20 weeks pregnant: Fetal development, symptoms and more

Congratulations! you’re now halfway towards the finish line even though your due date may seem far away. At this week, you may not be experiencing excessive morning sickness or fatigue and your baby isn’t so big to make you uncomfortable. So enjoy this special time.

Fetal development at 20 weeks 

  • Your baby is about 6.5 inches long from crown to rump and weighs about 10.58 ounces. That’s about the size of a banana.
  • Your little one’s skin is now coated with Vernon, a white, creamy substance thought to protect their skin while they’re in the womb.
  • At this week, your baby practices the reflex action of sucking their thumb in preparation for nursing.
  • Their fingerprints are also formed

Your body at 20 weeks pregnant 

  • Your uterus expanding probably to your belly button.
  • Weight gain and swelling from extra fluids in your ankles and feet, this is completely normal. It is called edema.
  • Your sex drive will also increase but may fluctuate as the pregnancy progresses. Sex during pregnancy is safe, embrace it.
  • You might feel a bit breathless at times, especially when you’re lying flat on your back.

Your symptoms at 20 weeks 

  • Swollen feet. This can be caused by both weight gain and fluid retention, but a hormone called relaxin also contributes. This hormone relaxes ligaments and joints to help make it easier for your baby to pass through the pelvis during birth, but relaxin also loosens the ligaments elsewhere in your body including those in your feet, causing them to spread. Find here Ways to reduce swollen feet during pregnancy
  • Constipation. Your growing baby pushing against your intestines and hormonal activities can lead to constipation.
  • Lower back pain. As your pregnancy progresses and your weight increases, you might find your back hurting, particularly toward the end of the day.
  • Forgetfulness. You may be having a hard time concentrating as well as you used to, and you may find that you’re forgetting small things. It might help to create checklists or reminders (on paper, sticky notes, or your phone), and to give yourself some extra breaks while doing tasks that require your concentration.
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions. This is also known as false labour pains. The contractions are unpredictable, and not everyone will experience them. The contractions are usually mild (you may not even notice some), vary in intensity and duration, and aren’t usually a cause for concern.

Checklists

  • Continue to take care of yourself by eating well.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Sleeping soundly.