20 Weeks Pregnant
Here's what's happening during Week 20 of your pregnancy.
Your Growing Baby:
A white, creamy substance called vernix caseosa protects the skin from its aqueous environment. Sweat glands form. Length: about 10 inches; weight: 9 ounces. Fetus fact: Starting now, immunities are being transferred from you to the fetus.
Your Growing Belly:
Around now, you should feel a psychological boost: You've made it halfway already! It's a good time to find a childbirth class to educate you about labor and calm any anxieties. Plus, you'll meet other parents-to-be and possibly create friendships for both you and your child in the years to come.
Your care provider will now monitor your growth by measuring the height of your uterus with fingers or a tape measure. Your uterus is now about in line with your belly button. From now on, the top of your uterus will grow toward your rib cage at a rate of one centimeter a week.
Tips & To-Do's:
Too big or too little
Starting at about 20 weeks, your doctor or midwife will measure your fundal weight, or distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus, at every prenatal visit. "It is a one-to-one correlation," Thoppil explains. "At 20 weeks, for instance, the measurement should be around 20 centimeters." If it deviates by 3 centimeters one way or the other, your care provider will most likely follow up with an ultrasound to see if the baby is too large or too small. Interesting facts to know as your baby bump grows.
Things to think about this week
You're halfway there! Do you need a doula? A doula is not trained to deliver babies, but rather lends support to women and their families, providing encouragement and information through late pregnancy, labor and birth. Find out more.
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Each episode of the new Pregnancy Confidential podcast, hosted by our editors, walks listeners through the physical, emotional and all-round quirks of each week of pregnancy. This is real-talk, girlfriend-to-girlfriend stuff—no hard-to-understand medical information here—taking you through the real feelings of pregnancy so you're never alone. And it'll have you chuckling all along the way. All episodes available now!