Pregnancy Week 20


Pregnancy is one of the most important phases in a women’s life. It is during this period that her entire commitment towards being a mother and bringing up her child is determined. Hence, it is integral to be healthy during this period as any implications will have a bearing on the fetus. Pregnancy is a period of nine months when the fetus is in the womb and completely depends on the mother for survival. It is thus a challenging phase in a women’s life.


An exciting time in the gestation period is the twentieth week of pregnancy where the doctor can break the news about the sex and the number of offspring’s in your tummy.  The 20th week ultrasound is what parents want to view.  However, in cultures where there is immense female feticide the practice of sex determination is illegal and frowned down upon. But this is no deterrent for a happy family because the objective is to give birth to a healthy and happy baby.


Bodily Changes and Symptoms to Determine the 20th Week of the Foetus in the Womb


In the twentieth week of pregnancy the baby is filling out with his/her organs taking shape, teeth slowly developing and swallowing is a done deal.  Movements escalate and you can feel the baby kick a bit more. The weight of the baby has increased and he/she is about ten and a half ounces and is about ten inches from head to toe.  Most often because of the position of the baby curled up, it is difficult to measure the progressive weight and height of the baby so the measurement is taken from head to bottom.   Since the baby has increased his food intake and swallows more often, the digestive tract has more practice. Meconium is a sticky product of digestion that gets accumulated in the bowels and expelled by the baby once born. 



The halfway mark has been achieved – congratulations!  Way to go and then some!  The naval and the uterus are more or less at the same level.  Gaining a couple of pounds or kilograms is expected and following a good eat ethic is obviously being incorporated at this time. 


Communicate With the Child in You: While you are the belle of the ball, so to speak, and the angel among the rest of the clan, you enjoy the fuss and adulation.  However, when no one is around, you realize that you are alone.  But then again you aren’t!  You have your baby with you. Communication with the child is important.  There are many instances where mothers have regaled us with stories of their kids who recalled hearing something that she said but couldn’t put their finger on where they actually did (hear it).  Play your favorite music and sing along and you may even find your baby kicking away with glee enjoying the beat and tempo. You may have a dancer in the making!  Again, when the baby’s born and you play the song he / she will look at you perhaps remembering something.  Bonding with the baby from the time of conception is every parent’s job but more so the job of a mother because the umbilical cord stays put. 


So every bit of advice has been dealt out to you.  Visitors drop in to look in on you.  You follow the pattern to the end.  Now it is time to get mentally, emotionally and physically ready for the little one. Baby steps – never jump. One step at a time, do what you can do and don’t try and follow the diet, exercise, routine of the celebrity who has lost heaps of weight. While it is wonderful that people drop the pounds, remember to embrace this period of your life with grace and dignity and yes with pride.  Carry your pregnancy with optimism not negativity. Remember an unhealthy outlook that you adopt will adversely affect the little one you are carrying. Striking a balance with your mental makeup and physical attributes will create a glow from within that will be apparent to everyone looking at you. Women are at their most beautiful when they are pregnant.  Love yourself and the baby you are carrying. Enjoy this most precious period of your life because you are blessed.  There are many out there who cannot have children, long to have them but cannot.  


Diet Plays a Vital Role



Having an adequate amount of iron must be followed on a daily basis.  Iron is a mineral that is used mainly to get the hemoglobin churning.  During pregnancy because of the increase blood volume an increased iron intake is required to keep the baby and the placenta strong.  From all accounts red meat and dark poultry have been exulted because of the high iron content.  However, vegetarian options like soya products, spinach, pomegranate, legumes, apples, grapes, raisins, and iron rich cereals make for a healthy option. 



Exercise is Crucial


With many mothers opting for healthy pregnancies and the need for a normal delivery following a structured program is optional but relatively useful in the long run.  A structured schedule and pattern helps the new mom and partner in the rigors of labor and delivery.  The classes cover various elements of dealing with stress, the new girth centered in the middle and swollen feet, labor pains, preparation for the baby, dealing with pain, loss of hair, etc.  Classes also cover postpartum depression pretty rampant now with high pressure work schedules, getting fit quickly, wanting to look good and confusion about motherhood.  While many follow this route, there are others who prefer to go old school by following mother’s wisdom.



Maternity Wear During 20th Week of Pregnancy


This is not something that has to be impressed upon as the types of clothes to be worn are already known. During the 20th week of pregnancy, loose clothing is preferred in most cases. This is in order to keep oneself comfortable in the wake of weight gain complications.


Skin Changes During 20th week of Pregnancy



This is common during pregnancy. The skin could change I complexion and could also develop stretch marks. These implications are not dangerous and happen in almost every alternate case of pregnancy. Changes in complexion could be in near the stomach and lower abdominal regions. It is recommended not to indulge in facials during the pregnancy period.



Vitamins and Mineral Supplements Essential During 20th Week of Pregnancy



A balanced diet would always serve the purpose of vitamin and mineral intake. A balanced diet consisting of Vitamins A, B, C, D, and K are essential. Also, it is highly recommended to give up smoking and alcohol during pregnancy.



Recommended Tests When Approaching the 20th Week


Frequent blood tests to determine the platelet count and sugar levels are advised by the doctors. This is because during pregnancy, the body undergoes a lot of changes. Ultrasound Scans to determine the features of the foetus in the womb are carried out during this week.


Medicines to be Used and Avoided


It is highly recommended to avoid unwanted medication as it might have detrimental effects on the health of the foetus in the womb. Consulting a doctor is a commendable act and being cautious is the most important thing.


Myths and Facts About the 20th Week



As such, it is during this week that the internal organs of the foetus start developing. Hence, it is believed that consuming food rich in proteins and vitamins is very good for the health of the foetus.


Growth of the Baby During the 20th Week


It is during this week that the internal organs of the baby start developing. Also, the organs that determine the baby’s sex start taking shape. This week is a critical phase in the growth of the foetus inside the womb.


Do’s and Don’ts During 20th Week of Pregnancy


Do’s During Pregnancy


1. Eat and Consume a balanced diet


2. Go for timely health checkups


3. Be cautious in consuming any kind of medication


4. Exercise regularly


Don’ts During Pregnancy


1. Avoid Overeating


2. Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol


3. Avoid deep fried and overcooked as well as uncooked foods


The Role of the Dad


With strange patterns of behavior being evident in the sleeping pattern during a pregnancy, the dad to be can assist his partner.  There are times when lying down on the back is too much of a problem so lying down on the side with a pillow cushioning the baby is ideal and the husband can assist the mother in this endeavor.  While snoring is common now, the best thing that a dad to be can do is tolerate it!  Heartburn and indigestion are commonplace during the twentieth month of pregnancy and practically all throughout the gestation period.   When this occurs it is advisable that foods that act as triggers are avoided and with the father to be pitching in by buying the right foods for his wife and baby, he is on the right track.  


Wanting to catch some shut eye after a meal maybe a requirement at this point of time and the considerate father to be ensures that his bride is taken care of. Since sleeping upright on a recliner or propped up in bed is comfortable, he assists his partner. Leg cramps are a nightmare and trying to ease the knot or cramp is really difficult. Helping his wife flex and point and try walking about to let the blood flow slowly and surely is half the ‘job’ done. 



Nothing is impossible when parents to be do things together. Realizing that nothing is impossible and every little discomfort is just a small price to pay for when in reality both of you are overjoyed to bring forward a lovely baby.  Getting the baby room ready together, shopping for baby clothes, enjoying meals together and even romancing each other should be done together.  Airing out the bedroom to make it a cozy warm place with good ventilation for all three of you knows that both parents are on the same page. Taking care that the wife is comfortable all the time, is a requisite of a new father to be.  Reading up on the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy would stand a dad to be in great stead. 


A dedicated dad to be will notice that getting up from you sleeping position was easy earlier, but now it is a trifle difficult. He takes it in his stride and accepts the bodily changes. Once you do that, then grumbling is not an option. 


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