Twenty to Twenty-Four Weeks Pregnant
You are perhaps still enjoying the glowing middle months of pregnancy. Your little bump is growing bigger and your hair is thicker and you don’t feel sick anymore.
How you might feel between twenty weeks and twenty-four weeks of pregnancy:
- As your baby and your uterus grow, they may take up some of the space your lungs are used to enjoying. This can contribute to a feeling of breathlessness. Let your care provider know if it happens a lot.
- For some women, lying on their back as their uterus gets bigger is very uncomfortable and causes nausea or unease because it makes their blood pressure drop. This is why women are told to sleep on their side. For other women, sleeping on their side is difficult because they are not used to it, or they cannot make it comfortable. There is no evidence that it is necessary to avoid sleeping on your back. For a reassuring post on this click here.
- You may experience changes in skin pigmentation. Your nipples and areolas may become darker. You may develop dark patches on the skin of your face and a dark stripe down your tummy. These are made darker by exposure to the sun. They will fade again after your baby is born.
Things you may do between twenty weeks and twenty-four weeks of pregnancy:
- You might want to start thinking about baby names. This might be a good time to start a list. Baby name books are available in the shops or at the library. And there are lots of resources on-line. BC Vital Statistics provides a fun gadget here.
- Your baby can hear now. Talk to her! Sing to him! Read stories out loud. Beat little rhythms on your belly. See if you can tell what kind of music or stories your baby likes best. You don’t have to sing lullabies or read kids stories, unless you want to. You baby is just as likely to enjoy opera or jazz or heavy metal. And if you or your baby’s other parent read the newspaper or a text book or a novel out loud, you will find that you can tell from your baby’s movements that he or she is listening.
- Some women worry about their weight gain. In this middle trimester, you do tend to gain weight faster than in the first three months. About 0.2-0.5kg per week (1/2 a pound to a pound.) Remember, healthy eating is what you should focus on, not controlling your weight.
- You might want to start finding places to have naps. The library? Your car? On the floor in your office? Sleeping for 15-20 minutes after lunch is wonderfully refreshing. Lie down, set an alarm and practice deep, slow breathing.
Between twenty weeks and twenty-four weeks of pregnancy, your care-provider will probably:
- be seeing you every month at this stage
- weigh you at each visit and discuss healthy weight gain
- palpate and measure your abdomen
- listen to the baby’s heart beat using a hand held Doppler ultrasound device
- offer you a detailed ultrasound around 18 weeks to check for baby’s growth and development
Your care provider is one of your best sources of information. Keep a list of questions to ask at your monthly appointments.
Things you can do for your health and your baby’s health:
- You may start to feel a lot hungrier. Make sure that you choose healthy, nutrient-dense snacks. It’s a good idea to carry a little package of raw almonds, or some whole-grain crackers and cheese to help get through the day.
- Wear your seatbelt. The lap belt should be under your belly, low on your hips. The shoulder belt should go between your breasts. Your seatbelt will keep you and your baby safe in the case of an accident.
- Keep up with regular physical activity. Prenatal yoga classes will take the needs of your growing and changing body into account. And they are a great place to meet other pregnant women.
- If you have not yet joined the Pregnancy Happy Hour on Fridays evenings at the Mothering Touch Centre come and try it out!
Healthy Eating: www.healthlinkbc.ca
Prenatal Yoga: www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week
Songs and Rhymes for Baby: www.wordsforlife.org.uk