At 20 weeks pregnant you’ve made it to the halfway mark of your pregnancy!
You may feel your baby moving and you should be looking forward to your 20-week scan.
How big is my baby this week?
At 20-weeks pregnant your little bundle of joy will be around the size of a banana! That size translates to approximately 9.5 inches in length and around 11.5 ounces in weight.
What’s my baby doing?
Your baby at 20-weeks pregnant will be starting to make great strides in its development. Its arms and legs will be growing in length and internal organs developing.
With this in mind, some amazing developmental milestones for your baby by week 20 are:
- Having a heartbeat strong enough to be detected easily
- Formed their eyebrows, fingernails, toenails and eyelashes
- Can scratch themselves
- Hear noises clearly and swallow!
Changes in your body
Your baby’s weight has now overtaken that of the placenta, which will be placing more strain on your body size this week.
At your 20-week scan, the position of your placenta will be checked. To begin with, this is to see how close the placenta sits to your cervix and the womb opening. This is commonly known as the placenta praevia, and it can cause challenges at birth. After this, as you move through your pregnancy, it’s normal for the uterus to increase in size and lifts the placenta away from the cervix.
That being the case, a low-lying placenta normally corrects itself before childbirth.
From 20-weeks it’s common for mums-to-be to start noticing the appearance of stretch marks. In short, as your beautiful baby grows your skin will accommodate their growth by stretching. Because of this, there are lots of wonderful creams and oils available that will help keep your skin buttery-smooth. Make sure you always speak to your pharmacist or GP to check any oils and lubricants are safe to use through your pregnancy.
Things to do at 20 weeks pregnant
It’s time for your 20-week screening scan this week.
Your 20-week scan is an ultrasound examination and performed on your abdomen. Incidentally, these scans are normally conducted by sonographers, who are specially trained medical staff. A sonographer takes a detailed look at your baby and checks through all your baby’s major organs to see if they’re working properly.
At your scan, you will find out more about the location of your placenta, your amniotic fluid levels, and even the sex of your baby (if you want to know). Lots of women bring their partners with them to the 20-week scan as they tend to be very exciting.
Week 20 is a fabulous time to start thinking about childbirth and antenatal classes.
The two most common antenatal classes in the UK are the NHS (National Health Service) and the NCT (National Childbirth Trust). The NHS run antenatal classes in most areas for free and you can find out more about them here. The NCT course is a popular paid option and you can read more about their services here. In summary, choose the one that works best for you and your partner and bank balance!
Last but not least, it can be very reassuring to familiarise yourself with the birthing environment before you go into labour. Many hospitals now carry out regular tours of their labour and delivery wards and 20-weeks pregnant is a good time to check in with your midwife about your booking options.