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20 Weeks Pregnant: What's Going On

Pregnancy week 20

Your baby's brain has been working overtime developing the nerve centers dedicated to the senses. And that rhythmic jerking you may feel? Baby hiccups! Find out more about pregnancy week 20.

Your Baby at 20 Weeks Pregnant

This week your baby is completely covered in vernix, the creamy substance protecting his delicate skin from the amniotic fluid. 

Making sense. Your baby is truly starting to experience the world around him, limited though it may be. His brain has been working overtime to develop the nerve centers dedicated to his senses. As they come alive, he's more responsive to your activity, sounds in the environment, and even the taste of the amniotic fluid. 

Pick up a hiccup. Besides the rolling, diving, and kicking, you might also feel rhythmic jerking. Most babies get the hiccups in utero, possibly due to an immature diaphragm having spasms. No need to worry though — they're not causing him any harm.

Sprouting a top. This isn't lanugo; it's the real deal, but most of it will fall out about two weeks after birth. Elsewhere in your baby's head, the bones of the inner ear are now fully formed, and the nose is beginning to take shape. 

Measuring up. Your baby weighs about 7.5 to 9 ounces and measures approximately 8.5 inches. You could cup the little guy in the palm of your hand. 

Your Pregnancy at 20 Weeks

Hump week. Congratulations — you're halfway there! Your uterus has grown to three times its original height. When your healthcare provider measures it, he or she probably will find that the top is now even with your belly button. From here on out, your uterus will grow approximately 1 centimeter per week until you deliver. 

Womb with a view. If you're having a mid-pregnancy ultrasound, it will probably take place between 18 and 22 weeks. Your healthcare provider may want to perform an ultrasound for a variety of reasons: to check your baby's growth and development, confirm your due date, screen for certain birth defects, and assess the health of the placenta and umbilical cord. Ultrasound gives you the chance to count fingers and toes, lets you find out the sex (if you want to know), and reassures you that all is well inside Hotel Mama. This first peek at your acrobat (the one who's been keeping you awake with her antics) may make impending parenthood seem more real.

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