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Pregnancy / Smartmum / Trimester 2

Pregnancy Weeks 20 to 22

Pregnancy Weeks 20 to 22

Pregnancy Weeks 20 to 22

Week 20

At Week 20 you are already halfway through your pregnancy journey; your baby is now about the length of a banana and weighs roughly the same as a small melon.

Around this time you will be able to find out your baby’s sex (if you want to) through the second trimester ultrasound, which is usually scheduled between18 and 20 weeks. Some parents prefer not to know the sex, while others can’t wait to plan ahead for their new arrival.

From this point on you can expect to put on about 450 grams per week for the rest of your pregnancy. Now into your second trimester, you are likely to feel full of energy. Many women feel that this is the best stage of pregnancy. It’s important to continue to eat healthily and ensure that you are getting enough iron in your diet — essential for you, your growing baby and the placenta.

Week 21

Around Week 21, you may be asked to have a scan to exclude any maldevelopments in your baby. You may also start to feel butterfly-like movements in your tummy as your baby gets more active. These movements are known as quickening.

As your body expands with your baby you might also notice the appearance of stretch marks — silvery patterns on the skin, usually around the abdomen and buttocks. These are tiny tears where the skin is stretching to accommodate your growing baby. These are common in pregnancy and are usually prevalent in women with a family history, or those that are expecting twins. Some women find that using a natural oil like coconut or almond may help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

Week 22

At Week 22 your baby looks like a miniature newborn. Lips and eyelids are distinct but at this stage the irises of the eyes still lack pigmentation.

Hair is the theme this week — for both you and baby. Your baby will be covered in a fine down known as lanugo (which comes from the Latin word for wool: lana). This falls away before birth, but some premature babies may arrive with a covering of the down which usually falls off on its own after a few weeks. At this stage of your pregnancy you will find that your own tresses will have become more lustrous, as pregnancy causes you to lose less hair than usual.

As your womb enlarges, you may occasionally feel breathless or experience palpitations. You may find that your growing baby presses against your organs, so consider having small, frequent meals rather than large buffet feasts as heartburn and indigestion are some of the symptoms that may be experienced at this stage. Foods you enjoyed pre-pregnancy — like fried or spicy food — can add to the discomfort, so you may want to wait until baby arrives to satisfy that laksa craving!

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