Tommy's PregnancyHub

20 weeks pregnant - all you need to know

If they stood up straight your baby would be around 26cm tall, nearly the length of an A4 piece of paper!
Image

What does my baby look like in week 20? 

Your baby’s skin is now coated in a white, creamy substance called vernix. This is thought to protect their skin while they're in the womb.

When you see your baby at the anomaly scan, you might see them sucking their thumb. They're practising their sucking reflex, which is important for when they starts to nurse.

Your pregnancy symptoms in week 20

Are you feeling constipated? Perhaps you’re suffering from cramps, dizziness or bleeding gums?

Here’s our guide to 10 common pregnancy complaints (and how to avoid them).

The linea nigra

Noticed a dark vertical line going up your belly? This is called a linea nigra and sometimes appears around this time. It's nothing to worry about and will disappear eventually after the birth.

Mental wellbeing

It's not uncommon for women to become mentally unwell in pregnancy, even if you have never had an issue with your mental health before. You may find it helpful to complete a pregnancy and post-birth wellbeing plan to help you think about your mental wellbeing. It will also help you think ahead for after the birth.

If you start feeling sad more than you feel happy and the feeling doesn't go away the important thing to do is to talk to someone. Your GP or midwife will be able to tell if you need extra support.

Read more about the difference between hormonal changes in pregnancy and mental ill-health.

What to do in week 20

Anomaly scan

Many of you will have your anomaly scan this week - it will show how your baby is growing, check the health and position of your placenta, and highlight any visible problems with the way your baby’s body is developing.

It also gives you the chance to see your baby in amazing detail. Is he sucking his thumb in your ultrasound pictures?

Check out our FAQs about antenatal care.

What are the benefits of pilates during pregnancy?

Pilates strengthens and stretches your core muscles, and helps your body cope with carrying the extra weight of your growing baby. It can also help prepare you for childbirth and for recovering afterwards.

'Pregnancy yoga was seriously relaxing and "me time".'Michelle, mum of one

In particular, it’s well worth toning up your pelvic floor muscles, doing the exercises as often as you can.

Find out more about pilates in pregnancy.

Lennart Nilsson (2009) A Child is Born, Johnathan Cape

Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J (2012) Mayes’ Midwifery, 14th edition, London, Ballière Tindall

NICE (2008) Antenatal care for uncomplicated pregnancies,Clinical guideline [CG62] Last updated: January 2017. https://www.nice.org.uk/Guidance/cg62

RCOG (2006) Recreational Exercise and Pregnancy: Information for you, London, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/patient-information-leaflets/pregnancy/recreational-exercise-and-pregnancy.pdf

Royal College of Psychiatrists, Mental health in pregnancy, London RCP, 2012 http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/problemsdisorders/mentalhealthinpregnancy.aspx

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Antenatal and postnatal mental health: clinical and service management guidance, clinical guideline 45, London NICE, 2007. http://publications.nice.org.uk/antenatal-and-postnatal-mental-health-cg45

Review dates

Last reviewed: 26 June, 2018
Next review: 26 June, 2021