At week 20 you’re halfway through your pregnancy already. Your physical changes are becoming more noticeable to others and your baby is developing everything he needs to survive in the outside world. Here’s what else is going on in your 20th week of pregnancy.
Your baby’s development
This week your baby is the size of a… rock melon.
You’ll be able to feel your baby moving around far more from this week on, which is a good and reassuring sign that he’s active and healthy! If your placenta is implanted at the front of your uterus (closest to your belly) then movement may be harder to feel as it cushions the kicking arms and legs.
Other foetal developments at 20 weeks include:
· External ears are now perfectly formed – so it’s important to talk to your bump so he can begin to recognise your voice.
· Tiny fingerprints are formed in the skin.
· Your baby’s permanent teeth have developed and are sitting under the gums behind the milk teeth.
Your physical pregnancy changes
If you’ve had a baby before you’re likely to be showing more at this stage than when you had your first child. This is because the muscles have already been stretched and so are slightly looser.
There are a few pregnancy complaints that may become familiar to you from now on, including:
· Varicose veins and haemorrhoids – caused by pregnancy hormones making your blood vessels more relaxed and therefore prone to problems.
· Rashes and soreness, particularly in areas of folded skin – this is due to your body temperature being constantly higher than average and causing you to sweat more. To soothe symptoms, use talcum powder in affected areas straight after bathing.
· Chloasma – caused by female sex hormones, this is a condition where some women develop patches of darker skin across their cheeks, nose and forehead. It’s generally not too prominent, but to minimise this, protect your face from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. You can use make-up to cover it up if you wish but don’t worry, it will fade after birth.
Your health and fitness during pregnancy
Take your time when moving from sitting to standing up to avoid dizziness. Your heart working overtime means that it takes longer for your blood pressure to adjust so move slowly.
Also, to avoid any back injuries or losing balance, try not to engage in any unnecessary strenuous activities or lifting of heavy objects.
Your week 20 pregnancy checklist
· Invest in some support stockings to combat varicose veins.
· Increase your fibre and fluid intake to avoid haemorrhoids.
· Stock up on talcum powder to soothe rashes.
· Treat yourself to a new concealer or foundation to cover your chloasma.
· Start thinking about your birth plan. Talk to your partner, your friends, and ask your doctor, midwife and fellow antenatal class mums for their advice.