Fetal development in pregnancy week 20:
Your baby now weighs about 9 ½ ounces and measures about 6 ½ inches long. You’re halfway through your pregnancy and baby is very active by now! Over the next few weeks the baby will move so much that it may be hard to sleep. This will continue until it gets very crowded for the baby. Babies that are born at 20 weeks have a 50% chance of survival.
From now until your little one is about five years old the brain is developing very quickly. Nerve cells that have already developed are making complex connections and sensory perception development peaks this week.
Little boy’s testes will begin dropping from the pelvis into the scrotum. Legs have getting close to the final length and are very proportionate at this point. The skeleton is getting harder and the hands are getting stronger. Babies will blink more now and the lunago (fine hair that covers the body) is very thick around the head, neck and face. Hair on the scalp is growing as well.
By pregnancy week 20 you might start feeling clumsier. Many women are surprised to find how bulky a bulging belly can be, while others dance and prance about lightly with their growing bellies. Many women get into the habit of comparing their bumps around 20 weeks pregnant and beyond. Keep in mind that all women carry differently. Some will carry “high” and others will carry “low”. Some will carry most of their weight in their tummy and others in their behind. It is all perfectly normal and perfectly beautiful. Don’t worry or obsess about the size of your bump or any other part of your body for that matter.
Keep in mind the size of your bump does not necessarily correlate with the size of your baby. Some women will barely show and go on to deliver a 9 pound baby, whereas others will look very big and deliver a 6 ï¿½ pound baby. You really can’t tell by looking at someone’s belly.
Around 20 weeks pregnant your healthcare provider will however start taking an active interest in the size of your bump. Many will measure your uterus from your pubic symphysis to the top of your uterus (or fundus). Others may measure from your belly button up. Usually the size of your uterus (not your belly) corresponds to the number of weeks pregnant you are. Most women’s bellies will grow roughly 1 inch every week from now until about 36 weeks pregnant.
If you are measuring large for dates it is possible you may be due sooner than expected. You may be also measuring smaller which may suggest your baby is due later than expected. This can sometimes be an indication of a problem like intrauterine growth retardation, but typically complications like this are not common.
Take mom out to dinner to celebrate the half-way point in pregnancy. My husband adds that a gift for the baby is also a nice touch. This is particularly true if you’re just finding out if your baby is a girl or a boy.
Think you’ll miss your favorite pair of jeans once you get pregnant? Think again! Modern moms know that there is an exceptional selection of Maternity Jeans available at Destination Maternity! No longer do pregnant women have to suffer wearing paneled pants with no style or class. Today’s maternity denim is often made of breathable, stretchy fabric and comes in a variety of styles, including non-paneled versions for the fashion conscious mom-to-be!
You can typically find great looking casual wear, skirts, pants, shorts and even tops all made of denim when looking for maternity items to complete your pregnancy wardrobe. Most maternity denim is made of stretchy fabric that is designed for functionality as well as comfort!
Pregnancy Health Tips
Many women decide to sign up for childbirth education classes during their pregnancy, particularly first time moms. These classes can be particularly beneficial for the labor and delivery process. Childbirth classes are a means to focus on your impending role as a parent, and a means to express your concerns and worries prior to delivery. Most childbirth classes will teach you the ins and outs of labor and delivery, help you understand what you can expect during the first few weeks of parenthood, and offer vital tips and tricks for coping with fatigue, stress, and other concerns in the postpartum period.
Most classes will instruct you regarding the signs of labor or pre labor, and help you learn relaxation and breathing techniques for labor and delivery. Others will also cover important aspects of labor and delivery such as pain medication options and hospital procedures. Your instructor may also cover natural birthing options, recovery from a vaginal delivery, and information on c-sections. While most women predict that their labor will go off without a hitch, you simply never know when a c-section might be necessary. Because of this, it is important that you are prepared in the event that you may need one.
For the most part, you will want to dress comfortably for class and bring a pillow and partner. Your partner will help coach you through the relaxation and breathing exercises you need to adopt for labor and delivery. The two most popular childbirth classes are the Lamaze classes and Bradley Method Classes.
Lamaze classes typically emphasize managing your pain through relaxation, meditation, and breathing techniques. Lamaze is a natural approach to birth, but can be used in conjunction with pain relief. The Bradley Method is often considered a comprehensive approach to pregnancy and delivery. Typically, this method emphasizes diet and exercise and teaches deep breathing techniques for labor and delivery.
Some other classes you may find useful include newborn baby or infant CPR and breastfeeding. A breastfeeding class can be invaluable if you plan on breastfeeding your baby exclusively. Your instructor will cover a variety of topics including pumping and storing your breast milk, different latch positions, and methods for coping with problems while breastfeeding. A breastfeeding class may also provide you with contact information for local lactation consultants that can help you with the breastfeeding process after delivery.
If you’re having your first ultrasound, you might be surprised to find that there is more than one in there!