What to expect in week 20 of pregnancy

Your baby is the size of a banana now, about 25 cm long from head to toe and weighing about 315 grams.

Your baby is taking up more space in your womb and continued growth will put pressure on your lungs, stomach, bladder and kidneys.

Baby’s skin will start thicken and develop, and baby’s hair and nails will continue to grow.

How is my body changing?

You may have gained around 4.5kg. You should expect to gain another pound or so each week from now on.

If you started your pregnancy underweight, you may need to gain a bit more and if you were overweight, a bit less.

You must make sure you’re getting enough iron, a mineral that’s used primarily to make haemoglobin, the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen.

In addition, during pregnancy, your body needs more iron to keep up with your expanding blood volume, as well as for your growing baby and the placenta.

What should I be concerned about?

You should consider the cord blood banking. Cord blood banking is a procedure in which the umbilical cord blood taken from the baby’s umbilical cord immediately after birth is stored for possible future use in stem cell transplants.

There are two ways to store cord blood:

  • Public: Public banks will collect and store cord blood for use in any patient who needs treatment.
  • Private: The family and those willing and able to pay for the services of the centre will supervise the collection and storage of umbilical cord blood, which will be saved for use only by that family.

What should I tell my doctor?

The second ultrasound examination in the second trimester of pregnancy is the best way for you to see how your little one is developing.

If you are concerned about this ultrasound, seek your doctor’s advice and clarify issues you are concerned about.

What tests should I know about?

At this time, you will be given the amniocentesis test if you agree to it. This test is performed for a specific reason; but is not a periodic test. This test will show if the baby has a genetic abnormality such as Down Syndrome.

It is important that you discuss the benefits, risks and limitations of these tests with your doctor.

Your doctor will also perform an ultrasound test that uses sound waves to create images. An ultrasound can determine the size and position of your baby. It can also detect any structural abnormalities of the bones and organs.

Depending on the position, you may see the sex of the baby. The umbilical cord, placenta and amniotic fluid can also be checked via an ultrasound.

You should talk to your doctor about the risks and advantages of this test.

Staying healthy and safe while pregnant

  • Organic versus inorganic

The biggest difference between organic and inorganic produce is that organic produce is better for your health in the long term. Differences in nutritional content is not really significant.

There may be pesticide residue in inorganic food, but this can be minimised by washing, peeling or cooking the food.

However, the most important thing is to eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

If you’re on a tight budget, do not limit your food by eating only organic foods.

  • Standing for long periods of time

Do not stand all day when you’re pregnant. Standing still for long periods of time tends to lower blood pressure.

If your blood pressure drops, you may become delirious and even faint. You can counteract these risks by walking short distance around any area you’re in.

This article first appeared in hellodoktor.com and was reviewed by Dr Duyen Le. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.