20 weeks pregnant: You’ve reached the halfway mark!
Your baby is about the size of a banana.
Congratulations – you’re halfway through your pregnancy! Reaching the 20-week mark is an exciting time and no doubt you will have been counting down to this milestone.
At this halfway point, an ultrasound will give you a first proper look at your baby and their size, position, and the incredible development of tiny bones and organs. If you haven’t already felt their first tiny kick, this week may be the time!
For more information about what to expect in the 20th week of your pregnancy, keep reading.
Your body at 20 weeks pregant
You should be feeling fit and well, but if you’re not glowing with health and happiness, don’t worry – pregnancy affects every woman differently and it’s equally normal to feel uncomfortable and far from glowy.
Equally, don’t fret if you have aches and pains in the lower abdomen, it’s just your muscles and ligaments stretching to make room for your growing uterus.
Speaking of your uterus, the top of it is now level with your belly button and from now on, it will grow one centimetre every week. At the moment it measures about 20 centimetres.
If you haven’t already felt the first kick, this week may be the time. If you’ve already been feeling a little movement, you may start to feel some more action. As your belly continues to grow, you may find you’re experiencing some lower back pain, particularly towards the end of the day.
Your 20 week ultrasound
Your healthcare professional will recommend an ultrasound examination around the 20th week of your pregnancy. This scan will check the size and positioning of your baby in the womb, also their head circumference, abdomen, heart, brain, other organs and limbs. For you and your partner, it’s an exciting – and reassuring – opportunity to see your developing baby on screen.
The scan will also allow your doctor to estimate your baby’s gestational age and weight, observe fetal movement and heart rate, assess the placenta’s position, and determine the quantity of amniotic fluid – and if your little one lies in the right position, you may be able to find out their gender.
Your doctor or midwife will also likely measure your fundal height which is the distance between the top of your uterus and your pubic bone aka the size of your bump.
How big is your baby at 20 weeks?
Your baby has done a lot of growing over the past 20 weeks and now measures 15cm from crown to rump and weighs about 260g. They has increased in weight 60 times in the past 10 weeks and are about the size of a banana.
How your baby is developing at 20 weeks
The glands in your baby’s skin start to secrete a greasy, white substance called vernix caseosa (Greek for smelly cheese!). This mixture of water, fat and dead skin cells has many benefits for babies, including keeping their skin hydrated, lubricating the passage through the birth canal, protecting against harmful bacteria, and helping the digestive tract to grow.
Your baby will be getting more active each day. As well as kicking, punching and turning around, your baby could be sucking their thumb – this develops their sucking reflex, which they’ll need to feed once they’re born. Tiny nails are also growing on their fingers and toes.
Specific areas of your baby’s brain are developing, which will mature to give them the senses of smell, taste, hearing, sight and touch. Facial features including the nose are growing too.
Their nervous system is also developing quickly. To help it mature, step up your intake of vitamin B6 by eating wheat germ, meat, fish, eggs, whole grains and B6-fortified cereals.