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20 weeks pregnant

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You have now completed twenty weeks of pregnancy.

The baby’s skin is developing layers now and is also growing a bit thick. She is also gaining some weight now and has turned into a slippery bundle. A slick white coloured substance known asvernixcaseosa coats her whole body. This coating is there to protect her skin during its submersion in amniotic fluid. Some babies are born covered in this whitish substance as well.

Your symptoms at this stage (20 weeks)

You may have started getting a bit out of breath even after a short flight of stairs now.

Some level of breathlessness is normal and may increase a bit as your pregnancy progresses as the expanding uterus puts some upward pressure on the lungs. Tell your doctor if you find that you are getting very short of breath.

Your life at this stage

You should now make sure that you are getting sufficient iron. The baby needs iron to make red blood cells and other things.With the eating habits of our generation, it becomes unlikely that you are getting too much only from your food (assuming you are not overeating).

The foods that are rich in iron are: lean red meat, chicken, fish, daal, spinach and leafy green vegetables as well as iron-fortified cereals. Do not take supplements unless prescribed by your doctor. However iron tablets are most likely only prescribed if you are anaemic.

Now you have also reached the halfway mark in your pregnancy and you should consider the kind of birth you may like. For instance a birthing technique called water birth is getting increasingly popular, do you like the idea of giving birth in a pool?

Many pregnant women realize that being in warm water helps them to stay a little more relaxed during contractions. If your pregnancy is going well in general then a water birth is considered perfectly safe. You can check with your doctor if there is the facility for water birth at the hospital you have finalized. Your doctor will also be able to help you understand the process better along with answering any questions you might have.

Important things to keep in mind

  • IF you are eating out or travelling, make sure you enquire properly about the food that you can eat. When having eggs outside always tell your chef to make it well done and avoid over easy eggs.
  • Your belly button could pop out almost any time now. However, don’t worry about this as it will return to its pre pregnancy position after you deliver.