Yippee! You are halfway there! It’s definitely a point in your pregnancy that is worth mentioning. Celebrate with your favorite bottle of non-alcoholic drink or even better with a glass of jaljeera! It can help your digestion and heartburn. After all, 20 down and 20 more to go, so take a moment and celebrate this milestone.

What’s happening with you

If you have begun developing stretch marks already, then get used to it. Show off those tiny lines on your bust and butt with pride. It sure beats the kind you get from Diwali sweets season! This time you have a great excuse as your body adjusts to your growing fetus. Levity aside, stretch marks are practically impossible to avoid and all the creams in the worlds cannot protect you from them. Coconut oil and cocoa butter do feel good on your skin and may reduce the itching from the stretching, but as far as preventing stretch marks are concerned, good luck and let me know when you find something that works!

Unfortunately the skin changes don’t stop there. Skin rashes and even hives in some cases are common while pregnant. So if you wake up one morning with a dark forehead and darkening all across your chest, you have nothing to worry about. Skin discoloration and outbreaks are a common pregnancy annoyance and will vanish after you give birth.

What’s happening with your baby

Although ultrasound technicians are not allowed to divulge gender information about your baby; this week, it will become apparent on ultrasound as to whether your baby is a boy or girl.

Your baby has also developed a very specific sleep pattern like any newborn. Your child has probably determined his or her favorite sleeping position which will likely carry on even after birth. Even at this very early stage, babies have established a sleep rhythm which you would be able to discern yourself through the activity or lack thereof in your belly during various times in the day.

Your baby’s heartbeat can be easily heard over a stethoscope and on average is beating at twice the rate of yours. Your baby’s skin is also distinguishing itself into three distinct layers, namely the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous layers.

week 20 of pregnancyIf you’re having a boy then his testes have already begun to descend into the scrotum from his pelvis. At this stage a girl’s reproductive system is fully developed. Imagine all that sophistication machinery weighing in at close to 10 ounces and barely measuring 6 1/2 inches long! With so much of your baby’s development and differentiation complete, a large part of the remaining pregnancy is all about weight gain and muscle strengthening.

Do not be surprised if the profile of your belly button is changing. You may be going from being an innie to an outie and may cause you to stare at your growing belly if you haven’t begun doing so already!