Pregnancy Week by Week – Week 20

The Start of Month Five of Pregnancy – Respiratory Movements Begin

As you enter Week 20 of pregnancy, your baby’s legs lengthen and early breathing movements can be detected. What can you be doing to prepare for labor?

Week 20 of pregnancy brings some new changes with your baby. You are approximately midway through your 40 weeks of pregnancy and likely feeling well since morning sickness is likely behind you, yet the discomforts of third trimester have not yet occurred. Let’s find out more about this stage of pregnancy and what you can be doing to prepare for what is ahead in pregnancy, birth and postpartum.

What is happening with Your Baby?

The baby’s brain starts to develop more intricately at this week of pregnancy. In addition, the baby’s nose and ears become more defined and the nostrils even open. Your baby can actually have very primitive respiration or breathing movements during this week as well that can be seen on ultrasound.

Your baby’s teeth are now developing their layers of dentin and enamel in Week 20. Another new development is that the baby’s colon begins to develop further and grow upward.

Your baby also begins to produce it’s own supply of insulin during this week.

What is happening with You?

Officially this is the halfway point to the end of your 40 weeks of pregnancy. There are several things that you may notice around this stage of pregnancy.

Anytime from week 14-20, mothers begin to have an increase in their pulse of about 10-15 beats per minute, which then continues to the end of pregnancy. This change in heart rate is due to the increase in the mother’s blood volume necessary to support the pregnancy and baby.

Some mothers will notice that their gums bleed more easily during the second trimester. It is very important to continue to dental care including brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist. Research shows a link between poor dental health and preterm labor.

Have you thought about your plans for returning to work or staying home after the baby is born? This is a great time to begin to make those decisions as well as interview potential day care providers. Coming soon is a brand new series on making that big decision after your baby arrives in about 20 weeks!

Are you planning to breastfeed? Be sure you get as much information now on the best way to feed your baby. The earlier you make this decision and prepare to breastfeed, the more successful and determined you will be.

To Do List:

1. Continue healty eating habits and taking prenatal vitamins.

2. Review options to stay home versus return to work.

3. Research childbirth class options if you have not done so.

4. Read more on how breastfeeding helps you and your baby.

5. Sign up for a breastfeeding class in your area.

Are you in your 20th week of pregnancy?