Your Weekly Update: 20 Weeks Pregnant

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What’s better than being pregnant? Being halfway to the finish line, of course! Congratulations, you are now 20 weeks pregnant and exactly 20 more weeks away from meeting your little one. (Give or take a week or two of course). Let’s take a look at the many different ways you and your baby are changing this week.

Baby Development

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Your little booger is not a little booger anymore. Your baby is about the size of a mango this week and is weighing in at about 10 ½ pounds. You may not feel it, but your little one is going strong at practicing his digesting and sucking reflexes. He is spending a good part of his day swallowing a lot of fluid and spitting it back out. All good practice for when he starts eating once he is born. If you are lucky, you might even catch a glimpse or two on the sonogram of your little one sucking his thumb.

As he practices swallowing, his little body is also starting to produce meconium. Meconium is the buildup that will be his first bowel movement. Though he won’t pass it until birth (some babies may have a bowel movement at the final stage of pregnancy), you will know when he does. Meconium is a black, tarry substance that can be stringy or liquidy. Your baby’s first couple of bowels after he is born will look like this. Fair warning, be sure to change their diaper quickly once they are born. Meconium tends to fly out when they are passing a stool.

Mommy’s Development

20 weeks pregnant is one of the points in pregnancy when you really start feeling the effects of pregnancy. You may have noticed that your hair and nails are growing a little faster and a little stronger. The wonky increase of hormones due to your pregnancy is the cause of this. They up the blood circulation in your body, thus upping the nutrients that are getting to the different parts of your body.

For the lucky moms, the days of nausea are well behind you. But for the unlucky few, you might still be experiencing horrible bouts of morning sickness. Whether or not you have gotten over the morning sickness yet, the best eating approach to take is the grazing one. Split up your meals into six little meals throughout the day instead of three big meals. This is the best way to fight off pregnancy annoyances like heartburn and indigestion. Don’t worry; you will get a fair share of these annoyances in the last month of your pregnancy.

20 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms And How To Fight Them

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20 weeks pregnant will bring with it some new pregnancy annoyances if they have not already arrived. Here are some of the most common annoyances as well as how to fight them off.

Headaches

You might find yourself at 20 weeks pregnant getting more headaches than you are accustomed to. The increased demand on your body can be thanked for this. You might notice that the headaches can sneak up on you if you are in stuffy, cramped spaces like work offices. Fluorescent lighting can exacerbate the situation as well. If you find yourself in a setting like this, then give yourself a break and go outside. A little fresh air can go a long way when you are trying to get rid of a headache.

Overheating is another common culprit of headaches. Keep yourself cool throughout the day by dressing in loose fitting clothes. It is also best to dress in layers. This way, you shed off some layers if you feel yourself getting a little too warm throughout the day.

Lightheadedness And Dizziness

Speaking of overheating, with your body being a powerhouse of warmth due to being 20 weeks pregnant, you may experience occasional bouts of lightheadedness and dizziness. You may find that being in a closed, stuffy, small space doesn’t help the situation. While you can’t quit your job to get away from stuffy offices, you can give yourself breaks. Go out for a walk and get some fresh air. Be sure to bring a bottle of water with you to help hydrate.

Leg Aches and Cramping

While it is unclear what specifically causes leg aches and cramps during pregnancy, there are some suspected culprits. At 20 weeks pregnant, you may have noticed an increase of pain in your legs. There are a few things you can do to help alleviate the pain. For starters, give yourself a break by resting on a chair and putting your legs up. Be sure to do this throughout the day to help ease some of the strain on your legs. Not only will propping your legs up help fight off some of the aching, but it will encourage your blood to circulate back up to your heart.

Swollen Ankles and Feet (Edema)

For an unlucky many, edema may start making its debut at 20 weeks pregnant. Edema is the swelling of your hands, ankles, and feet. You may even see some swelling in other places such as your face. Edema is essentially fluid retention. Unfortunately, edema can be less than comfortable. Thankfully, there are a couple of things you can do to fight off edema. For starters, avoid wearing anything tight like socks, pantyhose, or pants that feel suffocating. Proper circulation is the best way to fight off edema. This is difficult to do if you are wearing clothes that are too compressing. Finally, make it a habit of putting your feet up to encourage blood circulation.

Pained Feet And Proper Footwear

If you have not already, then 20 weeks pregnant is the best time to invest in proper footwear. Having proper footwear can help decrease or even eliminate some of the annoyances of pregnancy. When you are shopping for footwear, look for something that is comfortable yet supportive. Gel inserts are great additions to your everyday outdoor shoes that can help with support. When you get home, you’ll want to have a comfortable pair of home slippers to switch into as well. Remember to keep your footwear supportive, comfy, and loose. You don’t want anything too tight that will obstruct proper circulation.

Prenatal Check-Up

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You probably have already visited your doctor or midwife for your second-month trimester checkup. If you haven’t already, then it’s time to do so. 20 weeks pregnant is when you can schedule your second-trimester ultrasound. This is perhaps one of the most exciting ultrasounds because if you wanted to find out the gender of the baby, this is the ultrasound to do so.

Not only do you get to have a peek at whether you will be having a little boy or little girl, but your 20 weeks pregnant ultrasound will give your doctor or midwife a great deal of information about how your baby is developing. If you are having a little girl, your little one’s uterus has fully developed, and the vaginal canal is starting to develop. Though she will have about two million eggs in her little ovaries when she is born, she is starting to develop her primitive ones at 20 weeks pregnant. If you are having a little boy, then your little guy’s testicles are starting to drop at 20 weeks pregnant as well.

Get Closer To Your Baby

If you haven’t yet, you may start feeling subtle jabs in your belly area. This is your little one kicking you. Second time moms are more likely to feel baby kicking than first-time moms are. This is just because second-time moms already know the feeling and know what to look out for. While you are 20 weeks pregnant, get close to your baby by rubbing back every time you feel a kick. Your baby might not feel you just yet, but this will help you get close to your baby and start that special bond that only exists between mom and baby.

Get To Shopping

At 20 weeks pregnant, you can still move around with ease and thanks to morning sickness taking a back seat. Make the most out of this by getting some shopping done. Both for the house and for yourself. While you are out and about, make sure you are on the lookout for some must-have pregnancy products.

Keep a good bottle of stretch mark cream handy as you enter your second and third trimester. Look for stretch mark creams that work double duty as a hydrating cream. Though it is impossible to fight off stretch marks,(you can thank your genetics for that), you can take some steps to help reduce their severity of them. Hydrate your skin often both with moisturizer and by drinking plenty of fluids. This will help with your skin’s elasticity and will encourage stretching to happen with a little less strain.

Are You Ready For Your Baby’s Big Day?

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With nausea taking a backseat in your pregnancy, this is a good time for you to get ready and prepare for your baby’s arrival. If you have found out the gender, then this is a great time to start painting the nursery. Pick out paint colors and room decorations while you still have the energy to move around. Of course, let a friend, family member, or your significant other paint the room for you. Nesting may not have kicked in just yet at 20 weeks pregnant, but it’s never too early start.

Final Thoughts

Before you know it, your 20 weeks of pregnancy will be up, and you will have passed the halfway mark of pregnancy. If there was ever a point in your pregnancy to enjoy it, 20 weeks pregnant is the time to do so. Enjoy this special time and continue to foster that mommy baby bond during this week.

Related Article: 8 Before and After Pregnancy Photo Ideas You Won’t Want To Miss

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