20th Week Pregnancy – Symptoms, Baby Development, Tips And Body Changes

20-week

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Congratulations! Finally  you are halfway through your pregnancy. You are 20 weeks pregnant now. Isn’t it exciting?

You are now bravely dealing with your growing bump, aches in your abdomen and back, leg cramps, uneasiness and soon you be holding your beautiful baby in your arms. Time is moving fast and you will see rapid developments happening. Your dream is soon to turn into a beautiful reality.

Your body continues to change, throwing a surprise at you every now and then. Your mom and other well wishers will now be constantly behind your back to know how you are taking care of yourself. This is a natural response from women who have been there and have cared for you. Some may give you good advice and some may mislead you with misinformation unintentionally. Listen to everyone, say yes to the advice but do not believe anything until you have proof or approval from your doctor.

One of the greatest myths about pregnancy is that a pregnant woman should eat for two. Unfortunately, this is one of the major causes of obesity following childbirth. All you need is a daily intake of 300 healthy calories extra than you did before pregnancy. Eating right quantity diet, rich with nutrition required for your baby is important. Gorging down on unnecessary calories will only make you end up put on excessive weight during 20th week of pregnancy.

[ Read: 5th Month Of Pregnancy Diet ]

Changes In Your Body:

Let’s see the changes in your body in 20th week of pregnancy:

 1. Weight Gain: 

Your once visible waistline is fast disappearing and maybe it is time for you to start wearing maternity clothing to feel comfortable. Do not wear anything that holds you tight around your waist.

Your bump and your body are growing, and so is your excitement to be a mom. Confusions must be creeping into your mind as to what is the ideal weight gain for you. You may have already gained about 10 pounds of weight (which differs according to individual body frame and height). You tend to gain a pound every week from here on. At the end of 40th week the total weight gain from your pregnancy could be about 25-35 pounds.

The right weight gain during your pregnancy will highly depend on your build. If you are of average weight and height, the weight gain of 30 pounds with 5 pounds more or less should be considered a healthy weight gain. If you were underweight before pregnancy, you need to gain more and vice versa. Have a session with your health care provider to know your own ideal weight gain during pregnancy, since every woman and her body is unique.

 2. Itching On Belly:

Your belly cannot expand without skin stretching. Your belly skin will now feel itchy as it stretches and you will see the first stretch marks. The more your bump grows, the itchier your belly gets and you cannot get rid of it by scratching. Use moisturizers and creams that would fight the dryness of your skin to fight the itchy belly.

 3. Stretch Marks:

Stretch marks are the part and parcel of a normal pregnancy, so there is no point dreading or hating them. While at first they may look purple to pink in color, but eventually they take the hue of silver or white and remain that way forever if you don’t do something to get rid of them. It is not just your lower abdomen that will show off the stretch marks; they may also appear on your breasts and your thighs.

Though you will be bombarded with a million ways to deal with stretch marks, nothing can prevent or get rid of them completely. Moisturizing the area and keeping the skin hydrated will help minimize them to an extent. Many women believe that stretch marks come with the weight gain during pregnancy which is not true. They appear due to stretching of the normal skin that is not supposed to stretch at an alarming rate.

[ Read: Pregnancy Stretch Marks ]

Your genes will decide how much of stretch marks you will get, since there is a genetic predisposition or component to whether or not you get them, or how much of stretch marks you will get. There are chances that you may not get many stretch marks during your first pregnancy, or you may see a lot of them based on the genetics.

4. Expanding Blood Volume:

You may have enough of ‘expansions’ happening by now, but there is more here. Along with your bump, breasts, uterus and body, your blood volume will also continue to expand during your pregnancy. You will suffer from blood loss during child birth; the increased volume of blood will help you to deal with the same. It is also essential to provide the sufficient amount of blood to your developing baby.

Your circulatory system is not prepared for this increased volume; hence it relaxes to accommodate the increased production of blood. The drawback with all this arrangement is that it may also bring down your blood pressure.

When your blood pressure comes down you may feel dizzy occasionally. Sometimes the contraction of circulatory system may reduce the blood flow to the baby. You just have to move from one position to another slowly. Slow down the pace of your reflexes like sitting and standing to help cope with this condition.

 5. Breathlessness:

You tend to feel more breathless than ever. Your rate of respiration also increases while pregnant. Your internal abdominal organs are pressing against your diaphragm as your growing uterus is pushing up into your abdomen which displaces other organs. Do not panic; though your liver, intestines and stomach are displaced it is absolutely normal. Your diaphragm will fail to expand completely due to the displacement of the organs; hence you may breathe rapidly and also feel breathless at times.

 6. Swollen Legs:

The bump may look cute, but those swollen legs which are a common feature of pregnancy do not look cute at all and neither do those swollen hands. These are some of the discomforts you will have to put up, but that is how it goes with every woman.

7.  Deep Veined Thrombosis:

Do not ignore the pain in your legs if you see that the swelling is uneven or accompanied with a red rash. This could be a possible symptom of deep veined thrombosis, which is the result of blood clot in your blood vessels. You are at an increased risk of deep veined thrombosis during your pregnancy; hence do not ignore any warning signs. As far as the clot is in your leg you are safe, but if it ever breaks off and travels towards your heart or lungs it could cause a fatal cardio-pulmonary condition. Do not take any risks; contact your doctor if you have any doubts even though the condition is very rare.

Changes In Your Baby:

The growth spurt of your baby had now come to an end, and she will grow at a slower pace for some time. Soon the pace will pick up and she will go through another spurt shortly.

The baby doesn’t like it that the walls are stopping her from having a mini adventure in your womb. You can sense that from the way she tests the boundaries and kicks around on the walls of your uterus.

Let us see what she is doing inside your tummy when you are 20 weeks pregnant.

1. Meconium:

She is producing a dark green sticky substance called meconium which includes all the materials she ingests when she is spending her time in your uterus. By the time it comes out of her as the first feces, it will be made up of epithelial cells, lanugo, mucus, amniotic fluid, bile, and water, all mixed up and looking like tar, but fortunately odorless.

2. Sharp Sense Of Hearing:

Keep the environment around you quiet and peaceful so that she can get the 20 hour nap time she needs every day. Since her ears are fully developed and functioning, she will be disturbed by loud sound or noisy environment. Her external ears have formed perfectly and they are able to channel the sound waves inwards. Every noise around you filters through your abdomen and reaches her inner ear.

3. Development Of Lungs:

Her lungs have a long way to go to be fully matured, but they are good enough to allow her to breathe.

4. Swallowing Abilities:

She is swallowing more of the amniotic fluid to get ready for drinking milk after her birth. This gives her digestive system a good practice so that it will do the drills now to learn the skills that will be required post delivery. She can have her fill from nearly 300 ml of amniotic fluid that she is floating in.

Did you know that the temperature inside your uterus or that of amniotic fluid is slightly higher than your own core temperature? It is, and that helps to keep your baby warm. May be this is why babies love to be warm and love to drink warm milk after birth!

5. Production Of More Vernix:

The greasy vernix is doing its job and protecting her skin in your womb.

Size Of Your Baby:

Your baby measures around 16-17 cm (about 6 ½ inches) long from her head to rump. If your take her measurement from head to toe she would measure about 10 inches. That would make her the size of banana. She weighs as much as 11 ounces (approx 310 grams).

Care And Tips For Week 20 Pregnancy :

Fun activity for the week – call your girlfriend and make an appointment for both of you at the spa. Indulge in some special treatment for your body. Make sure the spa people know you are pregnant and they follow the pregnancy safety procedures. Spending some relaxing time with your friend and sharing your thoughts and emotional state with her will help you a lot.

This is the time for a plethora of changes. You see changes in your body, your emotions, and your baby; moreover you see a great change in your relationship with your partner. So far in your relationship, you had two sets of relations which you did not share with each other. There were your mom and dad and there were his mom and dad. You had your siblings and he had his. But the baby is going to bond you in a new way, this is one person in your life who you share equal relationship status with your husband. You see the effect of this even during your pregnancy. Take advantage of this special bonding and make the best out of it.

Do not go on a guilt trip if you are having occasional emotional ups and downs. This is a normal occurrence during your pregnancy. Take deep breaths, relax and look into some cute baby pictures. That would cheer you up.

Watch out for the changes in your body and also in the movement of your baby. Do not hesitate to consult your doctor if you ever find anything amiss. May be it is just normal, but there is nothing wrong in being on the safer side.

[ Track Your Baby’s Growth: Pregnancy Due Date Calendar ]

Tips For Dad To Be:

Your entire family is very excited about the new member. Now that the news of the new arrival in your family is out, you will be bombarded with advice and wisdom from your relatives. Everyone wants to give you a piece of their mind, and after a while it is going to get tiresome for you. Come up with a plan to cope with this phase in your life without spoiling your relationships. This is not just the passing phase, because, once the baby arrives you will get the more dosage of this treatment every day. Be prepared!

The arrival of your baby will get you closer not only with your spouse but also with your other relations, who will show you how much they care. But there are times when their intrusion can get on your nerves. Find a way to tell them you need to do this your way without hurting their feelings.

Hope 20th week pregnancy tips and care will help you greatly help you greatly help you. Happy Pregnancy!!

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