20 Weeks Pregnant
Congrats! During week 20 of pregnancy, you’re at the halfway point. If you’ve recently found out baby’s sex, you’re in a completely new mindset—are we right? Now, those baby names you’re throwing out are more likely to end up as baby’s actual name, and when you find yourself in a baby store, you can start to picture those adorable outfits on your little boy or girl—so 20 weeks pregnant may be the time when you’re ready to start finalizing your baby registry too. Happy shopping!
How Big Is Baby at 20 Weeks?
At 20 weeks pregnant, baby is the size of a banana. They weigh about 10.2 ounces and measure about 6.5 inches from crown to rump. (Starting next week, baby will be measured from head to toe.) Baby's still got a lot of growing to do but has an excellent start!
20 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
Your stage in pregnancy is usually refered to by week, not month, but 20 weeks pregnant is five months pregnant. Because pregnancy is 40 weeks long, you’ve now hit the halfway point!
Making it to 20 weeks pregnant probably feels pretty darn good. After all, your energy’s high, your sex drive is high, and as long as your partner is up for it too, things are probably happening between the sheets. Of course, it wouldn’t be pregnancy if you weren’t experiencing some annoying symptoms. Right now, it’s likely swelling, heartburn, leg cramps and a few other things:
- Vaginal discharge. You can expect the discharge to keep increasing until delivery, a direct result of heightened hormone levels. But let your doctor know if the discharge is yellow, green or foul smelling.
- Leg cramps. Do stretches regularly, and drink plenty of water to prevent your legs from cramping.
- Heartburn and/or indigestion. As baby starts to crowd your digestive system, it might not work exactly as it did pre-pregnancy. Watch what you’re eating—acidic and spicy foods can cause tummy troubles.
- High energy. Enjoy this energy (and libido) surge while it lasts! You might find yourself more fatigued in the third trimester.
- Swelling. Don't worry unless the swelling is sudden or severe. Mild swelling is normal and should subside after delivery. In the meantime, put up your feet whenever you can.
- Shortness of breath. As your uterus expands, it pushes against your lungs, causing you to feel short of breath. You might find this to be especially true if you’re 20 weeks pregnant with twins. Don’t push yourself too hard, and sit down and rest if you feel yourself gasping for air.
Starting around 20 weeks pregnant, your doctor will measure fundal height at each prenatal visit. Fundal height is the distance from the pubic bone to the top of your uterus. In centimeters, the fundal height should match your week of pregnancy, give or take 2 centimeters. So for example, your 20 weeks pregnant belly should measure around 18 to 22 centimeters. It should continue to increase about a centimeter each week. A higher or lower fundal height could be the sign of a pregnancy condition, such as gestational diabetes, a growth issue or a breech baby, so if it doesn’t appear to be average, further testing may be necessary.
At 20 weeks pregnant, weight gain is happening slowly yet surely. You may have gained around 10 pounds by now. Remember: You’re aiming to gain about 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Recommended pregnancy weight gain for moms of normal BMI is about 25 to 35 pounds. If you began pregnancy with a high BMI, your OB will likely advise that you gain a total of 15 to 25 pounds. If you were at a low BMI, 28 to 40 pounds will likely be the recommendation.
If you’re 20 weeks pregnant with twins or other multiples, don’t expect your doctor to measure your fundal height. That’s because it’s harder to say what’s average for moms-to-be carrying multiples. Instead, your OB will likely put more emphasis on your weight gain. Now that you’re 20 weeks pregnant with twins, you should aim to put on slightly more weight each week. In the first half of a twin pregnancy, the recommendation is about 1 pound per week, and in the second half, it’s about 1 to 2 pounds. That’s because healthy weight gain is gradual. Most OBs advise that twin moms-to-be of normal BMI gain about 35 to 45 pounds total during pregnancy.
Your 20-week fetus now has working taste buds. They’re gulping down several ounces of amniotic fluid each day—that's significantly more than before.
If you haven’t already had your mid-pregnancy ultrasound, you will very soon, since this prenatal test happens between weeks 18 and 22. This is a detailed ultrasound—you’ll see parts of baby you might not have dreamed possible, including the chambers of their heart, the kidneys and the brain hemispheres. The technician and OB will look to see that everything seems to be developing properly and that baby’s growth is on track.
If you’re 20 weeks pregnant with twins, the ultrasound technician will check to see if babies’ heads are approximately the same size. If they aren’t, more measurements will be taken to be sure neither twin is having growth problems.
The technician will also likely be able to tell you baby’s sex, so let them know if you want to find out if you’re having a boy or a girl. Ask for printouts of the ultrasound photos. These are wonderful keepsakes of your rapidly developing baby. How cute is that little nose?!
Reminders for the week:
Medical content was reviewed February 2020 by Patricia Pollio, MD, a New York-based ob-gyn and director of the department of obstetrics & gynecology at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York.