What to Expect at 20 Weeks Pregnant
This article is going to cover how big your baby currently is, what symptoms you may be experiencing, as well as what preparations may be smart to make during this week of your pregnancy
Week 20 pregnancy
The 20th week of pregnancy is such an exciting milestone; you’re halfway there! There are probably 4 million things going through your head this week. Is my baby healthy? Is everything progressing as it should? Am I doing everything I can do for him/her? More than likely, if you’re attending regular doctor’s appointments, you know the answer to those questions. In addition to that, you may already know your baby’s sex! Continue reading for some additional information on the exciting changes happening within your body, as well as your little one’s.
Your baby is a banana!
Your baby is about the size of a banana. Crazy, right? That’s INSIDE you! Weighing in at about 10 ounces and 6.5 inches long- your teeny tiny bundle of joy is doing some major growing, in there! Your baby has been doing a lot more swallowing of your amniotic fluid to help with his digestive system. Your baby is also producing merconium, which is a sticky substance that he or she will expel in their first few diapers after birth. So don’t be alarmed when the first soiled baby diaper is very tar-like.
Feeling any of those Symptoms yet?
Symptoms this week can vary, but generally include heartburn and indigestion, leg cramps, and trouble sleeping. Most mom’s have shed the morning sickness by this point, but you may not be so lucky. It’s okay if you’re still feeling it- relax and eat what doesn’t hurt your tummy, as well as things that won’t flare up any heartburn. Also make sure to eat several hours before you go to sleep, that way your stomach has plenty of time to digest. For the leg cramps, you can always get up and walk around; however doing so isn’t as easy as it used to be (are you doing more rolling out of bed, yet?). Try flexing your toe so that it is perpendicular to your leg. If you are experiencing trouble sleeping utilize any pillows you have to make yourself more comfortable (try one between your legs, and even under your belly if you need to.) You can also always look into a maternity pillow, such as the “snoogle” that contours perfectly to your changing body. Your trouble sleeping could also be attributed to the change in your bodies core temperature due to hormones, metabolism, and that extra weight. If so, keep your room cooler than normal, as well as only wear what you absolutely need to sleep in. Weight gain varies greatly depending on whether you were underweight or overweight before getting pregnant. More than likely you have gained around 10 pounds, so far, and you can expect to gain about a pound a week for the duration of your pregnancy.
Have you had a chance to take any birthing or parenting classes? If not, no worries, you still have time! While the doctors and midwives will be able to help you every step of the way, it definitely does not hurt to have some practice, especially if you are a first time mom. If you haven’t already, you’re probably getting ready to talk to your work about your exciting news. Make sure you talk to your company about anything you need to do prepare for maternity leave; whatever can be done to to make the last half of your pregnancy easier is always a good idea!
Take care of your body (and theirs)
Your body is working overtime to make sure you, and your baby, make it through this process in the healthiest way possible. You can discuss with your doctor any special dietary measurements you need to be taking, but iron is definitely an element that is important for you and baby during your pregnancy. Eating red meat is a good way to build up the iron that your baby needs, as well poultry (especially the dark meat), legumes, iron fortified cereal, products that are soy-based, spinach, raisins, and prune juice.
Taking some time for yourself
Whether your a first time mom or not, your life is about to change in a big way. Make sure you are taking plenty of time to de-stress everyday, as well as treat yourself a little. Read a book, exercise, watch a movie, cuddle with your significant other: whatever it is that helps you be YOU at the end of your day. One great idea is to get some professional maternity pictures taken (although I’m sure you’ve been taking some bump pictures every step of the way!) Some suggestions for a little indulgence: get a pedicure/manicure, on your own or with some friends. Loosen up with a prenatal massage, buy some cute clothes to relax around the house, or an outfit that makes you feel beautiful for a night out on the town with your honey. Growing a human being is hard work, and you definitely deserve it, mama-to-be!
Featured photo credit: Baby Learns How To Grab via flickr.com