My Pregnancy Journal

All about my 3rd pregnancy*

Thoughts, information, pictures, etc.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Halfway There! 20 Weeks

Your Baby
This week marks the halfway point in your baby's development. And right around now, nature gives her a spa treatment--a white, cream-cheesy moisturizer called vernix coats every inch of her skin, keeping it smooth and wrinkle-free for the next 20 weeks as she floats in a warm bath of amniotic fluid. She'll still be covered in vernix when she's born; your doctor or midwife will wipe it off a few moments after birth, revealing skin that's (you guessed it) baby soft.

How your baby's growing:

Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom, and about 10 inches from head to heel. (For the first 20 weeks, we use measurements taken from the top of the baby's head to his bottom -- known as the "crown to rump" measurement. After that, we use measurements from head to toe. (This is because a baby's legs are curled up against his torso during the first half of pregnancy and are very hard to measure.) A greasy white substance called vernix caseosa coats his entire body to protect his skin during its long submersion in amniotic fluid. (This slick coating also eases the journey down the birth canal.)

Your baby is swallowing more, which is good practice for his digestive system. He's also producing meconium, a black, sticky substance that's the result of cell loss, digestive secretion, and swallowed amniotic fluid. This meconium will accumulate in his bowels, and you'll see it in his first messy diaper (although a few babies pass it in utero or during delivery).

• Note: Experts say every baby develops differently -- even in the womb. This developmental information is designed to give you a general idea of how your baby is growing.

How your life’s changing:

You've made it to the halfway mark -- Congratulations! The top of your uterus is at the level of your belly button now, and you've likely gained about 10 pounds. Expect to gain an average of about another pound each week from now on. (If you started your pregnancy underweight, you may need to gain a bit more; if you were overweight, perhaps a bit less.) Make sure you're getting enough iron, a mineral that's used primarily to make hemoglobin (the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen). During pregnancy, your body needs more iron for your developing baby and the placenta, and to keep up with your expanding blood volume. Iron-rich foods include lean red meat, poultry, fish, lentils and other legumes, spinach, and iron-fortified cereals.

Well, I hope I've only gained 10 lbs... I don't think my hips have gotten any bigger from my last month's midwife appointment... so, I'm hoping I'm only gaining in the belly from now on!

I've been feeling more and more movements from my little boy :D I love it!


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*Not counting the time I believe I miscarried, the day before Thanksgiving 2003