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.
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).
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.
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.
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 and mental ill-health.
What to do in week 20
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-cg45Hide details
ℹLast reviewed on June 26th, 2018. Next review date June 26th, 2021.
By Sophie litherland (not verified) on 28 Dec 2018 - 20:33
Im o rehsus negative with my scan baby had my blood test at 16 weeks to determine weather babys mine or positive should i be worried as i havent heard anything yet x
By Midwife @Tommys on 9 Jan 2019 - 13:01
Hi Sophie. You do not need to worry.
At your first antenatal appointment you are likely to be offered several blood tests. One of the tests is to find out your blood group. Your blood may be in one of four groups: A, B, AB or O.
The blood will also be either ‘rhesus positive’ or ‘rhesus negative’. People whose blood is rhesus positive have a substance known as D antigen on the surface of their red blood cells. Rhesus negative people do not.
About 15% of women are rhesus negative. Being rhesus negative isn't usually a concern for a first pregnancy. But it might mean some extra care is needed to avoid problems if you get pregnant again.A woman with rhesus negative blood in pregnancy can be pregnant with a rhesus positive baby if the baby's father is rhesus positive. If any of the baby’s blood enters the woman’s bloodstream, the woman’s immune system can develop antibodies (infection-fighting proteins) against the rhesus antigens. This is known as sensitisation. A transfer of blood can occur during birth, or if the woman has a bleed or an injury. Production of the antibodies is not a problem in a first pregnancy, but when a woman with a rhesus negative blood type is pregnant next time with a rhesus positive baby, her antibodies can attack that baby’s red blood cells. This can result in a serious condition called haemolytic disease of the newborn, which leads to anaemia and jaundice in the baby.If the woman is given an injection of a solution called ‘Anti-D’, it will ‘mop up’ any rhesus positive antigens, preventing production of antibodies against the baby. Anti-D injections reduce the risk of a rhesus negative woman becoming sensitised.
NICE recommends routine antenatal administration of Anti-D to all rhesus negative women in case sensitisation occurs. This can be given as a one-off dose at 28 to 30 weeks or as two doses at 28 and 34 weeks. It is quite safe for both the mother and the baby.
All the best, Tommy's Midwife
By coleni (not verified) on 21 Nov 2018 - 06:31
Hi. I am kind of bothered by the fact that I have hit my 20th week of pregnancy (Yes, it's my first pregnancy); but I am still unable to feel my baby. Not even a tiny bit or "butterflies" as they call it. Should I be worried?
By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Nov 2018 - 16:04
No this is quite normal in a first pregnancy. You should start to feel movements in the next few weeks and if you haven't felt anything by week 24 speak to your midwife.
By Annika (not verified) on 22 Nov 2018 - 21:55
I am 20 weeks and 2 days and have only felt my baby once. It was last week and it was only because I laid on my back all day and held my tummy all day long - it was such a faint feeling too that I wasnt sure if it was real. I went for my scan today and the lady said it was because my placenta is at the front acting as a barrier. She said there was no problem at all and it will move up but it does mean it takes a bit longer to feel it, and that my baby girl is perfectly normal and healthy! I hope this has you worrying a little less!
By Futhi (not verified) on 17 Sep 2018 - 21:36
Is it normal to have abdominal pains. It Come and goes and its my first time being pregnant. I don't know what to do and I'm scared to take pain killers
By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Sep 2018 - 13:17
Hi Futhi, Thank you for your comment.
Experiencing lower cramping pains in early pregnancy can be normal as all the ligaments and muscles are stretching but if this pain is severe enough to take pain killers then it would be advisable that you are seen by your midwife, GP or antenatal day unit so that you can be checked over. It could be that you may have a urine infection that is causing this discomfort but please get checked over at this time. Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x
By Iwu (not verified) on 19 Jun 2018 - 14:30
Can I know the sex if my baby without going for ultrasound?
By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Jun 2018 - 16:53
It would not be possible to be able to know the gender of your baby without an ultrasound scan.
By Kier (not verified) on 18 Oct 2018 - 15:17
yes you can find out gender through a genetic test (blood test), you dont have to have ultrasound. i found out baby gender at 10 weeks through blood work.. later at 20 weeks I had an ultrasound which only re-confirmed again it was a girl.
By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Oct 2018 - 16:06
You are correct, but many units have a policy of not disclosing the gender at this early stage and will only tell the parents the gender at the 20 weeks scan.
By Midwife @Tommys on 9 Nov 2017 - 15:16
Thank you for your comment. I hope that you have had your 1st scan, midwife booking appointment and started your antenatal care. If you are 18-21 weeks pregnant you may be having (or already had) your fetal anomaly scan which is where the ultrasonographer checks that your baby is growing and developing normally.
'At 18 to 21 weeks
The second scan, known as the ‘fetal anomaly scan' shows:
how your baby is growing
the health and position of your placenta
if there are any visible problems with the way your baby’s body is developing.
Boy or girl?
At your second scan, the sonographer may be able to see if your baby is a boy or a girl.
Tell them if you would like to know – and tell them too if you don’t want to find out until the birth.
The point of the scan is to check the health and growth of your baby and some hospitals may have a policy of not looking at gender. And your baby might be lying in a position that doesn’t let the sonographer see the gender.
Just for fun, see whether old wives' tales can predict if you're having a girl or a boy on the BabyCentre website.'
I have attached a link with more information that you may find helpful
By Portis (not verified) on 9 Nov 2017 - 14:55
I want to know my baby it's are boy or girl