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 — the length of a banana. (For the first 20 weeks, when a baby’s legs are curled up against his torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken from the top of his head to his bottom — the “crown to rump” measurement. After 20 weeks, he’s measured from head to toe.)
He’s swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He’s also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his bowels, and you’ll see it in his first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).
Week Twenty: The halfway point
You are halfway through your pregnancy, 20 weeks marks the midpoint. Remember, pregnancy is counted as 40 weeks from the beginning of your last period if you go full term.
You are 20 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 18 weeks)
- Baby now weighes about 11 ounces and is roughly 7 inches long.
- Baby is 17cm long crown to rump, and weighs about 310 grams.
- The baby can hear and recognize the mother’s voice.
- The mother will probably start feeling the first fetal movements.
- The toenails and fingernails are growing.
- The growth of hair on the rest of the body has started.
- The skin is getting thicker.
Your baby may react to loud sounds. Baby can actually hear noises outside of the womb. Familiar voices, music, and sounds that baby becomes accustomed to during their development stages often are calming after birth. This is an important time for sensory development since nerve cells serving each of the senses; taste, smell, hearing, sight, and touch are now developing into their specialized area of the brain.
Your baby now weighes about 11 ounces and at roughly 7 inches long they are filling up more and more of the womb.
Baby’s now the size of a cantaloupe!
Baby gulps down several ounces of amniotic fluid every day, both for nutrition and to practice swallowing and digesting. And, these days, those taste buds actually work! Studies show that after birth, babies respond best to tastes they’ve already had via amniotic fluid. Meaning, think about what you’d like your future child to eat as you prepare your own lunch.
At 20 weeks, your baby now has perfectly formed ears and is able to hear sounds from inside and outside your body. Studies have shown that she’ll learn to distinguish your voice from other people’s long before she’s born, and be soothed by it after the birth.
All the major structures of your baby’s body are now formed, from her major organs right down to her fingers, toes and facial features. From now on, her main job is to pile on the pounds. She’s already roughly half the length she’ll be at birth.
The next eight weeks will be your unborn baby’s most active time. She’s in full control of her movements, and has enough space inside you to move freely. She’s even developing her own daily routine, with periods of sleep, activity and quiet but alert wakefulness.