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20 week pregnancy

20 week pregnancy


The 20 week pregnancy ends the first half of the wonderful time of bearing a baby – behind 5 obstetric months. At this time, a second screening ultrasound examination (ultrasound) may be performed, which is necessary, first of all, to assess the growth of the fetus, exclude congenital developmental anomalies, assess the location, thickness, structure of the placenta, the amount of amniotic fluid and ultrasound of the cervix.

20 week pregnancy

In the second trimester, the expectant mother listens especially carefully to the sensations in her stomach, expecting to feel her baby’s movements. If a woman is about to give birth for the first time, she will get acquainted with these light movements of the baby at the gestational age of 20 weeks. If this is not the first pregnancy, most likely the woman already feels movements from about 18 weeks.

Starting from the middle of the pregnancy, the expecting mother should watch the alterations in her body weight. During the 20 week pregnancy, the woman’s body weight will increase by approximately 3-5 kg, and then on a weekly basis, the gain will be around 300-400 g. If the mother is expecting twins, the weight increase will be more significant. The baby is developing actively at this stage as its size, organs and systems are maturing.

Baby at the 20 week pregnancy

By the 20 week pregnancy, the size of the fetus, according to ultrasound, normally reaches 16-17 centimeters. The baby has drastically transformed, looking increasingly like a little person: the initial hair growth on the head is visible, the nose is distinct, and the ears have taken their typical form. The baby’s figure is symmetrical. There are fingernails on their fingers. The sex can be determined with an ultrasound as the external sexual organs are visibly developed.

Good to know: On ultrasound at 20 week pregnancy, almost all the baby’s internal organs, arms and legs are clearly distinguishable and his body weight is approximately 280–300 g. When carrying twins, the weight of each fetus is slightly less (about 250 g each).

When the 20 week pregnancy rolls around, the doctor can use an obstetric stethoscope to listen to the baby’s heart. At this point, the nervous and hematopoietic systems are functioning, the lungs are in the process of developing, and the endocrine system is making progress – the thyroid and pancreas are already producing hormones. During this time, the baby’s middle ear is already formed and will soon detect external sounds. Its eyelids, however, remain closed.

The baby’s skin thickens. The sebaceous glands produce the original lubricant, which performs a protective function.

Feelings of a woman in 20 week pregnancy

What happens at the 20 week pregnancy in the tummy of the expectant mother? In a comfortable and spacious uterus, during the hours of his wakefulness, the baby actively swims. He moved before, but it is at this time that the woman will have characteristic sensations.

By the end of the fifth month, there was no trace left of the future mother’s waist. For 20 week of pregnancy, the bottom of the growing uterus is 4 cm below the navel. The displacement of the internal organs can lead to unpleasant sensations like heartburn and constipation. To avoid the appearance of stretch marks on the skin, it is possible to use special creams.

A woman may note an increase in vaginal discharge and bleeding gums, darkening of the nipples, and pain in the lower back. Excessive weight gain is a possible sign of latent edema.

ultrasound at 20 week pregnancy

The expectant mother’s calendar reminds her of the need to undergo a second ultrasound screening at the 18-20th week.

Good to know: At the second screening, during an ultrasound, a woman will have the opportunity to admire her baby or even twins. For the first time, the expectant mother will see the child’s movements and listen with pleasure to his heartbeat.

The information content of ultrasound at the 20 week pregnancy is high: the internal organs of the baby (liver, heart, digestive tract, bladder), arms and legs, and external genitalia are clearly visualized. 

The doctor as a whole evaluates the development of the fetus, the condition of the placenta and amniotic fluid, and the parameters of the umbilical cord and excludes or detects congenital malformations and anomalies. The main task of the specialist is to determine whether the data obtained as a result of ultrasound correspond to the norm.

Expert advice

Examine your diet carefully. Try to include as many beneficial foods as you can in your daily diet – such as fresh veggies and fruits, seasonal berries, cereals, nuts, meats, fish, and poultry. Additionally, make sure to drink the recommended amount of water – 1.5-2 liters per day.

Try to be as active as possible, walk and prepare for the imminent birth of the crumbs. Physical activity allows the muscles to maintain tone, which will greatly help prepare for childbirth.

It is useful to attend fitness for pregnant women, preparation courses for childbirth and yoga under the supervision of qualified instructors.

Continue to take the vitamin and mineral supplements your doctor has recommended. But never use medications, supplements, or herbal preparations without the advice of a specialist.

It is important to switch up your wardrobe as your stomach can grow quite a bit during this time; make sure you are comfortable in your clothing and that it does not squeeze or pinch your chest, waist or hips.

Monitor your well-being. If there is an indisposition or complaints, do not delay a visit to the doctor. Undergo additional examinations if necessary.

Do’s and Don’ts of 20 week pregnancy

At the 20th week of pregnancy, the belly of the expectant mother noticeably increases in size. The middle of pregnancy is an important stage in the baby’s development, so you should take care of your own body. It is important to monitor nutrition, avoid strong physical exertion, take prescribed drugs, spend a lot of time in the fresh air and prevent diseases.

Things to do at 20 week pregnancy:

  • Have a sufficient physical activity. Hiking, yoga and swimming prevent congestion in the pelvis and improve blood flow.
  • Take vitamin complexes and medicines prescribed by a doctor. Preparations support body functions and prevent unwanted complications.
  • Get out of bed slowly, first lowering your legs to the floor and taking a sitting position. This helps prevent bouts of nausea and dizziness.
  • Try to lift heavy and uncomfortable objects from a squatting position. This will reduce the load on the spine.
  • Sleep better on solid. A hard orthopedic mattress relieves the load from the back and allows you to relax fully.
  • Entertainment and sports are allowed during pregnancy if there are no contraindications. You need to be careful and focus on your well-being.
  • Intimate relationships in comfortable positions help strengthen the muscles of the small pelvis. Sexual contact improves blood circulation and promotes the production of the hormone of joy.

Things not to do at 20 week pregnancy:

  • You should not eat fatty, too salty foods and foods with preservatives and dyes. They negatively affect the work of the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. Excessive consumption of sweets can lead to diabetes in pregnant women.
  • You will have to forget about professional sports. Excessive physical activity, exhausting workouts, and weighting load the cardiovascular system and the spine and increase uterine tone.
  • Taking any medications and dietary supplements are forbidden without the doctor’s consent. Even a tablet of the usual acetylsalicylic acid for headaches can cause unwanted reactions and pregnancy complications.
  • Avoid sudden movements and changes in body position. They lead to rapid drops in blood pressure and cause dizziness and uterine hypertonicity.
  • Refuse violent entertainment and intimacy if recommended by a doctor. With increased uterine tone, fetoplacental insufficiency, isthmic-cervical insufficiency and other pathologies, one should lead a calm lifestyle, and observe physical, emotional and mental peace.

Proper nutrition

Nutrition at week 20 should be varied and healthy. Daily meals should replenish the missing vitamins and minerals. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and sufficient fiber ensure the body’s proper functioning and the expectant mother’s well-being.

At the 20th week of pregnancy, it is recommended to:

  • Protein is the building block for muscle tissue. It is necessary for the fetus at 20 weeks since active growth begins. It is recommended to include low-fat meat and fish in the diet. Also, meat products make up for the deficiency of vitamin B and iron – substances necessary for the proper formation and growth of the unborn child.
  • Healthy fats and calcium for fetal bone growth can be obtained from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheeses, yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts, and vegetable oils. They contribute to the proper absorption of vitamins and microelements, saturate body tissues and make them stronger, are a source of protein and amino acids and have an antioxidant effect.
  • Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy and strength that a woman needs in the 20th week of pregnancy. For the child’s proper growth during this period, it is essential to choose complex carbohydrates – whole grain cereals, pasta from durum wheat, and potatoes.
  • Vegetables and fruits should be consumed at least 2-3 times daily. They are the primary source of vitamin C and replenish micronutrient deficiencies. Also, vegetables and fruits ensure the proper functioning of the digestive tract due to the content of coarse fiber.
  • Water is necessary for the expectant mother in the amount of up to 2 liters per day. Observing the drinking regime is essential for the excretory system’s proper functioning. It is recommended to drink between meals to prevent the feeling of heaviness in the stomach.
  • Fractional nutrition is the basic rule of a woman’s diet at the 20th week of pregnancy. During this period, the uterus begins to “prop up” the stomach, accompanied by heartburn, sour belching and other unpleasant symptoms. You can avoid unpleasant symptoms if you eat small meals up to 5 times a day.

Checklist for the 20 week pregnancy

  1. Review your diet. The daily menu should include healthy foods and enough water.
  2. Continue to lead an active lifestyle. This will facilitate the preparation for childbirth and their course.
  3. Take medicines and vitamins prescribed by your doctor. Without them, the risk of complications increases.
  4. Change wardrobe. At the end of 5 months, the size of the abdomen no longer allows you to wear your usual everyday clothes.
  5. Get a second screening if this still needs to be done 1-2 weeks ago. The study allows you to identify the risk of congenital anomalies.
  6. Get an ultrasound to determine the sex. From 20 weeks, diagnosis virtually eliminates the error.
  7. Pay attention to your health and if you have complaints, consult a doctor. Identification of the problem at the initial stages prevents dangerous consequences.

Possible risks at 20 week pregnancy

During this time, leg discomfort is possible due to an increase in weight and a shift in the center of gravity. If your legs hurt after walking or standing for a long time, rest with your legs elevated, consult your doctor about wearing compression stockings and start wearing a bandage.

Half of the term is over, but many events are ahead. 

Your tummy is expanding, and your wellness has greatly improved since the first trimester. Each day brings you closer to the day you will meet your baby. Speak to him often, caress your tummy, sing or just chat. Before long, he will react to you by kicking his leg or poking.