20 wEEKS


You are now 20 weeks pregnant (or in your 21st week if that’s how you prefer to count it).

How your baby’s growing

Your baby measures about 6.5 inches/ 16.5 centimeters from crown to rump. Your baby’s putting on weight now and has turned into a slippery little thing — a greasy white substance called vernix caseosa coats the entire body to protect the skin during its long submersion in amniotic fluid. Some babies are still covered with this whitish goo when they’re born. Read more information on your baby’s development this week.

How your life’s changing

Out of breath? Most women start to feel a bit like a train engine, huffing and puffing up a short flight of stairs. Some breathlessness is normal and may get a little worse as your expanding uterus pushes up against your lungs, but tell your doctor or midwife if it gets out of hand. Also, make sure you’re getting enough iron. Your baby needs it to make red blood cells, among other things. It’s almost impossible to get too much from food alone, as long as you’re not overeating. Iron-rich foods include lean red meat, poultry, fish, lentils, spinach, and iron-fortified cereals. Don’t take supplements though, unless they’re prescribed by your doctor.

Although pregnancy might sometimes feel like a one-woman show, it doesn’t have to be that way. If your partner is going to be your labour partner, he’ll want to know how he can help and how he can communicate your wishes to the professionals.

Pregnancy tip: A pineapple a day makes heartburn go away

“Fresh pineapple (eaten in small amounts) has helped reduce my heartburn.” — Jane

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