Pregnancy Calendar Week 20
YOUR PREGNANCY WEEK BY WEEK: WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WEEK 20Congratulations! You and your baby have made it to the midpoint of your pregnancy. For baby, now the size of a banana, this milestone means more rapid growth of her many developing parts. For mom, you’re likely feeling better these days with more energy, reduced fatigue and lots of excitement about making it halfway through. But, the many aches and pains of pregnancy do continue on. Your BodyAt 20 weeks pregnant, more tummy troubles may be causing you pain and, because you’re retaining more water, your favorite pair of shoes may now be impossible to fit in.HeartburnYour body’s continued physical and hormonal changes are probably bringing on yet another painful, uncomfortable symptom at this point in your pregnancy:Heartburn.Also referred to as indigestion, heartburn is the burning you feel in your throat down to your breastbone when acidic juices from your stomach get pushed back up into your esophagus.Pregnant women tend to start feeling the burn in the second half of their pregnancy for a couple of reasons. First, the hormone progesterone is in full force relaxing your digestive muscles, including the one that normally stops digestive juices in your stomach from splashing back up. Second, your growing uterus takes up more space in your abdominal cavity, which pushes your stomach acids up.Try these tips to help banish your heartburn:
- Avoid foods that bring about heartburn like seasoned or spicy foods; carbonated and caffeinated beverages; acidic fruits and juices; alcohol; minty foods; and fried, greasy or processed foods.
- Eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day instead of 3 larger meals.
- Eat slowly and chew thoroughly. This will prevent swallowing of air that can make heartburn worse.
- Wear clothing that doesn’t constrict your belly.
- Keep your weight at normal, healthy levels based on what your doctor has advised.
- Use a few extra pillows to sleep with your head propped up, which helps keep stomach juices from finding their way back up.
- Bend at your knees, not your waist (you can better combat acid reflux with gravity on your side).
- We hope you aren’t smoking but, if you are, stop. In addition to its many health hazards, smoking increases stomach acidity.
- Check with your doctor about taking an antacid medication. Those with calcium and magnesium may be good options for giving you some relief.
Swelling of Feet and AnklesWith more water being retained in your tissues these days, you may be struggling with swollen feet and ankles. What you’re seeing is called edema where an excess of fluids accumulates in tissue.This completely normal condition is common among many pregnant women. It’s happening because the return of blood from your legs to your heart has slowed down. This causes the blood to pool, which pushes more fluid from your veins into your feet and ankle tissues.So, if your shoes feel a little tight these days, get yourself a comfy pair you can wear until the swelling subsides after delivery. And, put a halt to wearing any pantyhose or tight-fitting socks. Keeping your feet and ankles free of constriction will help increase the flow of fluids and reduce your swelling.Here are some other things you can do to help:
- Put your feet up whenever you can.
- Don’t sit or stand for long periods of time.
- Exercise every day. Walking, swimming, pregnancy yoga and stationary bicycling are all great options.
- Stretch your legs often.
- Don’t cross your legs when sitting.
- Drink more water, which actually decreases the amount of water your body retains.
Your BabyIn the 20th week of pregnancy, there’s plenty going on as your baby continues to grow at a speedy pace with some very exciting new developments.Your baby’s reproductive system is rapidly developing. If you’ve been eagerly wondering whether you’re giving birth to a boy or a girl, an ultrasound now should do the trick! That’s because your little one’s reproductive equipment is growing fast and moving into place. If you’re having a boy, his testicles have dropped down into the scrotum and they contain primitive sperm. If you’re having a girl, her uterus has formed now and her ovaries are carrying about six to seven million eggs. Your baby’s facial features and body parts are more defined.With eyes completely developed, eyelids and eyebrows grown and in position, lips that have taken shape, and fully-formed ears, your baby’s face is looking a lot more like the one you’ll see when you welcome her into the world. Her legs, arms, hands and feet continue to grow, too, with tiny nails now present on her fingers and toes.Your baby’s ears are fully functioning.Taking time to talk to your baby every day is a great way to bond with her because she can now hear the sweet sound of her mommy’s voice, one that she’ll respond to later for lots of soothing and reassurance once she’s born. Week by week, she’ll fine-tune her sense of hearing and the range of sounds she’ll pick up in the womb will greatly increase.Diet and Exercise Tips You Should FollowTo keep you and your baby healthy, follow these tips in week 20:Eat healthy fats for baby’s skin and digestive system. Your baby’s skin and digestive system growth is in high gear. Eat foods high in healthy fats like canola and olive oil. This week try sautéing chicken with spinach in canola oil or eating avocado slices over salad with olive oil.Exercising daily will help get you ready for labor. Need a great incentive for continuing those daily workouts? Keep this one in mind: All of the exercising you do throughout the rest of your pregnancy will help ready you for the rigors of labor and delivery. Plus, you know by now that your baby’s healthy development depends on daily, moderate exercise. So, it’s a wonderful win-win for you and your baby.Things You Should Do
- With your growing belly, now is a good time to start sleeping on your side instead of your stomach (if you do). You’ll feel more comfortable and avoid any potential injury to your baby.
- Find a pediatrician.
- Think about baby names.
Words You Should Know Breech Presentation: When the baby is positioned to come out of the vagina during delivery in any way but head first.Circumcision: Surgical removal of the foreskin from a baby boy’s penis.Mucus Plug: During pregnancy, this jelly-like substance blocks the cervix opening to prevent bacteria from coming into the uterus. Before labor begins, the mucus plug is expelled.Ultrasound Anatomy Scan: Around the midpoint of pregnancy, this special ultrasound checks for proper organ development, including the heart and lungs, and it measures the baby’s length and head size. You can also find out if you’re having a boy or a girl with this scan.