20 Weeks Pregnant – What To Expect?
You have successfully reached the official half-way mark in your pregnancy, as the average gestation period is of 40 weeks. However, it is normal to deliver the baby two weeks prior or later than 40 weeks.
Your physical changes this week
With the increasing size of your tummy, the centre of gravity of your body is shifting which may cause you to walk differently.
By now your uterus is at the level of your navel. Your waist has disappeared making your body's width look symmetrical from below your arms, right down to your hips. If you already have a child this might happen much before this week.
Due to the pregnancy hormones, your blood vessels become more relaxed allowing the blood to flow freely causing varicose veins or haemorrhoids.
Wear a hat and use sunscreen when stepping out to prevent Chloasma from becoming darker.
Do not stand still for a long time or get up abruptly from a sitting or lying position as it might make you feel dizzy or faint.
If you find your hands going down automatically to support the weight of your tummy, then know that it is normal.
Your baby's changes this week
- Baby's external ears are formed by now.
- Your baby is around 16.5 centimetres in length.
- Your baby stays warm in the amniotic fluid, which is of a slightly higher temperature than your own core temperature.
- Your baby's movements increase this week, though it may not cause you any discomfort.
Sound has already been filtering through your abdominal wall to your baby and now with the external ears formed, sound waves channel to the inner ear. So your baby will learn to recognise your voice if you talk to him or her and will be familiar with it after birth.
Hints of the week
Do not slouch and do keep your shoulders back as it will provide more room for your baby. If you have a desk job, ensure that your chair is comfortable so that it does not cause any strain or stress to your body.
Lifting heavy objects, twisting your body while lifting can cause back aches. Massage, warm baths, heat packs can take care of a sore back but if the back ache is persistent then do visit a physiotherapist.
Resisting or putting off bowel motions is a complete no-no. Listen to your body's signals and do what is necessary to ensure that there is no unwanted complication.
Many women are terrified about the process of labour and build up anxiety through the course of their pregnancy. It is advisable to speak to your doctor if this is your experience.
Be relaxed about your estimated date of delivery as it may vary a couple of weeks before or after that date.
This increase in the size of feet may be due to the extra weight you carry which puts greater stress on your feet and thus, may flatten its arch.