Congratulations, you are half way through your pregnancy! For some women 20 weeks has seemed like an eternity but for others it has flown by (probably those who didn’t get morning sickness will experience the latter).
Your developing baby
By 18-20 weeks you will have a routine ultrasound or foetal anomaly scan that can identify the sex of your baby and will check that he has reached the right proportions in terms of growth (although he is still growing his overall growth rate slows up a bit this week as his body parts have all reached the correct proportions.)
Before you get too excited about finding out whether you're having a baby girl or a baby boy, it is worth bearing in mind that sometimes the sex cannot be seen as your baby is turning away or crossing its legs. It is also a good idea to tell the sonographer if you don’t want to know in case you get an accidental glimpse.
The foetal anomaly scan is performed somewhere between weeks 18-20 so that the sonographer can get a clear view of your baby’s organs on the ultrasound and pick up any abnormalities. If firm pressure is placed on your stomach (like a midwife checking your tummy or an ultrasound scanner) you may see your baby squirm away at the rude intrusion. Your baby is constantly on the move this week as he practises using his muscles, improving motor skills and a little bit of coordination when he tugs on the umbilical cord! Because he is cushioned by amniotic fluid you will only be able to feel the stronger kicks if you are lucky! You baby is about 11 ounces, or 25cm long.
Your developing body
Whether you decide to know the sex of your baby or not, it's time to start thinking about names! Will you go for old-fashioned names, Irish names, Indian names or something more unusual like ‘Ocean’? If you need a little help visit our Baby Namer section of the site for inspiration and ideas and a look at what other mum’s have called their little ones…
At your antenatal appointment don’t forget to ask your midwife for the MAT B1 form, which is a certificate that proves you are pregnant and states your estimated due date. You need to give this to your employer to receive maternity pay, or it is needed if you are claiming maternity benefits.
As well as possibly knowing the sex of your baby, this week you may notice some significant changes with your bump. The top of your uterus is now level with your belly button, which means your belly will start to poke out and your belly-button may pop out. Don’t worry, it does not stay like that and will return to being an ‘innie’ a few weeks after you have your baby.
If you haven’t already booked your childbirth preparation classes and want to attend, do it right away as they become very booked up and it is best to complete them before week 34 of your pregnancy in case your baby comes early. See Antenatal tests and care for details on your Antenatal appointments.