You are in week 20 of pregnancy, and the suspense is killing you. Are you having a boy or are you having a girl? You can stop guessing now. Since you are 20 weeks pregnant and half-way to your delivery day (Yippee!), your baby?s fetal growth is sufficient to allow your doctor to identify your baby?s gender. This is made possible with the help of an ultrasound.
Boy or girl, what are the fetal growth differences? If you are 20 weeks pregnant and having a baby girl, the uterus of your baby is now fully developed. Her ovaries are in their proper places and housing around seven million eggs (this number will decrease as time goes). On the other hand, if you are having a boy, your baby?s testicles are starting their journey to the scrotum.
Boy or girl, what are the fetal growth similarities? First, your baby?s a bit heavier than half a pound of sugar and two inches shorter than a foot long hotdog (crown to heel). Second, his or her teeth are starting to show. Third, his or her vital organs are in their right positions, and the kidneys have formed into their bean shape.
During your week 20 of pregnancy, your baby has developed the ability to swallow. Also at this stage, he is starting to produce meconium. This dark, mushy matter is the first waste substance that is built up in your baby?s intestines. It will be discharged typically after birth which you will see once you first change your baby?s diaper so don?t freak out.
One other amazing thing that will occur during week 20 of pregnancy is the establishment of your baby?s sleeping pattern. By this time, you may be able to find out if you?re nurturing a morning person or a night owl. You may be surprised to know that many babies even develop their favorite sleeping positions right inside the womb!
Just like your unborn child, you will also be experiencing some changes while you are in week 20 of pregnancy. By now, your weighing scale would reveal that you are about 10 pounds heavier than your pre-pregnancy weight. Your baby bump is more noticeable than ever. Your baby?s movements are now easy to feel. You will also notice that you now have stronger nails, thicker and fuller hair, and stretch marks. Indigestion, flatulence, heartburn, edema, lower back and abdominal pains are some of the usual symptoms/discomforts that you may be having at this period of your pregnancy.
Since you are expanding and the baby inside you is growing, your blood volume increases. This means you need to take in more iron than you used to for you to produce the needed amount of hemoglobin in your blood. Iron deficiency may result in low birth weight and/or preterm delivery. You need to take in 27 milligrams of iron per day. Eating rich-in-iron foods such as red meat, poultry, legume and spinach daily does not necessarily mean that you are getting enough iron. Therefore, taking iron pill supplements is recommended for women who are in week 20 of pregnancy.
And if you haven?t already, you may want to start joining a childbirth education class with your partner to get yourselves familiar with what will happen during labor and delivery. Other things you may want to do include getting your nursery ready and getting some quality alone time with your partner before the craziness of having a baby around get in the way. One thing you should definitely do this week is celebrate. After all, you?re halfway to the goal at week 20 of pregnancy! So go out there and have a grand time, making this week a truly memorable one.