You’re 20 weeks pregnant – around halfway there! You’re definitely looking and feeling pregnant now. Your uterus is around the same height as your belly button now and you are probably finding it a bit harder to bend in the middle!
Pregnancy up to this point can seem like a one-sided affair to your partner. Not much looks to be going on from the outside but clearly a lot is happening on the inside! Your partner might be feeling a little relieved that early pregnancy symptoms have eased off and excited to feel his baby moving soon too.
The halfway mark can be a good time to check in with each other and reconnect, especially if you have been really tired up to now. Perhaps your partner has been concerned about how to bond with your growing baby or has worries about becoming a dad. Communication between couples about how they see themselves as parents can’t start too early.
Maybe a weekend away will give you a chance to take stock of where you are at and how you see the next months unrolling. Involve each other in things outside of baby’s arrival can be important too. Even a movie night at home snuggling up can do your connection wonders.
20 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body
You may find that you’re sweating quite a lot now, which is your body’s way of trying to cool off. Stay hydrated and don’t allow yourself to get overheated. The sweating will ease off after baby is born.
Your energy levels should be back to normal now, especially after a good night’s sleep. Make sure to include plenty of protein-rich foods in your diet to help boost your energy levels. You may notice that at the end of the day you are tired, have a backache and swollen feet. Take the time to put your feet up and rest to help alleviate these symptoms.
It is really important to ensure you are getting plenty of nutrients in your diet, especially iron. During pregnancy your blood volume increases by up to 50% more than usual. Iron is required to make haemaglobin (protein in red blood cells that delivers oxygen) and it is normal for iron levels to drop to accommodate the extra blood volume. Iron can be found in red meat, dark leafy greens, dried fruits and oatmeal. Consuming iron rich foods with those high in Vitamin C helps boost iron absorption.
At 20 weeks pregnant, you are more prone to urinary tract infections (UTI), because the smooth muscles in your urinary tract relax. Keep an eye out for symptoms such as pain or burning when you urinate. Frequent urination is a common symptom of a bladder infection but is also common during pregnancy. If you have any pain or burning when you urinate it is a good idea to see your caregiver, as untreated UTIs can lead to more serious problems like kidney infections
20 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby
Your baby growing fast but still has plenty of room to move about and you can really feel them as movements rather than flutters.
Loud noises can cause your baby to startle and he can recognise your voice over other people’s voices. If you haven’t started talking to him already, now is a good time. Listening to classical music at the end of the day may be soothing to both of you, especially if you take a warm bath at the same time. Just remember not to use water that is too hot.
At 20 weeks pregnant your baby is beginning to produce meconium, which is a thick tar-like substance that fills the intestines and will be his first bowel movement after birth.
This week, your baby weighs about 289 grams, and is 16.5 cm long, about the size of a banana.