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Highlights this week

You're halfway there!

Your baby's legs have uncurled enough so he is now measured from head to toe instead of "crown to rump."

What do your dreams mean?

Pregnancy dreams may feature baby animals that are friendly if you're feeling optimistic or threatening if you're feeling ambivalent.

Cold remedies to avoid

Cold medications that contain alcohol, NSAIDs, and certain decongestants are not safe to take during pregnancy.

20 weeks is how many months?

You're in your fifth month!

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Baby development at 20 weeks

Growth spurt?

No, your baby didn't really grow 4 inches since last week. He's just being measured differently. For the first half of pregnancy (when a baby's legs are curled up against his torso), measurements are taken from the top of his head to his bottom, or from "crown to rump." But starting at 20 weeks, he's measured from head to toe.

Taste buds in training

Many of your baby's taste buds can now transmit taste signals to his brain, and he's swallowing molecules of the food you eat that have passed through your blood into your amniotic fluid. Researchers aren't sure if he can taste these molecules, but some research indicates that what you eat during pregnancy can influence the foods your baby will prefer later.

See what fraternal twins look like in the womb this week.

baby sucking thumb
Your baby at 20 weeks Tap the plus for more details
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Your baby is about the size of a banana

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head to toe
10 ½
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Pregnancy symptoms during week 20

Weight gain

Feeling cramped? It's no wonder: The top of your uterus is now about level with your belly button, and you may have gained around 10 pounds. Expect to gain another pound or so each week from now on. If you started your pregnancy underweight, you may need to gain a bit more; if you were overweight, a bit less. See if you're on track.

Itchy skin

You may feel especially itchy around your belly and breasts as your skin stretches to accommodate your growing baby. Use cold packs and slather on moisturizer for relief. (Scratching can make it worse!) Get more tips on easing the itch, and find out when it could be the sign of a problem.

Restless sleep

Short on sleep? Do you shift around all night trying to find a comfortable sleeping position? These suggestions may help: Lie on your side, with your knees bent and a pillow between your legs. For extra comfort and support, arrange other pillows under your belly and behind your back. You could also try using a contoured maternity body pillow.

Don't see your symptom?
Wondering about a symptom you have? Find it on our pregnancy symptoms page.

baby in womb at 20 weeks, top of uterus level with navel
Your body at 20 weeks Tap the plus for more details

Pregnancy checklist at 20 weeks

Get plenty of iron

During pregnancy, your body needs more iron to keep up with your expanding blood volume as well as to nourish your growing baby and the placenta. Beans, beef, and fortified cereal are good sources.

Sign up for childbirth class

Lamaze? Bradley? HypnoBirthing?

Whether you want to learn specific techniques to cope with pain or just find out more about the logistics of labor and delivery, a childbirth class will help prepare you.

Treat yourself

You made it to the halfway point in your pregnancy, so celebrate with a little indulgence. How about a facial, prenatal massage, or pregnancy photo shoot to mark the occasion? Or even just splurge on that cute maternity top you've been eyeing.

20 weeks pregnant bellies

This week's video

Show transcript

20 weeks pregnant: Fast facts

Your baby is around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom – about the length of a small banana.

Your baby's swallowing more and producing meconium: a black, gooey substance you'll see in that first dirty diaper.

Anemia is more common during pregnancy. If your blood levels of iron are low, your provider will recommend iron supplements or IV iron. Iron-rich foods like shrimp, beef, turkey, beans, lentils, and enriched breakfast cereals also help.

If you'll need childcare, it's not too soon to start looking into daycare centers, home daycares, nannies, and so on. Ask moms you know for recommendations.

Wondering what to bring to the hospital or birth center? Search BabyCenter for "what to pack."

Who gets the final say on your baby's name, you or your partner? In a BabyCenter poll, 75% of moms-to-be said, "We have equal say and will find a way to agree."

Video production by SALT Project.


BabyCenter's editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you're seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.

AAFP. 2017. Sleeping and pregnancy. American Academy of Family Physicians. http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/pregnancy-newborns/your-body/sleeping-during-pregnancy.html [Accessed May 2019]

ACOG. 2018. How your fetus grows during pregnancy. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/How-Your-Fetus-Grows-During-Pregnancy [Accessed May 2019]

Mayo Clinic. 2017. Fetal development: The 2nd trimester. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/fetal-development/art-20046151 [Accessed May 2019]

MedlinePlus. 2019. Fetal development. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002398.htm [Accessed May 2019]

Nemours Foundation. 2016. Sleeping during pregnancy. http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sleep-during-pregnancy.html [Accessed May 2019]

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Kate Marple is a writer and editor who specializes in health, pregnancy, and parenting content. She's passionate about translating complicated medical information into helpful pregnancy and parenting advice that's easy to understand. She lives in San Francisco with her family.
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