The 20th week is a major milestone, as you and Your Child have gone halfway already.
Your Child’s Development
Your Child now weighs about 300g and measures about 25 cm in length — the size of a big banana.
Sleep: Your Child now has developed regular sleep patterns. However, the little one can be awakened by loud noises, your movements, or when you eat or drink something.
Baby kicks: If this is your first pregnancy, you might be able to feel Your Child first move, punch, or kick by this week. There’s no specific number of baby movements you should feel at this point. It’s more important to get to know your baby’s natural pattern of movements. Once you start to feel your baby’s movements, you should continue feeling it until they’re born.
The genital organs: If you expect a baby girl, her uterus will be fully formed this week, and the vaginal canal is starting its development. By now, a baby girl would also have over seven million primitive eggs in her ovaries. If you have a baby boy, his testicles are still in the belly. In about 5-15 weeks, they will gradually descend through a tube-like passageway into the scrotum. However, about 2–4 percent of full-term baby boys have one testicle that remains undescended at birth.
Saliva production: The two parotid glands, present on either side of the mouth and in front of both ears, begin their activity this week. Together with two other smaller glands, the parotid will soon start producing saliva. Saliva, which is 98% water and contains many important substances, including electrolytes, enzymes, and antibacterial compounds, will contribute to Your Child’s digestion of food and maintenance of oral hygiene.
At this stage, your hair may thicken, and your nails may harden. Sometimes, hair grows at places where you wouldn’t expect it. Usually, this kind of hair growth disappears after birth.
Breathing issue: Your growing womb may push the lungs up, leading to shortness of breath or other problems with breathing.
What to do now
You may want to celebrate the halfway milestone with Your Child’s dad or friends and family.
Dr. Wanwadee Sapmee Panyakat, MD. (20 October 2021)