20 Weeks Pregnant - Baby Development, Pregnancy Symptoms & Tips
Table of Contents
How Big Is My Baby At 20 Weeks Pregnant?
Your baby has thin eyebrows and is about the size of a banana. The baby is about 6.46 inches long and weighs about 10.58 ounces.
- Your baby is more active. You can even feel slight flickering or fluttering.
- Your baby’s external ears have fully developed.
- Eyebrows, eyelashes, fingernails, and toenails have taken shape. Now, the baby can even scratch itself.
- Lungs, digestive system, and immune system are developing.
- Your baby started sucking the thumb as part of developing a sucking reflex.
- Arms and legs have lengthened and they look more like human limbs now.
- Your baby’s bones are strengthening and getting stronger.
20 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Weight Gain: By this week you would have gained 8-13 pounds. Gaining 1-2 pounds per week is normal in the second semester.
Dizziness: Many pregnant women experience dizziness and lightheadedness throughout their pregnancy. Sometimes you may feel that you are about to fall or faint. These symptoms are caused by many different reasons. The growth of more blood vessels in early pregnancy, the pressure of the expanding uterus on blood vessels, falling blood sugar levels, low blood pressure, and the body’s increased need for food all can contribute to making a pregnant woman feel lightheaded and dizzy.
Blurred Vision: You may have blurred vision due to a build-up of fluid in your eyes. You need not to worry, as it is a common and normal side effect at this stage of pregnancy.
Shortness Of Breath: Pregnancy hormones cause nasal congestion due to increased mucus production. This may lead to trouble breathing.
Aches And Pains: You may feel different aches and pain all around, such as back pain, round ligament pain, and lower abdomen pain. This happens because of stretching of muscles to accommodate your growing baby.
Varicose Veins: You might notice visible veins crisscrossing your breasts, abdominal area, and legs. This is a symptom of varicose veins and is common during pregnancy. Varicose veins are swelling and enlarged veins mostly in the lower legs and feet. Increased blood volume during pregnancy causes veins to swell and enlarge. The pressure exerted by the uterus on the large veins behind it causes the blood to slow in its return to the heart. These things cause varicose veins. Changing positions often, propping your legs, getting plenty of exercises, and avoiding tight clothes and shoes can help.
Heartburn & Indigestion: Heartburn occurs when stomach acids move upwards to the esophagus. This happens due to the relaxation of the valve between the stomach and esophagus. Indigestion occurs due to the relaxed digestive system caused by pregnancy hormones.
Hot Flashes: You may feel abnormally hot. Hot flashes occur due to increased blood flow and hormonal activity.
Sleeping Problems: Your sleep may be disrupted by body aches, leg cramps, and frequent urination.
Constipation: During pregnancy, hormones slow down the digestive system, leaving you constipated. Eating enough fiber-rich foods, wholemeal bread, cereals, and drinking plenty of water will help.
Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids are common during pregnancy and almost half of the pregnant women get hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are swollen, inflamed, and bulging veins in the rectum and anus. They can cause discomfort, itching, pain, and bleeding. An increased volume of the blood during pregnancy can cause veins to swell and enlarge. The expanding uterus also puts pressure on the veins in the rectum. Constipation can worsen hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids usually improve after giving birth.
Increased Vaginal Discharge: May experience increased vaginal discharge during this week. This happens due to hormonal changes and to prevent infections from reaching the uterus. It is normal and is not a cause to worry. Call your doctor if it is heavy, colored, tinged with blood, has a foul odor, or causes discomfort.
Frequent Urination: You may need to pee frequently because of hormones and extra pressure exerted by the uterus on the bladder.
Edema: Your ankles, hands and feet may swell. This happens when your body holds more water during pregnancy, which can move towards the lowest parts of your body. Taking the load off, avoiding standing for long periods of time, and popping your feet up higher than your heart will help.
Leg Cramps: Cramping occurs in legs when you are lying in bed during the night. They can deprive you of your sleep. Straightening your legs and gently stretching your ankles and toes will help.
20 Weeks Pregnant: Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy
- Enroll in a childbirth class and read everything you can about pregnancy and birth.
- Schedule an ultrasound to check how the baby is doing and to find out the gender of the baby.
- Continue to follow good prenatal habits like eating healthy food and taking folic acid and prenatal vitamins daily.
- Include calcium-rich foods in your diet so that your baby gets enough calcium to strengthen the bones.
- Wear breathable, loose clothes and a supportive bra to feel more comfortable.
- Include healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, lean meat, cereals, and dairy products in your diet.
- Eat small meals or snacks at regular intervals for better digestion and to prevent heartburn.
- Keep yourself adequately hydrated by drinking a lot of water.
- Take plenty of rest and sleep at least 8 hours a day.
- Engage in a moderate exercise like stretching, walking, or swimming.
- Avoid long and strenuous physical activity, exercises involving jerky or sudden movements.
- Don’t take any medication or herb without your doctor’s clearance.
- Spend time or keep in touch with family, friends, and other loved ones and share your feelings. This will help you to cope with stress and anxiety and stay calm and relaxed.
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