Pregnancy Week 20
In pregnancy week 20, your baby will be about 5.5 inches to 6.5 inches long and will be almost 9 ounces in weight. The changes that will happen to your baby in this week are amazing. Your baby practices breathing and swallowing on a daily basis. The head of your baby will appear in proportion to its rest of the body. The growth of the baby will be continuous procedure in this week too. The skin of the baby is also getting complex with each passing day and it will have more layers now. The epidermis, the upper layer of the skin will itself have four layers. The layers will also get developed on the palm and feet of the baby, which will give him or her unique fingerprint in future life.
In pregnancy week 20, you have already completed the half portion of the pregnancy. The people will notice your bump much before they notice you. Your uterus too has almost reached your belly button. Now onwards, the growth will be continue and will happen on regular basis. You will be able to spot regular changes in your body by now. Event though it is said that the pregnancy term is of 40 weeks, some pregnant ladies can deliver anywhere between 37 to 42 weeks. The kind of delivery you have will depend upon various factors like your baby's health, your genetics and the accuracy of your due date. You will start appearing bulky now and the belly will grow with each passing day. The doctor will take measurements of your belly to and record them to know the exact growth of your baby and its developments.
After pregnancy week 20, your doctor will start measuring the fundal height and record them too. This fundal height will help the doctor in deciding the due date for your pregnancy. But post-32nd week the fundal height will not be so clear. For this reason the doctor will use serial ultrasound to know the growth curve of your baby. In case your fundal height is measuring large than expected, your doctor might suspect that you are carrying twins or your baby is growing pretty fast or you will deliver soon. To clarify the doubts the doctor will use ultrasound again in this week. The doctor will also come to know if your baby is growing at small rate from the measurements o the fundal height.
In case your baby's growth is happening at a very slow rate, then there may arise certain complications post you deliver your baby. The slow growth rate can be caused due to many reasons like – chronic medical illness, diabetes mellitus, chronic depression, elevated alpha fetoprotein, twin gestation, substance abuse, anemia, abnormalities, poor weight gain during pregnancy and less maternal weight before pregnancy. A normal birth weight for any baby is near around 7 pounds but premature babies can be very less in comparison with this weight. In case the doctor will found out about the slow growth rate of your baby, then he will start giving you treatment for the same.