How Much Baby Development in 20 Weeks of Pregnancy

You are twenty weeks now. You are half way through your pregnancy There are so many choices to make between now and the time you deliver. Over the next few weeks our newsletters will be focusing on the different choices you will be making for your baby and your birth. Right now, you might be trying to decide whether you want to breastfeed or bottle feed your baby. You have probably heard that breast milk is best for your baby but you still might not be sure what you want to do. There are pros and cons to breastfeeding and bottle feeding. In this week’s newsletter we are going to discuss your feeding options. We will give you the advantages and disadvantages of breastfeeding and formula feeding and hopefully help you to decide what you want to do.

Baby’s Development

The baby has been developing at a nice, quick pace. The baby will now weight up to 4 times the weight it did from the start of the pregnancy. By now, you can also start to feel the baby fluttering in the womb. This is one of the best joys of pregnancy. Being able to feel the baby that you and your partner created. By the 20th week, you will also be able to tell when the baby is sleeping and when the baby is awake. You and the baby are on opposite schedules, you will feel the baby more around more as you are trying to sleep or lie down.

The baby should weigh about 11 ounces by now and the baby should be 6-1/2” in length. The baby will start to practice breathing without the development of the lungs. The baby is covered with light fine hair called the lanugo. This helps the baby keep their body temperature inside. The baby has developed hearing by now and may start to respond to your voice as well as the other sounds from outside the womb.

The baby’s organs and structures are still developing. The baby is covered with a white coating called vernix caseosa; this will help keep the baby’s skin safe from irritation as the baby travels through the birth canal. The baby will start to produce meconium, this is a dark green sticky matter that includes cell loss and amniotic fluid that has been swallowed by the baby with digestive secretions.

How Your Life’s Changing

Out of breath? Most women start to feel a bit like Thomas the Tank Engine, huffing and puffing up a short flight of stairs. Some breathlessness is normal and may get a little worse as your expanding uterus pushes up against your lungs, but tell your midwife if it gets out of hand. Also, make sure you’re getting enough iron. Your baby needs it to make red blood cells, among other things. It’s almost impossible to get too much from food alone, as long as you’re not overeating. Iron-rich foods include lean red meat, poultry, fish, lentils, spinach, and iron-fortified cereals. Don’t take supplements though, unless they’re prescribed by your doctor.

Although pregnancy might sometimes feel like a one-woman show, it doesn’t have to be that way. If your partner is going to be your labour partner, he’ll want to know how he can help and how he can communicate your wishes to the professionals.

What Is IUGR And What Are The Risk Factors?

Intrauterine Growth Retardation or IUGR results when a baby is born at a much smaller weight than expected. It can be diagnosed during pregnancy when a baby isn’t growing as rapidly as doctors may expect.

There are various causes that may contribute to IUGR, including poor nutrition, fetal distress and genetic influences. If your doctor suspects IUGR they will conduct several tests to help determine the exact causes if possible. Many babies with IUGR are more susceptible to problems including learning disabilities or neurological problems after birth. These may result from impaired growth while in utero.In certain situations your healthcare provider may decide your baby has a better chance of growing or being treated outside the womb and may decide to induce labor early. It really depends on your unique situation. One thing is clear, early detection is essential and will allow your doctor to make good choices about your treatment outcomes.

What To Expect

At this stage of your pregnancy, you should be relaxing and enjoying every minute of it. You should be both physically and mentally relaxed. Stay on target with your exercise and eating plan. Continue to take your prenatal vitamins. At this stage of pregnancy, anemia is common and if it is left untreated then it can lead to premature birth or complications. Try to increase your iron intake with foods or a vitamin supplement. Foods you can choose from are eggs, chicken, dried fruits, wheat germ oatmeal and fruits and vegetables.

Now is when new moms to be start narrowing down their list of baby names. They will also start looking at catalogs or looking online for baby items like cribs and carriages. You can also expect to find out the sex of the baby if you choose to. If you don’t want to know, make it clear to the doctor and the nurses that you don’t want to know. Sometimes it has a way of slipping out.


As the baby will continue to grow at a fast rate. You are going to experience body changes as a result of the baby’s changes. These changes are normal and if you have any concerns at all, now is the time to speak to your doctor. If you think something isn’t right, don’t hesitate to call your doctor or go to the local emergency room.

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