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Changes in Pregnancy at 20 Weeks

Pregnancy at 20 Weeks

Your Body at 20 Weeks Pregnant

Congratulations! You’re now halfway through your pregnancy. Some women find that the second trimester of their pregnancy is the most fun: your libido may be back and more powerful than ever, your energy level may be higher, and your nesting urges are increasing.

It’s a good idea to avoid sleeping on your back from now on. Many women find comfort by curling up with a body pillow, which can provide support for your back and tummy simultaneously.

Pregnancy at 20 Weeks Your Baby at 20 Weeks Pregnant

Your baby is now about nine inches (23 cm) in size: he’s the length of a banana and he weighs about 10 1/2 oz. (300 g). He’s starting to accumulate meconium, a green colored sticky stool, in his intestine that he will pass after birth. His sebaceous glands are starting to produce oil to protect his skin. Hiccupping that may have started in week 16 is now becoming more common. Some women feel these hiccups, and others don’t notice them at all.


Medical Appointments at 20 Weeks Pregnant

Testing for Down's Syndrome and other genetic disorders continues. The testing consists of a combination of two blood tests and one ultrasound. The three tests together are often called an "integrated screen." The first of the two "integrated screen" blood tests is already done (usually between weeks 10 and 14 of your pregnancy). The ultrasound, called a nuchal translucency (NT), was also done between weeks 12 and 14. The results from these two tests will be used to calculate an initial overall risk of Down syndrome and other genetic disorders.

The second blood test of the integrated screen, also known as the "AFP-Quad test" or "second trimester screen," is usually done around now – between weeks 15 and 20 of your pregnancy. The result of the second blood test will be incorporated with the results of the first test and the NT test, and your final risk for Down syndrome and genetic disorders will be calculated. You’ll receive this information in the form of a probability (i.e. you have a 1/10,000 chance of having a Down's Syndrome baby). Over 90 percent of Down syndrome babies can be detected in this way.

Between now and 22 weeks, you’ll have a detailed anatomical ultrasound to make sure your baby is developing normally.

The preceding information was adapted from The Pregnancy Companion.

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