Pregnancy - 17-20 weeks
By Adela Stockton. About the author
What is happening to mother
You will feel the first fluttering-like movements of your baby moving in your womb during this month and as a result of this you may find that you feel more emotionally connected to her. You will also be able to hear your baby's heartbeat when your midwife listens in with the Sonicaid.
This is the time when joining your local yoga for pregnancy and/or aquanatal group focussing specifically on exercise and relaxation for pregnant women can be useful. These classes also provide you with a good social resource as you have the opportunity to link up with other women who are expecting their babies around the same time as you.
What is happening to baby
Your baby's body now grows more quickly than her head, her bones are distinctive and her muscles become stronger. The increase of blood formation continues in her bone marrow. The testes in a boy and womb and vagina in a girl are now established. By the 20th week of gestation, your baby measures around 16cms, weighs around 300g and her heart beats twice the rate of an adult. Her hands begin to develop their gripping reflexes and you may even feel her hiccoughing!
Things to think about
At your last antenatal check your midwife will have given you information about the routine anomaly scan offered to all pregnant women between 20-22 weeks to check your baby for any signs of developmental problems. During this month you and your partner may wish to find out more information about this scan and its implications before reaching your final decision. The Association for Improvement of Maternity Services (AIMS) provide articles and booklets on many subjects relevant to pregnancy and birth, including USS, that you may find useful in helping you to make informed choices.