Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 20th Week
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We have prepared an excellent article for you about 20 weeks of pregnancy. 🙂 We wish all mothers-to-be a pleasant reading in advance.
Congratulations, you’re officially halfway through pregnancy. While the day you found out you were pregnant seemed like yesterday, you will hold your baby in your arms after a long time. As time passes like water, your baby does not stay idle and continues to grow. It shouldn’t be that hard to understand when you look at how much your belly has grown.
We know that you are wondering how the following process will be. If you wish, let’s look at what awaits you and your baby as of the 20th week of pregnancy and what you can do to make the most of the process.
Baby at 20th Week
While you were counting the days, the 20-week-old baby did not sit idle; continued to grow, develop and acquire new skills. So what has changed since the past seven days?
How Big Has My Baby got?
How much has he grown in 1 week; Your baby is almost the size of a banana.
Since last week, he’s only gained 20-40 grams in mass, and he’s grown almost only 1 cm. However, these small numerical values are valuable for your little one; they are huge steps in the development process. The 20-week-old baby’s weight and height are expected to be approximately between the following values.
After the ultrasound examination, your little one’s length and mass values may not be within the average values. If it is above the average, it does not mean that your baby is developing better and below it does not mean that there is a developmental delay. Minor deviations in values are probably the difference between the date of fertilization and the last menstrual period referenced by the doctor. Your doctor will follow the process.
Development of Systems and Newly Acquired Skills
The baby, which has been growing rapidly since fertilization, tries to reach the anatomical structure that an adult human has. The organ and system development of the 20-week-old baby, whose foundations have already been laid in the previous weeks, is approximately at the following level.
As the brain continues to mature, the baby is now in a state of sleep and wakefulness. He will gradually create his sleep pattern, and, like you, he will sleep at certain hours and be awake at certain hours and make a mess.
Apart from neurons, which are the building blocks of the nervous system, there are myelin sheaths made of fat and protein. A 20-week-old baby stores fat under the skin while also forming myelin sheaths around neurons.
Along with the message transmission capacity of the neurons that make up the peripheral nervous system, the spinal cord continues to develop rapidly. This strengthens the communication network between the center in the nervous system and the system and organs to which it is connected. Thus, the baby can move from uncontrolled skeletal movements to controlled movements. This will help the baby to control his body voluntarily in the following weeks. So you better be consciously prepared for somersaults and kicks that will come.
The Circulatory System
Your baby’s circulatory system works with a tremendous mechanism. The volume of blood flowing through the veins continues to increase. The heart pumps the blood through the arteries to the whole body and returns it to the heart through the veins. To do all this, it beats about 140-150 times a minute, much faster than an adult heart.
Veins that expand and thicken in parallel with the increased blood volume become prominent on the skin.
The baby swallows the amniotic fluid in and makes the first digestive practices by sending the protein, urea, acid, and similar substances in the fluid to the stomach. It even accumulates digestive wastes in the intestines. These wastes are not yet expelled from the anus, so there is no defecation for now. It gets in the intestine as a dark-colored, paste-like substance to be excreted immediately after birth. You will meet this substance called meconium as your baby’s first poop.
The system that your puppy will complete its final development is the respiratory system. However, the baby’s airways have formed, and the 20-week-old baby operates the breathing mechanism just like an adult. Of course, with a slight difference, it expels amniotic fluid instead of air. The respiratory canals are still primitive and need a little more development to be able to breathe unaided after birth.
Support and Movement System
Your baby will grow faster and gain weight more quickly from now on. Because while the bones continue to lengthen and thicken rapidly, the cartilage structures ossify by accelerating the mineral deposition.
Muscles become stronger. As a result, the baby can open and close their fingers much more quickly and more easily while moving their hands and arms rapidly.
Facial muscles are developed. Your baby may smile, frown or even look confused while in the womb.
The first set of teeth began to develop under the palate. These tooth roots will show themselves as your baby’s first teeth after birth.
Although the 20-week-old baby’s kidneys are not fully mature, the filtration units have begun to develop. The swallowing reflex develops every week, and the baby drinks the amniotic fluid in which it grows and creates urine with the fluid it drinks. It urinates into the amniotic fluid and then re-swallows the fluid to form urine again.
In the previous weeks, female reproductive system organs such as the uterus, vagina, and fallopian tubes formed female babies. In contrast, the 20th week of pregnancy continues to take shape, grow, and mature. The ovaries (ovaries), containing more than 1 million immature egg cells, begin to develop.
Male reproductive system organs were developed in male babies. This week continues to take shape, grow, and mature. If the testicles have not descended into the scrotum until now, they may descend this week.
The baby does not have an active immune system at 20 weeks of pregnancy. It protects the skin from substances in the amniotic fluid that can cause infection, with a creamy layer called vernix caseosa, which only surrounds the skin.
When and how can I find out my baby's sex?
Along with the reproductive system in girls and boys, the external reproductive organs also developed. So if you haven’t found out the baby’s gender yet, get ready. Because probably at the first ultrasound examination, your doctor will tell you whether the baby will be a girl or a boy.
20 Weeks Baby Moves
As your little one’s bones grow and muscles get stronger, his movements will feel more. Now, 20 weeks of baby movements have reached a level that can be felt. However, it is not easy for first-time mothers to feel these movements. Because the movements are felt as little wiggles, not an obvious kick or twist, the expectant mother may think these movements are gas movements.
Sensory Organs Development in 20 Weeks Old Baby
Each of the sense organs is controlled at different points in the brain. The sensory organs of the 20-week-old baby, whose nervous system is developing rapidly, will also develop parallel.
Eye and Sight
The eyes finally reached their proper place on the head. It increases the number and function of vision receptors. Although the eyelids are still closed, the eyes can move in their sockets thanks to the developing eye muscles.
Ear and Hearing
The ears are not yet where they should be on the head. It continues to move sideways. The auricle becomes prominent outward. He cannot yet hear the sounds around him, but now hearing receptors can listen to some frequencies outside an adult’s hearing range.
Skin and the Sense of Touch
- The number of receptors specialized for touch increases on the skin surface. This allows the baby to perceive stimuli such as temperature, pressure, stiffness in many parts of his body.
- The skin layer continues to store fat. As the amount of stored fat increases, your little one’s wrinkles will fill up, and over time, chubby baby arms and legs will form.
- As the skin stores fat, it begins to lose its transparency.
- The skin has not yet accumulated enough oil to insulate it. For this reason, there is an increase in the number of lanugo hairs that come out for insulation purposes.
- The creamy layer called vernix caseosa, which begins to accumulate on the skin surface, continues to thicken to protect your baby’s skin from the harmful effects of amniotic fluid.
- The channels on which the hair would grow on the scalp had begun to form in the previous weeks. Hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes continue to grow at 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Tongue and Taste
His sense of taste had begun to develop in the previous weeks, now he is on his way to becoming a gourmet. He is already familiar with the taste of the food you eat through the amniotic fluid.
Nose and Sense of Smell
The sense of smell develops in parallel with the sense of taste. Yes, it cannot smell through the air, but it detects the smell of the substances in the amniotic fluid entering the nose with its olfactory receptors.
Mom at 20 Weeks Pregnancy
Yes, your baby has changed even in 7 days. So you? Isn’t it very natural for your body to show some reactions to adapt to the process while it changes so quickly? Let’s examine together what awaits the expectant mother at 20 weeks of pregnancy.
It is one of the most common changes in the expectant mother. The enlarged uterus and the heavier baby begin to press on the stomach to make room for themselves. In addition to this, when pregnancy hormones relax the muscles, the loosened gastric valve muscle opens with the pressure of the baby, and the digested food goes up from the stomach to the esophagus.
Difficulty in Breathing:
As the baby grows, it begins to compress the lungs as well as other internal organs. As a result, the 20-week-old mother may have difficulty breathing.
The enlarged and heavy uterus puts pressure on the bladder, causing the need to go to the toilet even with a small amount of urine.
Urinary Tract Infections:
The pressure of the baby on the bladder can block the urinary channels. Urine accumulating in the clogged urinary tract can lead to urinary tract problems by creating an infection.
Spotting on the Skin:
Skin spots, which are one of the most common problems during pregnancy, become more evident after 20 weeks. These non-permanent spots are expected to disappear after birth.
During 20 weeks of pregnancy, as the baby grows, there is enlargement in certain areas of the skin, especially in the abdomen area, and as the mother gains weight, especially the chest, hips, and legs. When the skin cannot keep up with this rapid expansion, tears and cracks occur on the surface.
Waist and Back Pain:
During these times when you are halfway through pregnancy, your skeletal system, which is trying to adapt to weight gain, maybe strained. These extra pounds, which the body is not used to, can disrupt the center of gravity and cause low back and back pain.
As you and your baby gain weight, the pressure on the uterus increases, and the intestines start to protrude through the anus, which can cause hemorrhoids.
Pregnancy hormones cause muscles to slow down. This effect also affects the intestinal muscles and slows down digestion, resulting in constipation. Constipation is also a negative factor that triggers hemorrhoids.
Things to Consider for a More Comfortable Pregnancy Process!
Although there is a decrease in the symptoms that bother you by the 20th week of pregnancy, some problems can still negatively affect your standard of living. It is possible to get through this process more efficiently in emergencies with simple precautions.
- Many of the symptoms that bother you during pregnancy are due to weight gain. Therefore, be careful about nutrition at 20 weeks of pregnancy. Do not eat for two just because I am two creatures.
- Eating in the form of 3 main meals, three snacks, and in normal portions will be sufficient for both you and your baby and will also prevent you from gaining unnecessary weight. When the situation gets out of control, be sure to seek help from a specialist dietitian.
- Rest whenever you can, and don’t tire yourself by standing up unnecessarily.
- For a comfortable sleep, try not to consume liquids before bed, and sleep by supporting your waist and legs with pillows.
- Consume calcium-rich foods to reduce lower back and back pain.
- Consume fibrous foods and do not neglect to exercise to prevent the aggravation of symptoms in constipation and hemorrhoid problems.
- If you do not want the dark spots on the skin to be permanent, be careful not to expose the stained skin to the sun without using sunscreen.
- To prevent stretch marks, which are likely to increase in these weeks, you should pay attention to controlled weight gain. Using stretch marks cream or herbal oils recommended by your doctor to give the skin elasticity and keep the skin moist will also reduce the formation of stretch marks.
How Much Weight Should You Gain?
With a rough calculation, it would be very wrong to expect to gain half of the total weight you will gain now, considering that 20 weeks coincide with exactly half of the pregnancy because you are expected to gain more weight in the last weeks of pregnancy. If you say how much weight is achieved at 20 weeks of pregnancy; You are expected to gain approximately 4-6 kilos. If you go above this range, handle it without losing control. You should discuss the issue with your doctor before it’s too late and get help from a dietitian if necessary.
Some women may lose weight instead of gaining weight in the first half of pregnancy when problems such as nausea, loss of appetite, and reflux are intense. Your weight will probably start to increase as these symptoms disappear in the coming weeks.
Exercises You Can Do During Pregnancy
There is a misconception in our society that exercise is only done to lose weight or stay fit. However, an active life is as important as a healthy diet for the health of our systems, even while pregnant. Do you know what exercise options are at 20 weeks pregnant?
- Light pace walking
- Stretching movements to strengthen bones, especially the spine
- Group exercises
You should decide together with the obstetrician what exercise you will do during pregnancy and at what intensity. Because in some pregnancies, activity can harm you or your baby.
20 Weeks Pregnancy Checklist
- Twenty weeks of pregnancy is when you can have amniocentesis and a quadruple screening test to measure the possibility of having a genetic anomaly in the baby.
- Your doctor may do a detailed ultrasound scan this week. With this scan, the possibility of a physical or genetic abnormality in your baby will be evaluated.
- It’s an excellent time to read books, accumulate knowledge about pregnancy and baby care.
- Those who have not yet learned the gender of the baby may be wondering whether it will be a boy or a girl this week. You can now search for names.
- Now that you know the gender, you can start shopping for your little one.
- When you are not getting heavy yet, this period is a perfect opportunity to go out with your friends, get together, and share the excitement of a pregnancy with your loved ones.
Pregnancy is a unique period that you can enjoy as long as you have enough information and support about the process. Therefore, knowing what awaits you and your baby in the 20th week of pregnancy will comfort you.
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 1st and 2nd Weeks
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 3rd Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 4th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 5th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 6th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 7th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 8th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 9th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 10th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 11th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 12th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 13th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 14th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 15th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 16th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 17th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 18th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 19th Week
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