Week Twenty of Your Pregnancy


Week 20 Info


This is a very exciting week.  You are now half way through your pregnancy.  You baby weighs about 10 ounces now and about 6 inches long from head to bottom.  Now that he's getting bigger measurements can be given from head to heel and during this week his head to heel length is about 10 inches "about the length of a banana".

He's starting to swallow more of his amniotic fluid.  As his digestive system practices on this fluid he will produce meconium, a black, sticky substance that will make up his first bowel movement.

Your second trimester ultrasound, which is scheduled right around this time "18 - 22 weeks" gives your practitioner a chance to see how things are going on inside and if you are planning on finding out, this may be the time to see if you are having a boy or a girl.  If you are carrying a girl, she has six million eggs in her ovaries - six times the number she will have at birth!  If you're having a boy, his testicles have begun their descent from the abdomen to their ultimate destination-  the scrotum.

Many women at this point are finally starting to "show".  The uterus has grown enough that the fundus "or top of the uterus" can be felt right about at the level of your belly button or umbilicus.  Your provider may start measuring your fundal height from now on at your prenatal visits.  The fundal height is measured from the top of your pubic bone to the top of your uterus in centimeters.  This number should be close to the number of weeks you are in your pregnancy.  You may be finding your appetite coming back with gang busters.  Before you dig into that all-you-can-eat buffet keep in mind that the "grazing" approach is still the best way to feed yourself and your baby.  Eating six smaller meals and snacks will ensure that baby's getting a steady supply of calories when he or she needs it most.

Most women at this point are feeling their baby wiggle and kick.  Don't panic, however, if you can't feel your baby yet.  There is a lot of variation in the sensitivity of a mom to be able to feel her baby.  Also, if the placenta is growing on the front of your uterus then it can act like a "pillow", or cushion between you and your baby and make it harder to feel him until he's stronger.

Now is a good time to start researching Pediatricians.  Your baby will need frequent visits to their doctor within the first couple of week of life.  You don't want to be scrambling to find your baby a doctor when you are already struggling with learning to care for a newborn and sleep deprivation.  Ask friends and family who they use.  Check with your insurance to see if they have a provider list.  Make sure find someone close to home in case of frequent trips at unusual hours of the day or night.  Once you've narrowed the list down to a few providers consider making a pre-birth appointment to meet them and make sure you feel comfortable with them being your baby's provider.

If you and your partner are first time parents you should sign up for a childbirth education class.  They can sometimes fill up quickly so don't wait too long to reserve your spot.  A structured class will help you and your partner prepare for the rigors and unknown of labor and delivery.  Most hospitals and birth centers offer classes, either as weekly meetings or as a single intensive, one or two day weekend session.

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