20 Weeks Pregnant
Fetal development in week 20
This week you're carrying around 10.5 inches and 10.5 ounces of solid magical baby goodness!
Your fantastic fetus' fragile tiny bones continue to ossify and toughen while their itsy bitsy finger and toe pads (and unique finger prints) are finishing up.
Your little womb-dancer also has teeth buds sprouting beneath their gum line.
And finally! Your wee one's limbs have reached their relative proportions — no more bobble-head!
Their little pink lips are more defined, and might be helping out in a bit of prenatal thumb-sucking.
If you have a little boy: their tiny testes are descending, though they have not yet passed the abdominal wall.
And in a final anti-alien development: the first of their tiny eyelashes and eyebrows are now present.
Essentially, your little one really does looks like a miniature baby — and we do mean miniature - your little swimmer currently weighs a mere eighth of their birth weight.
Good work mama! You're bakin' a beautiful baby and you're already half-done!
And how's mom doing?
Not that we need to tell you, but your baby is starting to seem like a kick-boxer in training with no appreciation for your exhausted-pregnant-momma sleep needs.Trying to push your baby out while flat on your back makes gravity work against you (and your baby) as your belly compresses your pelvic cavity - effectively making it more difficult for your baby to pass through the birth canal. in or out of bed.
Unfortunately for your sleep schedule, your little wiggle worm will continue to operate on their own time table (remember: they're being lulled to sleep by your body's movement during your waking hours) throughout the rest of pregnancy.
Labor & birth reconsidered
If you're like most Americans, your notion of labor and birth has been shaped by the media's depiction of a screaming woman whose water breaks dramatically, followed by a frenzied rush to the hospital that ends with her laboring on her back screaming and panting as doctors and nurses dramatically urge her to "PUSH!" until the baby pops out.
Hollywood - as usual, is almost completely wrong.
For one, water breakage prior to labor is fairly rare and is usually only a trickle when it does occur. Many women think they accidentally peed themselves!
Secondly, a woman can easily labor at home for the majority of her labor and do so while carrying on the tasks of the day until active labor requires her full focus .
Not only is it a bad idea to prematurely coach a woman to push (it increases the risk of tearing), one of the worst positions for laboring or pushing a baby out of your vagina, is on your back. You might as well try to give birth standing on your head!
Trying to push your baby out while flat on your back makes gravity work against you (and your baby) as your belly compresses your pelvic cavity - making it difficult for your baby to pass through the birth canal.
Alternate positions that open your pelvic cavity and work with gravity include squatting (typically with the assistance of your partner), sitting, all-fours, reclining forward against a wall and laying on your side.
When the time comes to push, do not let others direct you to lie flat on your back, instead opt for an upright position that feels stable, opens your pelvic cavity and works with gravity.
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The Sarcastic Journalist is a freelance writer and mother of two living near Houston, Texas. She has a degree in journalism and an addiction to magazines. Here, she recounts the 40 not-so-glowing but hilarious weeks of her pregnancy!
Sarcastic Journalist ?
It’s bird, it’s a plane, it’s Jackie Chan!
When I thought of my baby in there, I always imagined a little thing, just walking around on the walls of my uterus. Yes, I know it sounds silly. I get it. But? That’s what I thought. A mall-walking fetus.
Trying to explain to someone what those first few kicks are like is trying to explain a sneeze. You see it in your mind. You can almost feel it, but you can’t put it to words.
A girl I knew had described the feeling as “butterflies in her belly.” I went weeks waiting for the butterfly feeling. It never came. Then I started waiting for big kicks. They didn’t come either.
Even better, it is more like trying to describe a fart, since that is the portion of your body that is all wonky, anyways. Go ahead. Describe one. I’ll wait.
Finally, I caught on and put the television remote on my belly. When it started to bounce, I knew it was the baby. Even though I couldn’t feel my baby, I could see that she was kicking.
The best part about when the baby started to kick meant that we had “Interactive Fetus!” Interactive Fetus was a lot of fun. You could blow on your belly and make her jump. If you pressed enough, she’d start to kick.
And sometimes, if her Daddy stuck his face next to the belly and talked long enough, she’d kick him in the face.