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Pregnancy Half Way Point: What to Expect at Your 20 Week Appointment

Posted by Johnson Memorial Health on Jul 30, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Congratulations, you are halfway through your pregnancy! It's all downhill from here. Most women have more energy during this time in their pregnancy, while others may still be dealing with morning sickness. Take the time to prepare for baby while you still have the energy to do it! Read on to find out more about this week in your pregnancy.

pregnancy-sonogram

During Your Appointment

Be sure to plan some extra time for this midpoint appointment because you'll likely do an ultrasound in addition to your regular checkup. 

Now that the baby is big enough, this ultrasound will be done on your abdomen. The tech will squirt some cold gel on your tummy and use a transducer to take a look. You'll likely be able to find out the gender of your baby; that is, if you don't want to leave it as a surprise! During the sonogram, you'll also check the growth and development of your little one.  The tech is measuring bones and looking at the placement of the baby, placenta, and uterus. If the technician sees anything suspicious, your doctor may refer you to a specialist for another ultrasound or more testing.  Click here for more details regarding this mid-pregnancy ultrasound. 

You'll also weigh in, do a urine screen, and check blood pressure like you do at each appointment. As always, be sure to ask your doctor any questions that you thought of since your last appointment. This time, your doctor will start asking you about fetal movement. Most women begin to feel their baby move between 18 and 23 weeks. If you haven't yet, you will!

Mom

At this point, most women have regained most of their energy and go about life as usual. Your belly, while growing, is not usually too uncomfortable or getting in the way of everyday tasks. Generally, weight gain up to this point is about ten pounds. You can expect to gain about an ounce a week from here on out. Each woman is unique, so keep in touch with your doctor if you have concerns about weight gain. You may notice some aches and pains, heartburn, or indigestion as you grow. Talk to your doctor about which over the counter medications you can take if you need some relief. 

You are passing your immunities along to baby, so be sure to stay healthy and active. These immunities will be able to protect your baby.

Because of changes in hormones and increased circulation, you might notice your hair and nails growing like never before. Aren't you lucky? Other women might notice dry and brittle nails. 

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Baby

You are probably starting to look pregnant by now, especially if this is not your first pregnancy. The baby is about the size of a banana, or around seven inches long and  10 oz.

A big milestone this week is that your baby is starting to develop nerve cells for senses. You may already notice that your baby reacts to soothing sounds or loud noises. Despite swimming around in water, your little one can already hear. 

Your baby is starting to swallow amniotic fluid and practice digesting. Your baby is also starting to produce meconium as a result of this digestion. This dark, tar-like substance will probably come out in that first diaper you get to change.

Upcoming Appointments

At this point you are probably still going to appointments every four weeks or so. During your mid-pregnancy appointment, you'll likely schedule your blood-glucose testing. This test is usually done around 24 weeks. Basically, the test is to determine if you have gestational diabetes. Be sure to pay attention to your pre-appointment instructions. You will probably be given a super sweet liquid to take home with you at this appointment, When you come back for the test, you'll drink that liquid before you come and then have a blood draw when you arrive. 

 

Second Trimester Precautions

It's always better to be safe than sorry. Don't hesitate to call your doctor if:

  • you notice anything abnormal
  • you would like to take a new medication or herbal supplement
  • you have any bleeding
  • you have increased discharge
  • you have a fever or chills
  • you have moderate cramping or lower abdominal pain
  • you have any questions about your health or your pregnancy

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Topics: Maternity Care