20 weeks pregnant - symptoms, fetal development and what to consider

You've now officially half-way through

20 weeks pregnant
(Image credit: Future)

At 20 weeks you're halfway through your pregnancy. Now is the time for scans and you might want to start trying to work out which baby names you do and don't like...

Symptoms at 20 weeks pregnant

The mid-way 'blues' are pretty common at this point, so if you're feeling fed up, you're not alone. Prenatal depression is far more common than you think - if you're at all worried about how you're feeling, talk to your GP or midwife. 

Around this time you may start to experience a sharp jabbing pain in your side, most commonly on the right side of your pelvis. This is known as round ligament pain and is caused by the stretching of the round ligament which supports the uterus.

Any movement, even just standing up quickly, laughing, or coughing can cause a sudden sharp pain, but this is perfectly normal and only lasts a few seconds. If you experience any persistent abdominal pain always consult your GP or midwife.

Fetal development at 20 weeks pregnant

Your baby is around 16.4cm long if measured from crown to rump. However, from now on they'll be measured from crown to heel, making them about 25cm.

Although their eyelids remain closed until about the 26th week, your baby is already sensitive to light. Studies have shown that when a bright light is shone onto a mother's bump, her baby responds with an increase in heart rate.

Your baby's started moving around a lot - and even growing hair. You should also be able to see if you're expecting a little boy or girl on your baby scan, so don't forget to say if you don't want to know the gender. 

If it's a girl, she's beginning to develop a vagina, her uterus is almost formed and she has six million eggs in her ovaries. If you're expecting twins then it's comforting to know that they're already bonding in the womb. At 20 weeks twins have been seen touching faces and even holding hands!

Week by week pregnancy guide: 20 weeks pregnant

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The changes you should make 20 weeks pregnant

The fetal anomaly scan is often referred to as your 20 week scan and is most likely to be scheduled for this week. Seeing your baby close up on the screen is exciting, emotional and reassuring experience. And, it's and one of the events in pregnancy that can really help you and your partner bond with your growing offspring. If you wanted to get an even closer look, you could also consider paying for a 3d scan

Your anomaly scan also really drums home the fact that in a few months you'll be welcoming a little person into the world. Now is a good time to start thinking about what you might like to call your little one - from unique baby names, old-fashioned baby names and unisex baby names

If you're expecting twins, then you'll have another antenatal appointment and growth scan this week. For the quadruple test, the latest you can have this screening test is 20 weeks and 0 days. Some women will have an amniocentesis this week, so that's another thing to keep in mind.

Further advice and information:

Editor in Chief

Anna Bailey has been the editor of GoodtoKnow since 2018. Before joining the team she was Features Editor at MSN UK, where she oversaw Family Health and Days Out. Previously, she was Digital Lifestyle Editor for the broadcaster UKTV, and Lifestyle Editor for ITV.com. Anna studied Multi-Media Journalism at Bournemouth University and went on to gain her NCTJ and NCE journalism qualifications. Anna is responsible for driving the direction and editorial strategy of Goodto. A mum and experienced baby product tester, she is passionate about providing safe, trustworthy, and relatable advice for families of all kinds.