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weeks pregnant

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!

20 weeks infographic.

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.

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

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.

RCOG (2006) Recreational Exercise and Pregnancy: Information for you, London, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists:

Royal College of Psychiatrists, Mental health in pregnancy, London RCP, 2012

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Antenatal and postnatal mental health: clinical and service management guidance, clinical guideline 45, London NICE, 2007.

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Last reviewed on June 26th, 2018. Next review date June 26th, 2021.

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  • 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

    Hi Iwu,
    It would not be possible to be able to know the gender of your baby without an ultrasound scan.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • 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
    Take care

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

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

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