Your babys progress - Week 20
Congratulate yourself – you and baby are now 20 weeks into the pregnancy and at the half-way point. By now, you may have felt the first flutters of movement as your growing baby somersaults around your womb. Also known as ‘the quickening’ it’s a major moment for a mum-to-be to finally feel the squirming reality of the baby growing inside her. Baby may now be around 17cm from crown to rump (that’s head to bum in real person’s speak) and will increase her weight by more than 15 times between now and delivery. Though still small and fragile, baby is growing rapidly and some premature babies have survived being born at just 20 weeks gestation.
Baby’s skin is losing its transparency and the sebaceous glands which will give her pimples in her teen years are kicking into overdrive to make vernix caseosa, a greasy white substance that covers baby's skin to protect it from the surrounding amniotic fluid. The vernix sheds as delivery approaches, though some babies are born with some vernix coating at birth. Without this waxy coating, baby would look like a shrivelled up prune after swimming in all that fluid (you know how your fingers look after you’ve been in the bath too long – it would be like that!). Vernix is also a bit of a protectant for baby, who will be bumping around the uterus and tugging on that umbilical cord as she grows more active.
Just like adults, all babies are different and develop at varying rates in the womb. This information gives a general idea of your baby's development and progress.
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This article was written by Alex Brooks for Kidspot, New Zealand's best pregnancy resource.
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