20 Weeks Pregnant

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Halfway through your pregnancy you are now 20 weeks pregnant. Well into your fifth month and your second trimester. Physically you may be experiencing leg cramps, the appearance of varicose veins in legs, hemorrhoids, changes in the color of your skin on face or abdomen, a naval that's protruding, and swelling of face, hands, ankles and feet. The most exciting part about being 20 weeks pregnant is that you may be able to feel fetal movement though most mothers don't notice fetal movements before they are 20 weeks pregnant.

Along with feeling your baby move you may also see your baby through an ultrasound. Routinely ultrasounds are done between 20-22 weeks and can give reassurance that everything is going the way it should be. For those parents who wish to find out what the sex of their baby will be that can be determined through an ultrasound. Other parents that wish to keep things the old fashioned way will opt not to find out and keep it a surprise for the day their baby is born.

By the end of this month your baby's fetus is approximately 7 to 9 inches long and weighs approximately a pound. The baby's muscles strengthen, nerve networks expand, and the skeleton continues to harden which means the fetus is more active and coordinated. It also helps in the baby's growth and development of motor skills.

These movements are strong enough to feel now. The appearance of eyebrows and hair on the baby's head is visible, as well as the baby's ears are well developed and able to recognize sounds. As a mother you may notice your hair and nails are growing faster during your pregnancy. There are also different ways a woman can carry being 20 weeks pregnant. You can carry higher, lower, bigger, smaller, wider, or more compactly which depends on the shape or size of your body as well as how much weight you have gained.

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Expecting mothers have several options available. They can choose to deliver their baby with little pain and discomfort, or choose natural birth and endure an un-medicated labor and delivery. There are many advantages and disadvantages to a natural birth. Before choosing a method, it is important for women to discuss the options with their physician, educate themselves on the birth process,...

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