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20 weeks pregnant

Katie de Klee
All you need to know at this pregnancy stage, what changes to expect, and some great tips for the week ahead.
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5 things to look forward to at 20 weeks pregnant:
1.     Looking at new scans of your baby.
2.     Having trouble sleeping through the night.
3.     Shortness of breath.
4.     Leg cramps.
5.     Higher energy (and libido!)
How your life will change this week:
You are now officially halfway through your pregnancy, phew! ­This week you will probably have your second trimester scan, and a new picture of your baby. You may still be bothered by leg cramps: drink plenty of water and flex your toes up towards your tummy as often as you can. If cramping persists and is very uncomfortable, discuss your vitamins and supplements with your doctor.
Your growing uterus (supporting your growing baby) is crowding your digestive system and can also press on your lungs, causing shortness of breath. Your sleep is likely to be interrupted as your body adjusts to so many changes in a relatively short space of time. You may be wondering if sex is still safe at this stage of your pregnancy. The answer is yes, as long as both you and your partner feel like it, it is perfectly safe.

Your baby’s development this week:
Your baby is now about the length of a banana: 20 weeks marks the point at which babies are measured head to heel, instead of crown to rump, as the legs straighten out. Your baby is swallowing lots of amniotic fluid, all good practice for the little digestive system. Your baby’s body absorbs the water from the amniotic fluid and then a by-product called meconium is deposited in the bowel. This sticky, black tar-like excrement will come out in their first nappies. Your baby is making lots of red blood cells and it’s important for you to have plenty of iron in your diet to help this process. Anaemia in pregnancy is very common, so be aware that iron rich foods should be on the menu every day. When you’re deciding what to eat, bear in mind that your baby now has working taste buds too!

This week’s To Do list:
  • Eat lots of iron rich food: red meat, spinach, lentils and raisins are all packed with iron.
  • Put your feet up.
  • Celebrate the halfway mark! Go on a pregnancy date.
If you have 5 minutes… Pregnancy top tip.
Choose which antenatal class you want to go to. Now that you’ve passed the halfway mark, it’s time to start thinking more seriously about labour and birth, and the more prepared you are, the better.

Curious about next week?  
Click here to find out what happens next week… And the week after.

Share your thoughts and concerns
Chat with other Moms-to-be in your area or at the same developmental stage as you in BabyGroup Forums.

BabyGroup says:
This article has been checked by Andrea Klinkenberg, Midwife. A member of the BabyGroup Medical Council.

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