Pregnancy calendar

weeks pregnant

20 weeks pregnant - what's happening

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

20 weeks infographic.

What does my baby look like?

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 symptoms - what's happening

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).

What is 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.

Actions to take

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.


1. Lennart Nilsson (2009) A Child is Born, Johnathan Cape, p.192

2. Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J (2012) Mayes’ Midwifery, 14th edition, London, Ballière Tindall, p. 570

3. Nascimento SL, Surita FG, Cecatti, JG. 2012. Physical exercise during pregnancy: a systematic review. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 24(6), 387-394

Hide details

Last reviewed on April 1st, 2015. Next review date April 1st, 2018.

Was this information useful?

Yes No


  • 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
    Take care

  • By Portis (not verified) on 9 Nov 2017 - 14:55

    I want to know my baby it's are boy or girl

Add new comment