiful moments with your girlfriends once again in peace. Don’t wait too long, because the further your pregnancy progresses, the more you will have to struggle with possible weight gain. The period from the 20th to the 30th week of pregnancy is optimal for this. Let our baby shower checklist help you in this endeavor.
- Fatigue. No matter what month you’ve reached in your pregnancy: Most women struggle with fatigue and tiredness during the day as well. Even in the 20th week of pregnancy, this is nothing unusual. However, iron deficiency can also be the reason for the state of exhaustion. Therefore, talk to your gynecologist or midwife about it.
- Back pain. About half of all pregnant women complain of back pain sooner or later. The ligaments loosen, and the abdominal muscles also recede somewhat to make room for your baby. This reduces the support function. Many women then tend to have an unnatural hollow back, which in turn puts strain on the intervertebral discs and spine and can lead to tension.
- Pregnancy rhinitis. The so-called pregnancy rhinitis affects about a quarter of all pregnant women. The female hormone estrogen is thought to be responsible. Among other things, estrogen ensures good blood flow to the placenta and can also cause the nasal mucosa to swell more than usual and increase the production of nasal secretions. Even though a blocked nose can be common, you should still have your doctor take a look at it.
What helps against back pain?
- Allow yourself to take regular breaks – even during work. Stress and prolonged sitting often aggravate back pain.
- Yoga exercises and a hot water bottle or a warm (not too hot) bath can relieve the pain.
- The so-called pelvic clock exercise is also helpful: lie on the floor and place your feet hip-width apart. Your arms are next to your body. Imagine you are lying on the face of a clock. The twelve points towards your pubic bone, the six towards your lumbar spine. Now begin to circle your pelvis evenly along with the numbers. Your abdominal muscles remain loose, only your back and pelvis are working. Repeat the circling five times. Then change direction. Finally, breathe deeply into your belly and relax.
- Your breasts have probably grown quite a bit and need more support by now. To take the strain off your back, now would be a good time to switch to high-quality maternity bras.
20 weeks of pregnancy: This is what you should pay attention to
- Do some light exercise. This will help keep your circulation going and also prevent back pain. Maybe you should sign up for a special course for pregnant women in your area? Some of these courses are even covered by health insurance.
- You can also do something about your aching back at home and in everyday life. For example, avoid hunching your back by keeping your knees slightly bent when standing and consciously straightening your pelvis again and again. Heat or a massage on the cruciate ligament also does good. Feel free to involve your partner here and enjoy the touch and time together.
- Browse through books about pregnancy and the first months with the baby. The more information you have the better prepared you will feel.
- Make sure to get enough iron. A good source of iron is meat, for example, but also tofu or oatmeal. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron better. So combine iron-rich foods with sources of vitamin C, such as orange juice or bell peppers.
- What does the baby need? Most of the time, a newborn baby doesn’t need much at all, except for food, sensitive parents who are attentive to his or her needs, and a lot of love. Here you can also find a list of initial equipment. By the way, you don’t always have to buy new things for your baby. You can borrow many things from friends or professional suppliers.
- Weight gain in the 20th week of pregnancy. During pregnancy, you regularly hear the question, “What does your scale say?” A pregnant woman gains 1.1 lbs per week around 20 weeks gestation. Of that, about 200 grams each go on the baby’s weight account. On average, a total of 13 to 18 lbs are added in the second trimester. Why is your doctor or midwife interested in your weight gain during pregnancy? If the scale doesn’t move, there is a risk of being underweight. If the weight shoots up extremely, it could be due to gestational diabetes, water retention, or, rarely, pre-eclampsia. So checking your weight is all about the health of both mother and baby.
- Are you fit? Pregnancy can be exhausting at times. Some women have trouble sleeping or wake up sweaty and knocked out. If you are constantly tired during the day despite relaxing nights, you may lack iron. You can read about what helps here.
FAQ - Twentieth week of Pregnancy
Your baby is about 6.2 to 8″ tall at 20 weeks gestation.
According to statistics, the limit for the viability of a premature baby is between the 23rd and 25th week of pregnancy. Babies born before then, regardless of their state of maturity, unfortunately, have little chance of survival.
In the 20th week, the uterus grows upward. Its upper edge, the so-called fundus, is now perceptibly at about the level of the belly button – an intermediate stop, because in the coming weeks and months it will move up to the breastbone.