20 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms

Congratulations mom-to-be! With 20 weeks pregnant, you are halfway through the second trimester. This week brings along some bodily changes with your baby's rapid development. As you step into this week, you may also be wondering 20 weeks pregnant is how many months. You will find the answer below. Read on to know more about your little one's progress and what's in store for you this week.

20 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby's Development

Your baby's development is progressing fast. Here's what you can expect in this week:

Facial Features

Your baby’s facial features are developing including the nose that takes shape.

Sucking Reflex and Senses

Your baby's sucking reflex is coming along, and it's possible that he may suck his thumb this week or sometime soon. Rapid brain growth continues, particularly in the nerve centres dedicated to the senses.

Sleep Cycle

Your little one is in the process of developing a definite sleep-wake cycle and is also becoming responsive to sounds in the environment. From time to time, loud noises may even wake him.

Skin Formation

Around this time your baby’s skin is thickening and layers of skin are forming as well. The skin is protected from the amniotic fluid by a waxy coating called vernix.

Hiccups

Besides the rolling, diving, and kicking, you might also feel rhythmic jerking of the baby during this week of pregnancy. Most babies get the hiccups in the uterus, possibly due to an immature diaphragm having spasms. No need to worry though — they're not causing him any harm.

Digestive System

When you’re around 20 weeks pregnant, your baby’s digestive system starts to produce a greenish-black, sticky substance called meconium, which will accumulate in his bowels over the rest of the pregnancy. Typically, your baby will pass this substance after he’s born, and you’ll see it in your baby’s first few diapers.

The Size of the Foetus at 20 Weeks Pregnant

The foetus at 20 weeks is about the size of a bell pepper. By this stage your baby may weigh about 0.2 to 0.3 kgs and is over six inches long, crown to rump — you could cup your little guy in the palms of your hands.

Check out the visual below for an illustration of what your little one might look like this week.

Your Baby at 20 Weeks Of Pregnancy

Mom's Body at 20 Weeks Pregnant

At this point in your pregnancy, or sometime soon, you’re likely to feel your baby's movements, which is sometimes called quickening. Both the timing and the actual sensation vary from woman to woman — this is another way in which each and every pregnancy is unique — but you may sense tiny flutters or rumblings in your tummy! In the next few weeks, you might also detect some rhythmic jerking — baby hiccups!

If you have a check-up at 20 weeks, your doctor may measure the distance from your pubic bone to the top of the uterus, which is called the fundus. This fundal height measurement gives your doctor the information about your baby’s growth. At around 20 weeks of pregnancy, the top of the uterus reaches the navel, and your fundal height would be about 7 to 8.5 inches (18 to 22 centimetres).

Here's a fun fact about the fundal height measurement: Your fundal height in centimetres is roughly equal to the number of weeks you are pregnant!

If you’re 20 weeks pregnant with twins, you might notice your belly growing more quickly than it would with a single baby.

20 Weeks Pregnant in Months

Are you wondering how many months is 20 weeks pregnant? The answer is five months pregnant.

20 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms

At 20 weeks pregnant, here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing:

Constipation

Hormonal activity and your growing baby pushing against your intestines can lead to constipation. Although this condition can be uncomfortable, drinking more water and eating more fibre can help get things moving. Here are some easy tips to avoid constipation in pregnancy

Congestion and Nosebleeds

Increased levels of hormones and extra blood volume during pregnancy can make the mucous membranes in your nose swell and dry out. This can lead to both congestion and nosebleeds. It's helpful to use a humidifier to moisten the air and to drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

Lower Back Pain

As your belly grows, you might find your back hurting, particularly toward the end of the day. There are a few things you can do to prevent or ease this discomfort, including wearing low-heeled shoes (not high heels but not completely flat shoes either), doing gentle exercise that helps stretch and strengthen your back muscles, and wearing a belly support band.

Forgetfulness

You may be having a hard time concentrating, and you may find that you’re forgetting small things. It might help to create checklists or reminders (on paper, sticky notes, or your phone), and to give yourself some extra breaks while doing tasks that require your concentration.

Swollen Feet

This condition can be caused by pregnancy weight gain and fluid retention, but a hormone called relaxin also contributes. This hormone relaxes ligaments and joints to help make it easier for your baby to pass through the pelvis during birth, but relaxin also loosens the ligaments elsewhere in your body — including those in your feet, causing them to spread. To help you feel more comfortable, you may need to go up a shoe size; also, try propping your feet up on a pillow or footrest as often as you can. Read more about swollen feet remedies during pregnancy

Weight Gain

You may have started feeling a little cramped. This is because the top of your uterus is now in the level of your belly button, as you have gained four-five kgs. You can expect to put on another kg or so every week from now on. To understand the ideal pregnancy weight, talk to your doctor and see if you're on track.

Restlessness

You may find yourself shifting positions around the night until you are in a comfortable sleep position. To avoid restlessness, try lying on your left side with your knees bent. Place a pillow between your legs for comfort. For additional support, you can place extra pillows behind your back and under your belly.

Itchy Skin

The skin around your belly and breasts may feel itchy as it stretches to accommodate your little one. Apply moisturiser or cold packs on the itchy area for relief. Avoid scratching, as it can make the discomfort worse. Read more about itchy skin treatment during pregnancy

Vaginal Discharge

Due to increase in the hormones, you can expect an increase in the discharge until delivery. However, in case you notice any unusual discharge that's yellow or green with a foul smell, do let your doctor know. Read more about vaginal discharge during pregnancy

20 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

As you reach halfway through the second trimester, here are some tips for you to consider:

Don't Forget Your Ultrasound Appointment

Your doctor may recommend an ultrasound exam at around 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. This ultrasound helps her confirm that everything is progressing well, including the size and position of your baby, and checking that the bones and organs that are visible are developing well. In addition, during this scan your doctor can get an estimate of your baby’s gestational age and weight, detect his movement and heartrate, see the position of the placenta, and check the amount of amniotic fluid. Ask your doctor for advice if you have any questions about the ultrasound.

Plan a Babymoon

The second trimester is usually a good time to travel, as your pregnancy symptoms may be a little less intense and your belly is probably not so big yet that it’s uncomfortable getting around. Still, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning to get away. Don’t commit yourself to a rigid schedule or plan too many activities. Be prepared to change your itinerary at the last minute based on how you’re feeling. If you’re thinking of flying, check with your doctor and the airline. Although most airlines allow pregnant women to fly until about 36 weeks, each airline has its own policies. Whether you travel by bus, train, car, or plane, try to take breaks and get up and walk around regularly, stay hydrated, eat regularly to boost your energy, and have a copy of your health records with you. It’s a good idea to get a prenatal check-up before you leave, to make sure everything is OK.

Get the Dad-To-Be Involved

There are many things you can do to help your partner experience more of your pregnancy along with you. For example, go together to the check-ups and ultrasounds, and share the fun (and the work) of decorating the nursery. You could even go to childbirth classes together so your partner knows more about what you’ll experience during labour and delivery, and how you can both prepare for the big day. These classes offer a chance to meet other parents, too.

Decorate the Baby's Nursery

Start to think about what kind of colour scheme or theme you want for your baby’s nursery. Look for inspiration online and on social media, start taking screenshots or writing notes about what you like. You might like to get paint swatches if you’re planning to paint a wall or go for neutral paint colour and instead get decorations, like wall art, to make your baby’s nursery unique. Another option is to let your baby’s cute toys and books do all the decorating.

Choose a Hospital for Delivery

If you haven't decided where you will be giving birth, you can start searching for hospitals or nursing homes at this point. Take a tour to the hospital and enquire about the facilities and policies.

20 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

Here's what you can ask your doctor at the upcoming prenatal check-up:

  • Are you on the right track with weight gain? What should you do differently if not?

  • If you’re planning a babymoon — is there any specific medical advice about the destination you’re visiting?

  • How can you go about finding a great paediatrician?

  • When will your fundal height start being measured?

  • What should you expect when it comes to feeling your baby move, and should you start tracking movement?

20 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Here's a pregnancy checklist that you can follow this week:

  • Celebrate — you’re halfway there! Consider organising a date night with your partner to mark this milestone or enjoy some “me time” as a way to reflect on what your body’s achieved so far and what’s to come in the second half of your pregnancy.

  • If you’re still on the hunt for a baby’s name, take another look at our Baby Name Generator, where you can search hundreds of baby names.

  • The ultrasound at 20 weeks might be your first peek at your baby, and this can make parenthood seem all the more real. Ask for a printout of the ultrasound image so you can start your baby's first photo album. In just a few months’ time, when your baby is born, you’ll be able to fill the album with many more prints.

  • Enrol for a childbirth class to learn birthing techniques that will help prepare you during labour and delivery. You can choose from Lamaze, Bradley, or Hypnobirthing classes.

  • Your body needs more iron to keep up your increasing blood volume and to nourish your baby and the placenta. So, get enough iron by including beans, fortified cereals, etc. in your diet. Do not take supplements unless recommended by your doctor.

How We Wrote This Article:
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.