20 Weeks Pregnant: What to Expect?

Fact Checked Medically reviewed by Tanja Premru-Sršen


You are already at the halfway point of your pregnancy at twenty weeks along, and the excitement to meet your baby is probably growing by the day.

Here is what you can expect at your halfway point, during your twentieth pregnancy week!

Physical Symptoms During The Twentieth Pregnancy Week

You can expect the typical second-trimester pregnancy symptoms to continue during the halfway mark of your pregnancy, including nasal congestion, heartburn, and food cravings.

However, there are also some new symptoms that you might start experiencing during week twenty of your pregnancy – here are some of them:

Weight Gain

By week twenty of your pregnancy, it is expected to put on around 10 pounds, and that weight gain is completely normal. This is, of course, a generalization, and it will depend on many factors.

Still, pregnant women are expected to gain approximately one to five pounds in the first trimester (which is behind you) and then add around one pound a week for the rest of their pregnancy, if they start pregnancy having a normal body mass index Overweight or obese pregnant women  should gain less.

Consuming more calories during pregnancy is not the only reason behind pregnancy weight gain. Rather, the reason is a combination of the weight of your growing baby, your baby bump, your uterus, the placenta, the amniotic fluid, and your increased blood volume, breast tissue, and water retention.

Belly Button Changes

Your growing uterus will put pressure on your abdominal wall, which can change the appearance of your belly button, causing it to change shape in certain cases.

If you had an innie belly button, you can very likely end up with an outie during your pregnancy.

This change does not happen to everyone, and there is nothing you can do to prevent it, but it is very likely to be temporary, and it is entirely harmless.

Vaginal Discharge

The amount of your vaginal discharge is very likely to continue increasing until the third trimester and then eventually delivery. This is a direct consequence of heightened pregnancy hormone levels.

If you notice that your vaginal discharge is yellow, green, or foul-smelling, make sure to notify your healthcare provider right away.

High Energy and High Libido

The second trimester of your pregnancy journey will be colored by a lot of energy, which also translates into a lot of energy in the bedroom!

You should enjoy this energy (and libido) while it lasts, as you might find yourself more exhausted as the third trimester rolls around, thanks to the change in pregnancy hormones.

Leg Cramps

Almost half of the pregnant people report experiencing leg cramps during their pregnancy journey, and the majority of those cramps happen in the calf muscles.

They are sudden, can be pretty painful, and usually happen at night.

The Baby’s Development During Week Twenty of Pregnancy

At 20 weeks pregnant, your growing baby weighs about ten ounces and measures about 6.5 inches, which is about the size of a banana!

While your baby is getting bigger as each day passes by, there is still a lot of room for baby’s growth and fetal development, allowing space for baby’s movements inside your belly! You will be able to feel these movements during week twenty of your pregnancy.

If your baby is a girl, her uterus is fully formed at week 20 of your pregnancy, and the vaginal canal is starting to develop. The baby also has about 7 million primitive eggs in her ovaries. That number will drop down to 1 or 2 million by the time she is born.

If your baby is a boy, his testicles will begin their descent soon, as they are still in the abdomen waiting for the scrotum to finish developing.

Pregnancy Checklist During Week Twenty

Some essential items you need to check off your pregnancy to-do list during the week twenty to prepare for the baby’s arrival are going to include:

Avoid lying on your back

As twenty weeks roll around, it is time to give up sleeping and lying down flat on your back.

At twenty weeks pregnant, your uterus and baby are big enough to put pressure on your spine, pubic bone, abdominal organs, and the major blood vessels in your body, which can adversely affect your circulation, lower your blood pressure and slow down blood flow to your heart.

So make sure to lay on your side whenever you can.

Time to make a birth plan

You might not want to think about giving birth just yet, but the twenty-week point is the perfect time to plan how it will go.

If you’re going to give birth in a hospital, schedule a tour of the maternity wing, and check out the classes that may be offered on childbirth techniques, breastfeeding, lactation, infant care, and other topics that will be your everyday reality once you do give birth.

If you are more interested in giving birth at home, now is the perfect time to find a midwife and discuss your options with your healthcare provider.

Learn about Braxton Hicks contractions

If this is your first pregnancy, or if you have never experienced Braxton Hicks contractions before, they may take you by surprise and scare you.

Braxton Hicks contractions can feel uncomfortable, but they usually do not last long. Braxton Hicks contractions do not mean you are going into labor, but you should see your doctor right away if you start to feel pain and if the contractions don’t stop.

What To Avoid or Begin to Avoid?

Being pregnant means staying away from harmful things and activities to protect you and the baby inside of you. During week twenty, make sure to stay away from:

  • Smoking, doing drugs, drinking alcohol, and being exposed to toxic substances.
  • Sleeping on your tummy.
  • Performing demanding workouts and carrying heavyweight.
  • Touching kitty litter or cat feces.
  • Drinking an excessive amount of caffeine and carbonated drinks.
  • Getting tattooed as it poses a risk of infection.
  • Having close contact with anyone with rubella, chickenpox, or the Zika virus.
  • Eating junk food, deli meats, raw or undercooked meat, fish, chicken, eggs, cheeses, unpasteurized milk, unpasteurized dairy foods, high mercury fish, and unwashed fruits and vegetables.