Pregnancy Week 20

Woman who is 20 weeks pregnant

You have made it half-way through your pregnancy! Keep reading for more about the twentieth week.

Pregnancy Week 20: What changes are occurring with your body?

The top of your uterus is now at the same level as your belly button. You may have gained an average of 8 to 10 pounds up until this point. Expect to gain ½ a pound to one pound (.23 to .45 kg) per week during the rest of your pregnancy. The amount of weight may be more or less depending on your pre-pregnancy weight. Your doctor or midwife should let you know how your weight gain is doing and if you need to make any adjustments in your eating and activity level.*

Pregnancy Week 20: How big is your baby?

Your baby is about 7 ¾ inches (19.7 cm) long and weighs approximately 9 ounces (.26 kg).*

Pregnancy Week 20: What is happening with your baby?

Your baby is covered in a white substance called vernix caseosa. This substance helps protect your baby’s skin from becoming irritated while submersed in amniotic fluid, and it also aids the baby’s passage through the birth canal during labor.

Your baby is beginning to produce meconium, a dark green or black sticky substance that constitutes a baby’s first messy diaper. A few babies pass meconium while in the uterus or during labor. Meconium consists of cell loss, amniotic fluid that has been swallowed, and digestive secretions.*

Pregnancy Week 20: What should you plan for this week?

It is time to begin thinking about the delivery of your baby. The delivery of your baby is one of the most memorable, life-changing, exciting experiences of your life. You will want to spend some time thinking through your hopes and wishes for this special day. Starting with a journal, try to write down as many of your thoughts and plans for your delivery. Your journal will help you prioritize and articulate your ideas. Creating a birth plan can help you communicate your desires clearly with all the people who will provide support to you during your labor.

Pregnancy Week 20: Tips for making your pregnancy better

Remember that it is vitally important to make sure that you get enough nutrients in your diet, especially iron. An increase in iron is necessary as it assists in the production of hemoglobin in your baby and prevents anemia, low birth weight, and premature delivery. While you are pregnant you need to have a daily intake of 27 to 30 mg of iron. Iron is also important since your blood volume has expanded to compensate for your baby.

Good sources of iron include:

  • lean red meat
  • pork
  • dried beans
  • spinach
  • dried fruits
  • wheat germ
  • oatmeal
  • grains fortified with iron

Pregnancy Week 20: Tips for mom’s partner

You and your partner may or may not have already decided on a theme for decorating the baby’s room. Whether you know the gender of your baby or not, now is a great time to begin these preparations.

How can you help your partner?

  • Paint the nursery
  • Put the crib/bassinet together
  • Shop for some special items for the baby
  • Clean out closets or storage space so that mom does not feel like things are “cluttered”

The important thing is to help her in any way that you can.

Last Updated: 1/2013