Your Weekly Pregnancy Development: Week 20

Your baby's skin thickens and develops layers under the vernix

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Take note of kicks and squirms

Week 20: Your baby is going to start moving soon

When you're 20 weeks pregnant, your baby is getting used to all of his developing parts. Your baby is moving around, and you might be able to feel it. At Week 20, your baby's development includes the following:

  • Your baby probably measures about 6 inches, about the length of an eggplant, and weighs about half a pound.
  • Your baby's skin thickens and develops layers under the vernix during the 20th week of pregnancy.
  • His hair and nails continue to grow.
  • His limbs are well developed when you're 20 weeks pregnant.
  • Your baby is moving and you can feel it. Make a note of when you felt these movements start and let your doctor know.
Pregnancy Weeks images
Pregnancy Weeks images

Your Week 20 nutrition and baby health

How your baby will benefit from your healthy nutrition choices

Making the right nutrition choices now can benefit your baby both in the short term and in the long term. Emerging research shows that nutrition in utero and during childhood can play a role in your baby's health in many ways. Although it's your 20th week of pregnancy, you still have plenty of time to implement healthy nutrition changes that will make a difference.

Here's what emerging science is uncovering regarding what nutrition during your pregnancy can do:

  • Health benefits include:
    • Brain development
    • Growth and body composition
    • Metabolic programming
    • Cognitive and educational performance
    • Physical strength, immunity
    • Reduced risk for diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure

Pregnancy Weeks images
Don't forget your dental health
Take care of your teeth and gums. You are more susceptible to gingivitis (redness and swelling of the gums) while pregnant, so be consistent with brushing and flossing. Keep up with routine dental visits during pregnancy, but avoid X-rays at this time.

Do Kegel exercises

Kegels are a simple and discreet exercise that can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, including the muscles around your vagina, urethra, and anus, to help make delivery easier and to reduce episodes of stress incontinence. Here’s how to do the exercise:
  • Squeeze or tense the muscles around your vagina and anus, as if you're trying to stop the flow of urine.
  • Hold for 10 seconds and release.
  • Repeat 10 to 20 times in a row, a few times throughout the day.

Like any workout, you can increase both the hold times and repetitions as you build stamina. Also, be sure to check with your doctor before trying any new exercise.

Keep learning about your baby's development every week
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