20 weeks pregnant: symptoms, signs and what to expect

20 weeks pregnant: symptoms, signs and what to expect

A 20 weeks pregnant woman experiences a lot of symptoms, both pleasant and not so good because of the changes happening in her body. The hormonal changes can cause a bit of discomfort and mood changes. It is possible to snap at people if you do not know what is going on with you. Sometimes, the changes are not within your control.

baby at 20 weeks

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Knowing what symptoms you are likely to face makes it easier for any woman to manage their expectations. It can also come in handy for those around her, especially caretakers and the spouse. Having a baby in womb at 2 weeks is different with when the baby grows to 20 weeks. You may have wondered 20 weeks is how many months just to mark your progress. Well, this makes you 5 months pregnant which comes with its own challenges.

20 weeks pregnant what to expect

Apart from aspects about 20 weeks pregnant baby movement, there is the mother's health and comfort that needs to be considered. Knowing which symptoms that come at this stage is the best way to manage any discomfort.

20 weeks pregnant belly

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Source: UGC

A lot of changes are happening by the time you get to the second trimester. By the time you are at 20 weeks, your belly will become more noticeable and begin to bulge. In addition to that, you will notice that most of the symptoms you experienced during the first trimester reduce. You will notice that your baby begin making certain movements. Internally, they are about the size of a banana and have already begun developing some hair on their body. Apart from these, there are other symptoms that you will begin experiencing at this stage. Check out the symptoms below.

1. Body aches. This comes about as the baby moves and kicks as he or she stretches in the womb.

2. Stretch marks. You will notice that stretchmarks will begin forming as your skin continues to stretch due to the baby's growth.

3. Skin Pigmentation. You may note that some ladies develop skin pigmentation as a result of hormonal changes.

4. Heartburn and indigestion. This will, unfortunately, continue even after the first trimester. You should consider eating smaller portions of food and avoid lying down after meals.

5. Headaches will be constant. Make sure to take lots of fresh air by staying outdoors whenever the weather allows.

6. Leg cramps. These will keep happening. While it may be known why the cramps occur during pregnancy, it always helps to put your leg up.

7. Belly button changes. Your belly button will start protruding outwards as the uterus pushed the abdomen.

8. Vaginal discharge. This will keep happening up to the time you get to deliver. It is the body's way of adjusting and eliminating any unwanted bacteria. In case you witness extremely unpleasant smell and discomfort then you should consider visiting a doctor immediately.

9. Increased energy and libido. This is a rare positive that should be enjoyed while it lasts. Take advantage of it as it will be n the down-low in the third trimester.

10. Shortness of breathe. Some women will experience shortness of breathe as the uterus grows and pushes against the lungs which then causes one to struggle with breathing. It may be worse if you are carrying twins. Make sure you relax and avoid exerting yourself too much.

The above three symptoms are the most common baby at 20 weeks pregnancy symptoms that all women will face. However, they are not all that you may experience when you get here. The other symptoms vary from one woman to another. They include:

1. Food cravings

Different women desire different foods when they are pregnant. While it was thought that the cravings were based on the nutritional needs of the baby, it is not necessarily true. Looking at a 20 weeks pregnant belly, one may wonder which foods are best to keep the baby and mother well nourished. Well, every woman craves different things. Interestingly, the same woman can have varied cravings with different pregnancies she has. The important thing is to ensure that she is eating a well-balanced diet at all times. Any additional craving will just be a top up after the baby gets all the necessary nutrients.

2. Braxton-hicks contractions

At the 20 weeks period, you may experience false labour. This is when a woman feels pre-term labour which results from walking around too much, standing too long or being dehydrated. In most cases, this is nothing to worry about since taking a rest by lying down and taking enough water will restore things back to normal. In the case that the contractions happen regularly and painfully, make sure you visit a doctor.

It may be time for the 20 weeks pregnant ultrasound which will, in turn, reveal the problem causing the pain. You may also get to find out your baby's gender at this stage of development. The ultrasound will reveal the necessary info that a doctor needs to deduce inside the pregnant belly. Of crucial concern is the well being of the baby.

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So what do you do?

baby in womb

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Source: UGC

If you have been keen and taking progress through pregnancy week by week pictures of baby and belly, then you have noticed that there is significant progress so far. At this stage, however, you need to do a few things to ensure that your baby's health is perfect. Check out the suggestions below:

  • Get screened for any birth defects on the baby. The screen will also reveal the baby's development progress as well as confirm the official due date. This means that the need for an ultrasound cannot be overemphasized.
  • Eat well. A balanced diet is always recommended at any time. Both mother and baby need to eat well to get nutrients for healthy growth and development.
  • Get enough rest to avoid false labour. Even as the baby prepares for labour, overexercising could trigger dangerous outcomes. Talk to your doctor for directions in case you may need total bed rest.

Keep up with the checkup routine to ensure that nothing goes wrong. There are a lot of things that a doctor considers when you attend an ultrasound check. He or she will point out the following:

  • Fundal height, or belly size, and fetal growth
  • Weight gain
  • Urine protein level
  • Fetal heartbeat
  • Edema, or swelling
  • Blood pressure
  • Urine glucose levels

You also need to reach out to the doctor in case you experience the following these symptoms.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Chills or fever
  • Severe or continuous headache
  • Leaking of fluid from vagina
  • Swelling or pain in one lower extremity
  • Dimness or blurring of vision
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Pain or burning during urination

Being 20 weeks pregnant is something to be congratulated about. At this point you are halfway through the journey and this is no small fit. Keep yourself updated about the symptoms and signs as this will help you manage your expectations.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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