Your body at week 20

You are now 20 weeks pregnant (or in your 21st week if that’s how you count it).

How your baby is growing

A layer of a glossy, fatty substance called vernix caseosa starts to cover your baby. It protects the skin during its immersion in amnionic fluid and also eases your delivery. Some babies continue to be covered with this white substance when they are delivered. Your baby is swallowing more this week and it is good practice for the gastrointestinal system. The baby’s digestive system absorbs the water from the amniotic fluid and transfers the rest to the large bowels. A sticky by-product of your baby’s digestive system called meconium accumulates, and will be discharged in the first poop. Read more about your baby’s development this week.

How your life is changing

Feeling out of breath lately? Many women begin to feel somewhat like a steam engine, huffing and puffing at even the most basic tasks. Breathlessness is caused because of your enlarged uterus pushing against your lungs. You will feel minor discomforts but tell your physician if it gets out of control.

Make sure you are getting enough iron during this period. Your baby requires it to make red blood cells and other things. A good iron level also helps reduce haemorrhage at the time of childbirth. It is extremely difficult to get too much iron from food alone, as long as you’re not overeating. You might be prescribed iron supplements if your doctor thinks you are anaemic. Common iron-rich foods include poultry products, lentils, spinach, green leafy vegetables and iron-fortified cereals. To get a more balanced diet plan suited to your body type and eating habits, you can request a personalized diet plan through Ango.

You may sometimes feel that pregnancy is a one woman affair as you are the one going through all the physical processes and changes. You should share your feelings with your partner and bring him up to speed. Having a strong line of communication is extremely important during this period. It is the first step in involving your partner in the day-to-day activities and make him feel like a bigger part of the process.