20 Weeks Pregnant
At 20 weeks pregnant, your baby’s immune system is developing and will offer some protection against infection, although it won’t develop fully until quite some time after birth.
The placenta is in charge of providing antibodies to protect your baby until after birth, but then your breast milk will provide your baby with essential antibodies.
What’s happening this week?
You are now at the halfway point of your pregnancy and you’ll be looking forward to your ‘big’ scan, referred to as an ‘anomaly’ scan by professionals, which generally happens around now. It’s a very special time, when most moms will get a really good look at their babies for the first time and be given a photo to take home.
The sonographer will check closely to see that your baby is developing normally. They will take a close look at the ‘structure’ of the baby – heart, kidneys, brain, limbs, to check for any problems. He or she will also check that the baby is growing well, that there’s enough amniotic fluid in your uterus, and that the placenta is in the right position.
Iron supplements are effective in dealing with anaemia, but unfortunately can cause constipation during your pregnancy and sometimes nausea. If you’re taking a supplement, drink at least 6-8 glasses of liquid daily and eat high fibre foods.
From now on, you’ll be hearing a lot about pelvic floor exercises, a series of exercises that tone the basket of muscles and ligaments that form your pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor is very important because it holds in place your bladder, uterus and bowel. If you haven’t already, ask your midwife or in your antenatal classes about how to do the exercises and how often you need to do them.
You can also get great advice from our physiotherapy expert, Aoibhin McGreal.