This week, you are halfway through your pregnancy. Congratulations! Your baby is practicing for life outside the womb, and you, mom, are probably starting to feel even more pregnant!
This article will cover fetal development, how big your baby is, what month you are actually in, pregnancy symptoms, and what’s happening with your belly and body, mom.
When you are 20 weeks pregnant, some babies kick so hard that it can even be seen from the outside. Others are a lot calmer.
You are now halfway through your pregnancy and it is time for many moms to start increasing their intake of iron to avoid anemia. Learn more about how to eat healthy during pregnancy here.
What to Expect at 20 Weeks Pregnant
In this article…
How Many Months is 20 Weeks Pregnant?
Your Baby at 20 WeeksThe fetal age of your baby is now 18 weeks. Halfway through! Congratulations!
Your baby now measures approximately 6.5 inches in length (16.5 cm) and weighs in at 10 ounces (280 grams).
Other news this week include the development of vernix caseosa, which is the protective, waxy skin covering which helps protect the baby’s skin from being in the amniotic fluid all of this time and will serve an important purpose during the birth process to help pass through the birth canal easily.
If you could peek inside of your belly you may even see the delicate eyebrows forming on your little one’s face or the hair that is growing on the scalp.
Your baby is swallowing more this week as well as “breathing in” the amniotic fluid. This helps prepare your little one for the time outside the womb and helps the digestive system practice functioning.
Now that the ears are fully functional, your baby can hear all of the uterine sounds, from your own heart beating to louder sounds from outside the womb.
All of the other organs and structures are developed and ready so now is the time for your baby to grow and gain weight.
Some waiting parents will want to hear the heartbeat of their little one every day, and this can easily be done now with a regular stethoscope. This is a great way to get Dad involved in the growing process so that he can feel and hear the baby as well.
Mom’s Body When 20 Weeks PregnantAt 20 weeks pregnant, breathing can become heavy now for some women, since the lungs are becoming more crowded as all of the internal organs are shifting to make more room for your baby to grow.
You may notice that taking deep breaths or becoming short of breath will only be a temporary problem until your baby drops into your pelvis before you give birth and will relieve the pressure on your organs considerably.
“Temporary” is, however, quite a while – until week 36 or so… But you’ll get used to it. I promise! :-)
Iron-rich foods are extremely important during this time of your pregnancy since your baby needs the extra iron to make red blood cells along with many other developments.
Lean red meat, poultry, fish, spinach, and lentils as well as iron-fortified cereals can help add to your already healthy diet. This article specifies iron-rich foods for kids, but is helpful for pregnant moms too!
Eating a balanced diet will also help avoid anemia that can lead to low birth weight in your baby or premature delivery. For tips on how to eat healthy during pregnancy, click here.
In addition, anemia makes you extremely tired. It can be a challenge even to walk up the stairs. If you do feel weak and tired, make sure you test your iron blood levels at your next check-up. Some degree of anemia is very common at this stage and the weeks to come and iron supplements may be needed.
You may have already gained anywhere from 8-10 pounds (3.5-4.5 kg) now and can expect to gain anywhere from 0.5 to a full pound of weight per week (0.25-0.5 kg) now as your baby continues to flourish inside.
Other common pregnancy ailments during this time include frequent urination, heartburn, constipation, or indigestion. These may be only slight right now and will increase as your pregnancy progresses, so be sure to get enough fluids daily to help prevent some of these annoyances.
You can always talk to your health care provider about natural and safe Medical treatments available during this time to help alleviate constipation or heartburn, as well as other problems that arise such as dry, itchy skin. For your skin, if it itches or is dry, try Bella B Tummy Honey Butter. It helps!
- A Parent's Guide to a Confident Birth (This is a FREE class by an experienced labor nurse. If nothing else, sign up for this one!)
- Childbirth Preparation: A Complete Guide for Pregnant Women
- Perfect Pregnancy Guide: Yoga, Meditation, Checkups and More
Things to Do and Buy in Week 20
If you want to test a baby training system, designed for babies-to-be, this is a perfect time to get started. Check out the most popular program here.
This is a good time to start pregnancy yoga if you haven’t.
Continue creating your baby registry, if you haven’t. I personally love Amazon for that.(If you live in the US and haven't signed up for Rebaid yet, consider doing it! It is free to join, and you can receive amazing discounts when shopping at Amazon. Check them out here. )
Week 20 Pregnancy Video
Diary of a Daughter
What’s it really like being 20 weeks pregnant…? Here’s a true diary from a 20 weeks pregnant mom (Me..!)
My baby made some kind of somersault this week. It felt really weird and now he/she is kicking in the opposite direction.
This is a wild baby and the kicks can actually be seen from outside now. Fun for her dad!
Are you 20 weeks pregnant? This special time never comes back! Please share your own experiences in the comments below, lots of moms would love to read it!
More about your Pregnancy
- Weight gain during pregnancy, what is normal and not
- Healthy eating during pregnancy
- Vote in our pregnancy polls to learn about pregnant life for other moms
Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
Joanne Stone MD and Keith Eddleman MD, The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood
Nilsson, L; Hamberger, L. A Child Is Born
Soderberg, L., Mammapraktika. B Wahlstroms.