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.