Understanding Second Trimester Miscarriage
Pregnancy loss in the second trimester can be the result of a very preterm delivery or death of the fetus . About 2-3% of pregnancies will be lost in the second trimester, a rate that is much lower than in the first trimester. Once a pregnancy gets to about 20 weeks gestation, less than 0.5% will end in a fetal demise.
A loss at this time in pregnancy is most often a hard and sad experience. Many friends and family already know you are pregnant. What do you do? What do you say? For most women and their partners, the process of grieving is no different than losing a person who has been in your life for some time. You often have hopes and dreams about your child before that child is born, and losing the pregnancy in the second or third trimester is certainly a loss for a family.
Nutrition At 20 Weeks Pregnant
Sadly, as a pregnant woman, you are at a higher risk of gum disease due to increased levels of progesterone. So, its important to resist donut temptation and control your sugar intake. Your gums can become swollen and bleed, and your teeth are more likely to be attacked by plaque too. Heres a few ways to look after your teeth and gums:
- Mouthwash is great for fighting plaque, just make sure it doesnt contain alcohol.
- Regular trips to the dentist are also important to keep your gums in good shape.
- The best thing is, throughout your pregnancy and right up to babys first birthday, you get free NHS dental care.
Remember to tell your dentist the names and dosages of all medications you are taking, including vitamins such as folic acid, as these may affect your treatment plan.
Pregnancy Term & Due Date
Pregnancy is a term used to describe a woman’s state over a time period during which one or more offspring develops inside of a woman. Childbirth usually occurs approximately 38 weeks after conception, or about 40 weeks after the last menstrual period. The World Health Organization defines a normal pregnancy term to last between 37 and 42 weeks. During a person’s first OB-GYN visit, the doctor will usually provide an estimated date at which the child will be born, or due date. Alternatively, the due date can also be estimated based on a person’s last menstrual period.
While the due date can be estimated, the actual length of pregnancy depends on various factors, including age, length of previous pregnancies, and weight of the mother at birth.1 However, there are still more factors affecting natural variation in pregnancy terms that are not well understood. Studies have shown that fewer than 4% of births occur on the exact due date, 60% occur within a week of the due date, and almost 90% occur within two weeks of the due date.2 As such, while it is possible to be fairly confident that a person’s child will be born within about two weeks of the due date, it is currently not possible to predict the exact day of birth with certainty.
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Twin Development At Week 20
Your babies have typically grown to 6 inches long and about 9 ounces each. They can hear you by now!
Plan for your anatomy scan to take a lot longer than if there was just one baby. Thats because each baby will need to be measured and have their organs checked. Just like pregnancies with one child, this ultrasound will check in on your babies health. Typically, you can also learn the sex of your babies if you want.
Feeling Your Baby Moveand Kick Counts
Between 18 and 25 weeks, youll probably begin to feel your baby moving. At first it feels like a light fluttering, known as quickening, but youll soon start feeling kicks, jabs and somersaults from your growing baby.
If youre not feeling it yet, and youre getting regular checkups, your uterus is growing appropriately and youre not experiencing any irregular bleeding, things are probably fine, but mention any concerns to your healthcare provider. You wont need to start doing kick counts to monitor babys regular movements until your third trimester.
And if youre 20 weeks pregnant with twins, you may be feeling two distinct sets of kicks and movements by now. Kind of like an in-utero call and response!
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Symptoms And Body Changes At 20 Weeks
Most women who have smaller body frames begin to experience trouble breathing at this point. The babys growth has reached the point at which the baby is pressing on your internal organs, making it hard to breathe.
The top of your uterus is parallel with your belly button, and youve probably gained close to fifteen pounds.
Youre also experiencing more and more trips to the restroom at this point.
You need to continue to incorporate plenty of iron into your diet, as your baby is using much of the iron that you take in. Dark fruits and vegetables, eggs, chicken, dried fruits, wheat germ, oatmeal, spinach, and other leafy vegetables are all good sources of iron.
A shortage of iron can cause a variety of problems with your pregnancy, including anemia or premature labor in some cases.
Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound: Do You Need It
If you havent had it yet, you could be scheduled for your second-trimester ultrasound during this week. This ultrasound is done between weeks 18 to 22. Your 20-week ultrasound or anomaly scan will allow your doctor to look at the babys size, shape, heartbeat, and organs more clearly.
The doctor or ultrasound technician will take a detailed look at the babys heart, brain, spine, kidneys, stomach, intestines, and limbs. This will allow them to make sure that your baby doesnt suffer from any physical abnormalities.
They will also check the babys size during your 20 weeks pregnant ultrasound. If youre carrying twins or more babies, their heads will be measured to make sure their heads are all a similar size. If theyre not, different growth abnormalities will have to be ruled out.
Your placenta will also be examined. A low-lying placenta can be diagnosed at this stage. However, theres still probably nothing to worry about. In most cases, your placenta will go up as your uterus grows bigger. And if the babys gender hasnt been determined by now, your 20-week ultrasound will reveal whether youre expecting a boy or a girl.
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Changes In You And Your Body At 20 Weeks Pregnant
The first time you feel your baby move inside you is like wow! If youre not feeling much yet, dont worry, this is normal as baby movements at 20 weeks differ from mum to mum. At this stage youll only feel subtle movements: a twitch maybe, or a flutter. It takes some practise to recognise them when they come – patience and a bit of peace and quiet help.
Bear in mind that babies usually have their most active phase in the evening between 8-11 p.m., and when you move around, youre basically rocking them to sleep. They can sleep up to 20 hours a day right now. Lucky baby. Its usual for kicks against your tummy only to become really clear from the 25th week as baby and bump grow.
As the weeks go by, many mums-to-be develop stretch marks on their skin as their babies grow. You can help soften the marks by rubbing creams or oils into your bump, boobs and bum. Even better, ask your partner or a friend to massage you with sweet almond, avocado or evening primrose oils, for the maximum feel-good experience. For advice on safe oils to use in pregnancy, speak to your midwife.
Prenatal Visits During The Second Trimester
During your second and third trimester prenatal visits, your health care provider may check the following, depending on your current medical condition and the health of the fetus:
Any current symptoms or discomforts
Your blood pressure
Urine test. This is done to find albumin, a protein that may indicate pre-eclampsia or toxemia, and glucose .
Growth, size and development of the fetus
Size of the uterus. After approximately 12 weeks of gestation, the uterus can be felt through the abdominal wall.
Height of the fundus , starting at 20 weeks of gestation
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Feeding Your Growing Appetite
Are you in the Hunger Zone? With weeks of nausea and food aversions behind you, you may be more than ready to make up for lost eating time move over crackers, hello four-course meals!
But before you dig into that all-you-can-eat buffet at lunchtime, here’s something you might want to consider. The grazing approach that was your mealtime MO during those queasy months is still the best way to feed yourself and your baby now that food’s no longer a four-letter word.
Not only does it help fend off pesky second-trimester tummy troubles, like the heartburn and indigestion that are sure to set in by your second trip to the buffet, but it also ensures that baby’s getting a steady supply of calories when she needs it the most.
In fact, studies show that moms who eat at least five small meals and snacks a day are more likely to carry to term. So bring on the grub when pregnancy hunger hits, and lots of it just bring it on a little at a time.
Things To Do: Fetal Testing
At this stage, a scan may show whether your baby is a girl or boy.
Amniocentesis can also reveal the sex of the baby, but a doctor will only offer this procedure if the fetus faces a high risk of developing a health condition. The procedure presents a slight risk to the baby.
Speak with your healthcare provider to determine if genetic testing and other forms of prenatal screening are right for you, especially if there is any family history of a genetic health condition.
A doctor can diagnose a range of disorders before birth, including:
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Key Takeaways At 20 Weeks Pregnant
- Cheersyouve officially made it to the halfway point of pregnancy! It might feel like time is crawling or time is flying it depends on how youre feeling and coping with all the changes happening to you and around you.
- The anatomy scanor 20-week ultrasoundwill be happening soon! Yes, you can find out babys sex at this appointment . More importantly, an ultrasound tech will look at babys organs, take measurements and assess that baby is developing appropriately.
- Your doctor or midwife will probably start measuring your fundal height soon. Essentially, theyll measure your bump which is definitely starting to pop!
- Youve probably gained about 10 poundsgive or takeat this point. Dont get too caught up in the number make sure youre eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting some movement!
If youve recently found out babys sex, youre in a completely new mindsetare we right? Things are suddenly feeling very real. Get readybefore you know it, youll be welcoming your little boy or girl!
Johns Hopkins Hospital Designated As Baby
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program launched by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Childrens Fund, has designated The Johns Hopkins Hospital as Baby-Friendly. This designation is given to hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother-baby bonding.
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Pregnancy Symptoms During Week 20
You may feel especially itchy around your belly and breasts as your skin stretches to accommodate your growing baby. Many expecting moms experience itchy skin at some point. Use cold packs and slather on moisturizer for relief. Get more tips on easing the itch, and find out when itchy skin could signal a problem.
Do you shift around all night trying to find a comfortable sleeping position? These suggestions may help: Lie on your side, with your knees bent and a pillow between your legs. For extra comfort and support, arrange other pillows under your belly and behind your back. You can also try using a pregnancy pillow.
Hair and nail changes
Finally, some enjoyable pregnancy symptoms! You may be noticing you have longer nails and thicker hair at this point. Hair often gets thicker during pregnancy not because you’re growing more, but because estrogen makes the growth phase longer. Basically, you’re losing less hair. All the hair you didn’t lose during pregnancy will start shedding about three to five months after delivery. It’s normal, but postpartum hair loss can come as a surprise. Also, your nails are growing faster than usual now and possibly looking different. Some expecting moms have harder nails, while others find their nails are softer or more brittle.
Lower back pain
Don’t see your symptom?
Wondering about a symptom you have? Find it on our pregnancy symptoms page.
How Likely Am I To Give Birth On My Due Date
Of course, a due date calculation is always approximate, whether it’s from our tool or from your doctor or midwife. Only 1 in 20 women delivers on their due date. You’re just as likely to go into labor any day during the two weeks before or after.
Want more information about how the weeks, months, and trimesters of pregnancy are counted? See our pregnancy timing chart.
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Your Baby At Week 20 Of Pregnancy
Your 20-week baby has grown a lot, but it still has enough space to do somersaults and jumps inside your womb. Baby’s legs have almost straightened, so from now on, he/she will be measured from head to toe.
If you hadnt been able to feel your babys movements before, week 20 of your pregnancy could change things. Your 20-week baby has grown a lot, so their movements will become more obvious during this week.
Your baby is now practically fully formed. In the coming weeks, it will mostly keep growing and gaining weight. Getting stronger is essential for your baby before it comes into the word. But that doesnt mean that theres no exciting fetal development at 20 weeks pregnant!
Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor
Are you on the right track with weight gain? What should you do differently if not? Use our weight gain calculator to learn about the recommended weight gain by week.
If youâre planning a babymoon â is there any specific medical advice about the destination youâre visiting?
How can you go about finding a great pediatrician?
When will your fundal height start being measured?
What should you expect when it comes to feeling your baby move, and should you start tracking movement?
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Weeks Pregnant: Baby Update
Are you singing and talking to your baby? Around this time, her inner ear becomes fully developed, and she may begin responding to sound. Research has shown that babies in utero, can hear musicand when that very same music is played after birth they often quiet and seem to pay attention…a sign they actually remember it.
Your baby is practicing sucking. That may sound trivial, but its a skill shell need to sustain her life in just a few more months! Meanwhile, youre sharing your immunities with her. Your cells actually cross the placenta into fetal tissue, to help build up her immune system. Breastfeeding is a great way to continue protecting your little one after birth your milk contains antibodies and all sorts of nutrients.
The Second Trimester: Fetal Development
Now that all the major organs and systems have formed in the fetus, the following six months will be spent growing. The weight of your fetus will multiply more than seven times over the next few months, as the fetus becomes a baby that can survive outside of the uterus.
The fetus kicks, moves and can turn from side to side.
The eyes have been gradually moving to the front of the face, and the ears have moved from the neck to the sides of the head. The fetus can hear your voice.
A creamy white substance begins to appear on the fetus and helps to protect the thin fetal skin. Vernix is gradually absorbed by the skin, but some may be seen on babies even after birth.
The fetus is developing reflexes, like swallowing and sucking.
The fetus can respond to certain stimuli.
The placenta is fully developed.
The brain will undergo its most important period of growth from the fifth month on.
Fingernails have grown on the tips of the fingers and toes, and the fingers and toes are fully separated.
The fetus goes through cycles of sleep and wakefulness.
Skin is wrinkly and red, covered with soft, downy hair .
Hair is growing on the head of the fetus.
Fat begins to accumulate in the fetus.
Eyelids are beginning to open, and the eyebrows and eyelashes are visible.
Fingerprints and toeprints have formed.
Rapid growth is continuing in fetal size and weight.
The 20th week marks the halfway point of the pregnancy.
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Baby’s Development At 20 Weeks Pregnant
At 20 weeks your baby is the length of a banana and growing really quickly, especially when it comes to brain development. Thankfully that tiny body has finally started catching up with the head and baby is starting to look more in proportion and less like an alien.
The pancreas is starting to produce babys insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Insulin also allows baby to use sugar and fat for growth, and to stockpile it under the skin for birth. Clever little clogs.
Plus, if youre having a girl, her ovaries are already equipped with enough primitive cells to produce six million eggs.