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Congratulations on reaching the 20th week of your pregnancy. This week marks the midpoint of the pregnancy, as 40 weeks is counted as the complete term. Let’s discuss the week in detail.
How Big is Your Baby?
Your baby now weighs about 10.2 ounces and it measures 6.5 inches. Though it may appear big, but the growth hasn't stopped yet as there are more milestones to achieve. But yeah, it's halfway through.
Baby’s growth and development
In your 20th week of pregnancy, the baby has got the taste buds in a working condition. Now, your baby can gulp lots of amniotic fluid each day.
Changes You Experience
By now, the baby bump is pretty obvious to everyone and it is quite difficult to hide the pregnancy. You start feeling quite bulky by now.
You have gained around 10 pounds by the 20th week. You can now expect to gain ½ pound each week for the remaining term. As a result of the growing belly which puts a lot of pressure on the muscles, you may have constant backache. The top of the uterus grows to the level of the belly button.
As a result of hormonal changes, darkening of skin due to increased melanin is seen in different areas of the body, including the areolas, and existing moles. Many women experience false labor contractions (Braxton Hicks contractions) from now on. These are weak, painless and of short duration. These contractions continue till the end of pregnancy and are considered normal. However, if they become regular or have high frequency, one must contact the doctor immediately.
One must contact the doctor immediately if the contractions are painful and exceptionally greater in number (3 or more in an hour). This may be a sign of preterm labor.
Ensure you have your regular checkups. Also by the 20th week, the Amniocentesis examination must be done. In this test a sample of amniotic fluid is taken to ascertain whether the baby has any abnormalities such as Down’s syndrome.
Your diet must be iron and calcium rich. Yoghurt, cheese and soy milk can serve as good options for providing calcium. Iron is needed because it assists in production of hemoglobin so that the baby does not suffer from amnesia or has low birth weight. Sources of iron include spinach, beans, oatmeal and red meat.
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