20 Weeks Pregnant: The 20th Week Of Pregnancy
You have made it half-way through your pregnancy! Keep reading for more information about the 20th week of pregnancy. Get the Fetal Life App for Apple and Android endorsed by the American Pregnancy Association.
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 around 8 to 10 pounds by 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 if you are gaining weight at a healthy rate and if you need to make any adjustments in your eating and activity level.
How big is your baby?
Your baby is about 7 ¾ inches (19.7 cm) long and weighs approximately 9 ounces (.26 kg).
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 submerged in amniotic fluid. 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 will constitute your baby’s first messy diaper. A few babies pass meconium while in the uterus or during labor. Meconium consists of cell loss, the amniotic fluid that has been swallowed, and digestive secretions.
What should you plan for pregnancy week 20?
It is time to begin thinking about the delivery of your baby. This will be one of the most memorable, life-changing, and 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.
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 intake 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 because your blood volume has expanded to compensate for your baby. Good sources of iron include:
- Lean red meat
- Dried beans
- Dried fruits
- Wheat germ
- Grains fortified with iron
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 your baby’s gender 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 mom does not feel like things are “cluttered.”
The important thing is to help her in any way that you can.