Bone Marrow Develops
20 weeks marks your halfway journey, so you have a lot of reason to celebrate! The days ahead are going to be even more exciting as your lifes changes every day.
Your not-so-tiny bump will not allow you to hide your pregnancy anymore. So be prepared to get unsolicited advice from all-and-sundry. The second trimester is the best time of your pregnancy, with fewer niggling pains and problems and higher energy levels, so make the most of it.
Baby’s development at Week 20
After a sudden growth spurt, there is a brief lull with growth slowing down before it picks up again.
Your baby is now the size of a banana and weighs around 290 grams and measures 10 inches head to heel.
- Baby’s intestines have developed enough that small amounts of sugar can be absorbed from the fluid your baby swallows and passed through the digestive system to the large bowel. Almost all of your baby’s nourishment, however, still comes from you through the placenta.
- The nervous system continues to make advancements
- The lungs are primitive, but allows the baby to breathe
- Baby start producing meconium;
- Until now your baby’s liver and spleen have been responsible for the production of blood cells. But now the bone marrow spaces are developed enough to contribute to blood cell formation as well, and bone marrow will become the major site of blood cell production
- Baby’s ears are fully matured so hearing is very sharp. Be sure to keep away from loud noises. Expose the baby to some soft gentle music. It will do him a world of good.
You have gained considerable weight and the belly is more noticeable. Your uterus is now thrice the original size. It will continue to grow 1 cm every week during the rest of your pregnancy..
This week is also when your second trimester ultrasound is due. This is an important scan done to check for chromosomal abnormalities like Down’s syndrome, as also to monitor baby’s growth and development.
Read: Understanding Ultrasound
- As your belly expands, the skin around it stretches and becomes tight and dry, causing itchiness
- The dreaded stretch marks may make its appearance during this time
- Heartburn continues as the growing uterus pushes the stomach and displaces the other organs around it
- All that baby bearing weight on the legs will continue to affect you leg muscles causing leg cramps.
- The expanding uterus presses against the diaphragm and compresses the lungs causing breathlessness.
- Swollen legs and hands – due to fluid retention, is another a common pregnancy symptom you’ll experience during this time
- Vaginal discharge continues to increase until delivery
- You will begin to feel baby’s movement more frequently as baby’s kicks get more intense
Tip for Pregnancy Week 20
- Include a diet rich in iron (dry fruits, spinach, dried beans) as it helps in the production of haemoglobin in the baby. Adequate iron intake also helps to keep anemia at bay.
- Do make it a point to exercise regularly. It keeps the abdominal and pelvic muscles flexible.