Baby at 20 Weeks Pregnant 🚼
Judo chop! Are you feeling Baby Natural kick yet? She is growing larger and stronger, measuring over 6 inches from crown to rump, and weighing in at around 10 ounces. Double digits, baby!
This week marks your "halfway" point of pregnancy! (Although who really knows when baby will make her debut?) Still, there are many exciting things taking place.
- For the first time, you’ll likely be able to hear baby’s heartbeat with a fetoscope—great news if you’ve been forgoing the Doppler.
- You may also be headed in for your first and only (or perhaps second or third) ultrasound this week, too.
If you can, however, I recommend pushing the Anatomy Scan off until Week 22 of pregnancy. Waiting a bit longer lowers the chance that you’ll have to repeat the ultrasound to get a more accurate picture.
(I'll never forget seeing my son Griffin and his big foot pressed up against my uterus when the sonographer rubbed her wand over my belly.)
You might spot your baby sucking her thumb, kicking, or doing somersaults. And yes, at this stage it’s common for experienced sonographers to spot a little dangler between baby’s legs… or not.
You at 20 Weeks Pregnant 🚺
In celebration of your halfway mark, let’s talk about your big, beautiful belly this week.
By now, you might have an outie instead of an innie (I'm talking belly buttons here). You might also notice a faint dark line running down your belly. This is called the linea nigra (translated as literally "black line"), and can be caused by the hormonal changes in pregnancy. It is very normal, and usually fades completely postpartum.
Speaking of bellies, have you noticed any cramping, tightening, or even muscle pain? Again, completely normal. These are called Braxton Hicks, and they are a good thing. Your uterus is essentially "training" for the big labor day event. I had them much more often during my second pregnancy, and that birth went much faster.
Weird fact: Some first-time mamas won't feel any Braxton Hicks, although they can be picked up on a monitor.
Braxton Hicks usually come on once (or a few) times per day, and don't last for long periods of time. They can intensify if you're dehydrated or overly active throughout the day, so drink some water and kick your heels up if they get too uncomfortable.
As always, if you notice that cramping becomes strangely pronounced or intense, give your midwife or doctor a call.