You've probably had your anomaly scan now, which is great for putting your mind at ease. Knowing that your baby is happy and healthy in there can really help to make you happy and healthy, too. If you've not had your "20 week" ultrasound yet, you should be having it this week.
With the ultrasound anxiety behind you, you might realise that you're actually feeling really well, perhaps the best you've felt so far during your pregnancy. You're in the eye of the storm; the early symptoms and worry have reduced, but the third trimester symptoms haven't yet begun. Enjoy this time while it lasts!
Baby: What's Happening?
Healthcare professionals will now liken your baby to a carrot or banana when giving you an indication of size. 10.5 inches is about average, and about 12.5 ounces. He or she has certainly done a lot of growing lately, but there's still much more to come.
This week, your baby's taste buds start to develop, and your baby can taste while in the womb! Much like how our diets influence bodily secretions (I'll say no more...!), what we eat can also change the taste of amniotic fluid. That may seem strange, but what's even more bizarre is that research has found a link between the taste experienced in utero and the dietary preferences of not only babies and toddlers but adults too!
With the rising obesity crisis, researchers are now suggesting that antenatal diet can help keep the new generations fit and healthy, and are starting to use the concept at motivation for Moms-to-be to eat well during their pregnancies.
Your baby will most likely have its own little routine now, consisting of sleep and play times. You may notice your baby is an early riser, waking you up in the mornings with a gymnastics display, and you might notice them have a little nap after lunch. Your baby is likely to continue with this routine after the birth, so if you've got a night owl on your hands you may want to make the most of your sleep now while you've got the chance!
You: What's Happening?
Your uterus now measures about 21 cm, or just over 8 inches from top to bottom. With all the extra work your body is doing growing your baby you might find yourself absolutely ravenous at times. While you shouldn't be "eating for two", you should be eating enough. About 300 calories extra is what you need, and you should be putting on about 1 lb per week.
Stretch marks may be appearing as your skin is being stretched beyond its capability (it'll spring back eventually, don't worry!), and you might find you're gaining a few varicose veins as your uterus puts pressure on the veins in the pubic region. You might find them a little unsightly, but they're not dangerous and they shouldn't be painful (see your Doctor if they are, you shouldn't have to suffer!).
You may be feeling much less anxious now that you've had your 20 week scan and found out everything is OK with your baby, or you may be feeling more anxious knowing that the birth is just around the corner. However you're feeling, rest assured that it's completely normal. If you're feeling overwhelmed, take a break! You've still got 19 weeks to get everything sorted.
If you found out your baby's gender at your anomaly scan, you might be starting to think about names. Choosing a name can be one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy, but it can also be one of the most stressful! While some couples decide on a name instantly, others don't make the decision until their newborn is already here.
There's plenty of websites with lists of names and meanings if you need some inspiration, but be sure to factor in the baby's surname so you can hear that the two flow nicely, and don't create a whole new meaning when added together (there are some real doozies out there!).
Some take their inspiration from family members, some name their children after their favorite literary heroes, some just like the name and others search for something that will make their child even more unique than they already are. If you're after an uncommon name, be sure to check out the latest name statistics for your area.