Pregnancy week 20
(Sparx Media)

How's the foetus during week 20?

Baby is swallowing

  • Your baby is about the size of a long banana, weighs about 300g and is around 25.6cm long: from now on it's not a crown to rump measurement, but crown to heel.
  • The baby's swallowing more this week which is good practice for the digestive system. His body absorbs the water in the fluid and moves the rest into the colon.
  • In girls, the uterus is formed now and her vagina is developing.

What's with my body: The belly button pop

  • Brace yourself for lots of unwanted advice now that you are clearly pregnant.
  • Your pubic hair could look darker, but will go back to its usual colour once the baby is born.
  • A black line of hair (linea nigra) may appear on your belly, but will disappear soon after birth.
  • Your belly button may pop out as your uterus presses up and outward. 

Go back to the complete list of Pregnancy week-by-week updates.

Congratulations: you're halfway there! Most first trimesters can be a bit of a whirlwind and you may be experiencing a whole range of emotions at the moment, from excited anticipation to conflicted anxiety.

How your baby's growing:

If you find yourself running to the toilet more often, don't worry: it's probably because your baby's continued growth is taking up more room in your uterus and putting increased pressure on your lungs, stomach, kidneys, and yes, bladder.

Your baby's permanent teeth are starting to form behind his baby teeth. He seems able to differentiate between morning, afternoon and evening and starts to become more active at certain times than at others.

How you may be feeling:

While pregnancy can be emotionally exalting, some mothers are surprised to find themselves occasionally depressed, especially if this is their first pregnancy. Anxiety is perfectly normal, considering that it's not just your body that is going through tremendous change - your individual identity is evolving as well. For some advice on coping with the thought of impending motherhood, read 'Am I ready to be a mom'.

If you find yourself unable to shake the blues, don't hesitate to reach out.

Contact the Post Natal Depression Support Association South Africa at 082 882 0072 or They can advise you both before and after pregnancy.

Tip of the week

You and your partner may want to now consider attending antenatal classes - an average of eight group sessions designed to prepare you for what lies ahead (such as labour, breastfeeding, early baby care).

Antenatal classes will help you to know what to expect during the birth, what the medical procedures are and you'll also be taught relaxation and breathing techniques. It's important to have your partner there so that he understands what is happening during labour and is able to assist you during the birth.

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