You are halfway through your pregnancy by the twentieth week. You can feel your baby moving and squirming at certain times of the day or night. During the twentieth week of pregnancy you will be scheduled for an ultrasound and you have to decide if you want to know the gender of your baby before he or she is born.
Pregnancy Week 20: Baby’s Development
Your baby weighs about ten ounces and is 6 ½ inches long. You may start to feel rhythmic bouncing in your belly whenever your little one has the hiccups. Some babies get hiccups a lot, while others don’t get hiccups at all.
He now has a sleep and wake cycle so you may notice he is more active at certain times of the day and very quiet at other times. On the developmental side, your baby’s permanent teeth are starting to form behind his primary teeth.
Pregnancy Week 20: Uterus Size
The twentieth week of pregnancy marks the half way point of your pregnancy. Twenty weeks down, twenty more weeks until your due date. The top of your uterus is at the level of your belly button.
From this week forward, your uterus will grow at a rate of one centimeter per week. This centimeter can be measured by the width of a finger. You can easily feel the top of your uterus by pushing down right above your belly button.
Pregnancy Week 20: Ultrasound Time
Are you anxious to find out your baby’s gender? Now is the time for your big ultrasound. Even if you do not want to know if the little one is a boy or a girl, you will still have an ultrasound so that your healthcare provider can take a peek at your baby’s development.
The ultrasound will take measurements of his head, legs, arms, and torso. The ultrasound is designed to determine if your baby is the correct size that correlates with your due date. Your due date may be adjusted depending on these measurements and the development of your baby’s organs.
The ultrasound will also view your baby’s blood flow through his heart and lungs, and umbilical cord. The ultrasound will look at all your baby’s organs including kidneys, heart, lungs, liver, and umbilical cord. You will be able to see his fingers, toes, and maybe even some facial features.
The ultrasound will also check the placement of your placenta on your uterus. There is a condition called placenta previa where the placenta covers the cervix. In most cases, the placenta gradually moves up to the side of the uterus as the pregnancy progresses. But in about 2% of placenta previa cases, the placenta does not move to the wall of the uterus. It isn’t time to worry yet, but you will be scheduled to have a few more ultrasounds to monitor this condition. If the placenta stays and blocks the cervix then your doctor will schedule a c-section for delivery.
You will proudly show your ultrasound pictures to everyone. If your technician will let you, ask if you can bring in a writable DVD or VHS tape. Some testing centers will let you get a little recording of your baby’s activities.
For more pregnancy weeks and fetal development you can read:
Pregnancy Week 16
Pregnancy Week 17
Pregnancy Week 18
Pregnancy Week 19
Click here to find more information on your pregnancy and baby’s development.
Fit Pregnancy (2009). Pregnancy Calendar. Retrieved: April 8, 9, 2009. Web Site: fitpregnancy.com/calendar/40251887.html
Myers-Gorrie, Trula, Slone-McKinney, Emily, & Smith-Murray, Sharon (1998). Foundations of Maternal-Newborn Nursing (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders Company.
What to Expect (2009). Weekly Pregnancy Calendar. Retrieved:April 8, 9, 2009. Web Site: whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/landing.aspx