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Track Your Baby's Development Week By Week
Track Your Baby's Development Week By Week
..where little means a lot

Note: The length, weight and size mentioned below are only a guideline, as these vary from baby to baby and from one pregnancy to another.

What is going on with your baby during week 20?

  • From crown to rump your baby measures at 6½ inches, and weighs about 9oz or 255g. Fetus is the size of a mango.
  • Baby's permanent teeth are starting to form behind his baby teeth.
  • Baby's legs are beginning to stretch out more instead of lying in a curled position.
  • Baby is starting to produce meconium, a dark colored by-product of digestion which will accumulate in baby's bowels.
  • From this point on baby seems to be able to differentiate between mornings, afternoons and nights by becoming more active at certain times more than others.
  • Your baby has now all the neurons that he will need.
  • Baby will be more active and flexible this trimester.

Week 20 Fetus

Changes in you at this stage Week 20

  • You have made it to the halfway mark finally!
  • Your uterus is continuing to expand - by 20th week it will reach your navel.
  • Sleeping problems are commonplace during pregnancy and gets more obvious as time goes by.
  • Around now you may feel a pulling and stabbing pain in your groin or a sharp cramp down your side more so after making a sudden move. This is round ligament pain, which although painful is harmless.
  • By the time you reach this point you probably would have gained about 10 pounds.
  • Iron deficiency anemia develops most often after 20 weeks of pregnancy - it can make you tired and more prone to illness.
  • Adjust your diet to prevent heartburn or indigestion which may interfere with your sleep. Use pillows to support your bump.
  • Your growth will now be monitored by measuring the height of your uterus with a tape measure - your uterus in now in line with your belly button. From now on the growth at the top of your uterus will grow at a rate of one cm a week.

Good to Know in Week 20


  • Some studies show that thongs may increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis and UTI during pregnancy. You don't have to discontinue its use if you have no discomfort or problems.


  • The growth rate of uterus is more regular now. Your doctor will measure the size of your uterus from the pubic bone to the top of your uterus or fundus to gauge pregnancy progress. The distance is measured in cm and should be equal to the number of weeks you are, plus or minus 2 cm. If the measurements are not consistent for 2 weeks your doctor will arrange for an ultrasound to rule out discrepancies.


  • This is the growth of myelin in the brain; it is a substance that acts like an electrical insulator of the systems that sends messages between parts of the brain. The coating of myelin keeps the wiring of the brain from crossing signals. A slow process, it begins now and continues through the first year of baby's life. The myelin composes of about 80% fat and 20% protein - that is why pediatricians advise a high level of fats in babies’ diets until about age 2.

Wholesome Advice in Week 20

  • Dry hair will need extra conditioning during your pregnancy months because it becomes drier as hormonal changes occur. Conversely oily hair may become greasier. Whatever the condition try using milk shampoo only.
  • As you get bigger comfort becomes the key issue. Underwear can be worn above or below your waistline. Over-the-belly offers COMFORT. Under-the-belly offers comfort, a sexy appearance and if you prefer exposing your belly, then this is your type. Maternity versions come with spandex to provide support to your tummy below.
  • You shouldn't just sleep on the left side because that is best for your baby. Relax and lie on whichever side that is comfortable.

Your actions can impact your baby's growth at this stage

Safe Traveling

  • The two key issues to consider during travel are UTI and blood clots in the legs. UTI is more common as it is during pregnancy, and more likely to increase if you sit for long periods without taking frequent breaks to flex your leg muscles. Reduce the stress of UTI by walking to the washroom a couple of times whether you are traveling by road or air
  • It is proven that pregnant women are more prone to develop blood clots because pregnancy alters the coagulation factors in blood. The red flag here is if the blood clot dislodges and makes its way to the lungs causing a deadly pulmonary embolus. The solution is simple, stretch your legs and exercise the muscles in your legs to maintain the flow
  • Always fasten your seatbelt if in a car journey - it is always safer for a pregnant mother to be belted. If involved in any road mishap, however small, it is best to get a thorough evaluation. Make it a point to take breaks and visit the washroom and stretch those legs.
  • Fly only in a commercial pressurized cabin. Drink plenty of fluids and walk down the aisle a couple of times. Most airlines require a note from your doctor after weeks 32 of pregnancy. Once you are within a month of your due date, it is advisable to restrict your travel as this is the time you are most likely to go into labor. Various complications can occur now as well. Your prenatal visits are more frequent - once or twice a week so it is best to stay on home grounds.

Brain work

  • Now is the time when your baby's brain is developing and a good time for you to ensure you are getting adequate fat. You need to make sure you are getting some amount of real non-hydrogenated fat in your diet.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines are good for your baby's brains. However limit the intake to about 12 oz a week because of possible high mercury content
  • You can include fats in nuts, avocados and olive oil and the fats from dairy products - try limiting your fat intake to one-third of your daily calories.
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Common Concerns in in Week 20

Is it normal to have aches in the lower abdomen?

  • It is normal to go through this - the aches are caused by the stretched muscles and ligaments that support your uterus. You are likely to experience this when you cough or get up from a seated position mostly.
  • What you need to do is rest - sit down and place your feet up and relax. Flexing your knees towards your abdomen provides you the relief as well.
  • Alternatively you can lie down on either side with a pillow tucked under your belly and another between your legs.
  • If the pain is severe with cramps, bleeding, fever or a feeling of faintness, please alert your doctor.

Should I be eating lots of dairy products now that I am in my 2nd trimester?

  • It all depends on how much you normally take. Dairy products are excellent sources of calcium, protein, vitamin D and phosphorus - all essential for baby's growth and development in areas like bones and teeth, heart and nerves and blood clotting as well.
  • Aim to eat 3-4 servings of calcium-rich foods a day during your pregnancy enough to give you 1000mg. Opt for low or non fat daily products - you will benefit from all the necessary nutrients without the excess fat

I feel more comfortable sharing my pregnancy concerns with my girlfriend than my partner - is this normal?

  • Many women don't feel totally understood by their partners during their pregnancies. They feel more comfortable talking to their female counterparts i.e. friend, sister or mother. A man tends to have a different perspective and this is largely to do with him having no comprehension on the minute details and feelings of being pregnant. So while it is perfectly normal to share your pregnancy with your girlfriend there are other ways your partner can participate and be a part of your pregnancy.

Weekly Nutrition advice in Week 20

  • Many women use artificial sweeteners to help cut calories. Aspartame and saccharin are the two most common artificial sweeteners used in foods and beverages.
  • Aspartame (sold under brand names NutraSweet and Equal) are the most common ones in the market. Saccharin, not so popular today, is also added to many foods and beverages.
  • Aspartame is a combination of phenylalanine and aspartic acid, two amino acids. There has been controversy as to its safety during pregnancy. It is advisable that you substitute foods that do not contain the sweetener.
  • If you suffer from phenylketonuria, you must follow a low-phenylalanine diet or your baby will suffer adverse effects. In all other situations, limit your use of artificial sweeteners if you cannot help it.
  • Saccharine is not as widely used as it was before. However some foods and beverages still contain saccharine. Its use in pregnancy is not safe so it is best to avoid foods and beverages with saccharine content during pregnancy.
  • If you can avoid them, do not resort to artificial sweeteners. It is probably best to totally eliminate any substances you can do without from the foods you eat and beverages you drink.
  • Splenda is a trade name for a low-calorie sweetener called sucralose, and it is derived from sugar. Sugar passes through the body without being metabolized - your body does not recognize it as either sugar or carbohydrate which is what makes sucralose low calorie. Sucralose is used in salad dressings, baked goods, desserts, dairy products beverages, jams and jellies, coffee, tea, syrups. The good news is Splenda or sucralose is safe for pregnant and nursing women to use.

Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.

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