20 weeks pregnant

When you’re 20 weeks pregnant, your baby grows quickly and develops distinctive features. You may get results from scans and tests and you can also think about baby names.

Week-by-week stages of pregnancy: week 20

Congratulations, now you are 20 weeks pregnant and you have reached the halfway mark. Your baby is about 25cm long, and weighs about 340g. Small teeth buds will start to form in their jawbone. Your baby’s body is growing bigger now, and the head doesn’t look quite so out of proportion – they're looking more and more as they will when they're born.

At 20 weeks, your baby’s sex is now visible on the scan so you will know – if you choose to – if you are having a boy or a girl.  Why not start thinking about names – finding a name you can agree on could take a while. Your baby is becoming very active inside your womb, they can step, hold themselves erect and even grab and squeeze the umbilical cord. All of this movement will mean you will most likely have felt your baby move or ‘kick’ by now (don’t worry if you haven’t, every pregnancy is different). From around now there will be slight differences in your baby’s activity between morning and night with the busiest being around midnight.

You’ll also be able to get your MATB1 form from 20 weeks into your pregnancy. This is an important piece of paperwork, as you’ll need it to work out your maternity leave arrangements. You can get it from your midwife or doctor but you might need to remind them about it.

Around week 20 of pregnancy, your growing bump will be becoming more obvious. From now on your bump will probably grow by about 1-2cm a week. As your bump gets bigger you may start feeling more clumsy and bulky, and it may take a while to get used to your new frame. It is important to have a good posture to help prevent back pain as you try to balance the weight of your bump.

As you begin to show more, people will be able to tell you’re pregnant and may start wishing you well and giving you advice (this may not be so welcome). If you are confused by the endless pregnancy tales from work colleagues and friends, check our website for information and guidance.

At 20 weeks pregnant, symptoms may worsen and you may experience some niggles and discomforts. These are perfectly normal and can happen at any time during your pregnancy. It is important to remember that your body is working exceptionally hard to provide all your baby’s needs and as a result your hormones, which are mechanisms for making sure your body adapts well to pregnancy and birth, may cause some uncomfortable side effects. It’s normal to experience these symptoms, but find out more or talk to your midwife to reassure yourself.

If you had any antenatal tests, you can expect the results any time soon. If you have received or are expecting to receive results, now is a good time to find out more about what they mean, how accurate they are and what choices are available to you. Although there is a good chance everything will be fine, it is a good idea, and reassuring for you and your partner, to get informed beforehand.

Further help and information

NCT's helpline offers practical and emotional support in all areas of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood: 0300 330 0700. We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.

Join in with NCT on Facebook and Twitter - it's a great way to make new friends and stay in touch with old ones. Or joint our community for new parents on Google+ where you can connect with other parents online who are experiencing similar things.

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