Pregnancy Week 20131 Comments
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Week 20 fetal development image showing the fetal growth of your baby to date.
Your Baby's Development This Week
The baby is now producing meconium now, which is the first stool passed. This is made up of amniotic fluid, mucus, bile, lanugo, and is generally stored in the infant's intestines. However, sometimes the meconium is passed during or even prior to delivery. It is tarry, stick and dark and will be the first stool of the newborn's first few days.
Mom is passing on her immunities to baby now, helping protect the infant from illness and disease. Another big development with baby is the refinement and growth of nerve cells for senses in different areas of the brain, leading to the ability to see, smell, taste, hear and feel. The hearing is already in operation with the baby, and you might even notice the little one jumping in reaction to sudden loud noises, startling to the loudness. Babies can hear despite their watery surroundings, and will become accustomed to the voices and sounds of daily life, so that after being born, newborns will be comforted by familiar voices or music. Don't think it is silly to read, talk to, or sing to your growing baby. They are listening!
The baby is now about 7" long and weighs approximately 10 1/2 ounces.
Pregnancy Symptoms You May Feel During Week 20
You've now reached the halfway point of your pregnancy! Weight gain is probably in the ten pound range, with expectation of about 0.85 to 1 lbs ounce every week for the remainder of the pregnancy. This is only a general recommendation. Your doctor will adjust expectations to your unique situation. The uterus should be at belly button level now.
The baby's heartbeat is so strong now you might even be able to distinguish it from your own if you get into a good position and are patient.
Your nails and hair are probably growing like crazy, with a strength and fullness you've never experienced before.
Visit With the Obstetrician
One thing many pregnant women do not expect is change with their vision. However, it quite common for a pregnant woman's eyesight to worsen. It is not typically more than a temporary problem, as most the time the vision returns to normal after birth. The hormones cause drop in tear production and that dryness can lead to blurry vision or irritation. Also fluid retention affects the shape of the eye, making contact lenses to become uncomfortable. If that's the case, then trying wearing glasses for awhile. However, some symptoms can indicate a problem with gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. Be sure to discuss with your doctor any problems you might be having.
Preparing for Baby
You may be feeling pretty good right now, so it's an excellent time to enjoy some one on one time with your partner. Try to make it a regular date, and aim for continuing this even after the baby arrives. Get friends or family to be on your babysitter speed dial, perhaps returning the favor. Establishing a consistent time for couplehood will give a better chance of it extending into parenthood time.
Pregnant skin is different. Things which once may not have bothered you might cause a rash. Once oily skin might be dry, and vice versa. Skin is more sensitive than ever though, and thus direct sunlight should be avoided. Skin that is prone to stretch marks will become more problematic if exposed to sun. So if you must be in the sun particularly during the strongest exposure times, be sure to use sunscreen.
Pregnancy Week 20 Comfort Meter
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