The 20 weeks of pregnancy mark the middle of the gestation, a stage in which the discomfort of the first months is no longer there and in which you feel more energy. But, there are other changes that happen both in the mother’s body and in the fetus and that are important to know.
In general, a normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, on average. That is why the 20-week pregnancy marks the beginning of the second half of pregnancy, that is, half the time is missing to have your baby.
At this stage, the belly of 20 weeks of pregnancy begins to be more noticeable, since the uterus has already grown enough to reach the middle of the navel. Inside the 5-month-old fetus is growing daily and you can already start to feel your baby’s movements.
How big is a fetus at 20 weeks?
On average, the size of the fetus 20 weeks is between 16 and 25 centimeters. This sudden change is due to the fact that in previous months the length of the baby was measured from the head to the rump because its legs were kept very close together, while in the 20-week fetus it can already be measured from the head to the feet.
Now, during this time, you and the baby have gained weight, so if you’re wondering how much a 20-week fetus weighs, the average answer is 350 grams.
Regarding other changes in the baby’s development, we can mention that his lungs have begun to perform breathing exercises, while his digestive system is being activated by the intake of amniotic fluid .
In turn, meconium begins to form, a greenish black substance that is made up of dead cells, amniotic fluid and digestive secretions that the baby expels in his first bowel movement. So, don’t be scared when that viscous black substance is present at the first diaper change. It’s totally normal.
At this stage, a layer of fat also begins to form on the fetus’s skin, called vernix caseosa . This whitish substance protects the skin from the aggressions of the amniotic fluid and also facilitates the movement of the baby through the vaginal canal at the time of delivery.
The 20 week ultrasound
In the fifth month of gestation, your baby will already have all its organs formed and visible, only that they still do not have the necessary maturity. Even so, in this week your obstetrician doctor should perform a specific ultrasound, known as a morphological ultrasound , to determine the levels of amniotic fluid, evaluate the development of the baby and verify if any congenital anomalies are detected.
Additionally, the doctor or imaging technician will check the structure of the heart, head, kidneys, and other organs. In this ultrasound it is also possible to determine with greater certainty the sex of the baby , of course, as long as the little one collaborates by showing her genitals.
The morphological ultrasound also checks the blood flow of the uterine arteries and the cervix. In this way, the development of the placenta is observed and preeclampsia, which is hypertension in pregnancy, is detected.
Changes in the pregnant woman during the 20 weeks
At the beginning we mentioned that from this stage, pregnant women leave behind the discomfort of the first months, morning sickness and disgust at strong smells. However, some women at 20 weeks of pregnancy experience certain symptoms such as tenderness and bleeding of the gums.
This happens due to the increase in progesterone and estrogen in the body, coupled with changes in the blood vessels that change the way the gums react to bacterial plaque, causing bleeding during brushing or flossing.
Therefore, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene and consult your dentist if the discomfort persists.
During this week you may also start to feel some discomfort in your lower back, and although it is too early to buy a nursing pillow, you can help yourself with these special pillows to improve the position when sitting or lying down.
On the other hand, most mothers affirm that at 20 weeks of pregnancy the baby’s movements are perceived with greater force and frequency, this does not mean that your baby did not move before this week, but that now he is bigger and when you stretch or move your legs you can feel those little kicks.
anxiety in pregnancy
The 20 weeks pregnancy in months tells us that there are only 4 months left to wait for the due date, which could occur at any time after 40 weeks. It is during these months that anxiety in the mother increases, as well as stress levels, which can directly affect an increase in heart rate and also in the activities of the baby.
Remember that all your emotions are reflected in the fetus and, although we know that it is impossible to live without stress today, you can choose to prevent anxiety from taking over your feelings and thoughts.
Therefore, our recommendation is to focus on resting a lot, eating well, doing some physical activity that you like, in addition to using your free time to enjoy with your family, go out with friends, relax and enjoy this stage.
Do not forget that if you are calm, your baby will be too, so dedicate yourself to enjoying the remaining months of your pregnancy and get ready for the most beautiful experience of your life.