Week 20 marks the midway point in most pregnancies. It is a milestone that indicates you are moving over the hump and are on track. You have probably gained about 10 pounds or so, and your uterus is almost at belly button level. From here on, you will probably gain about a pound or so each week with an overall weight gain of around 25-30 pounds, give or take, depending on your weight when you began this journey.
A portion of this weight gain is the amniotic fluid that has increased from 1 ounce at 12 weeks to around 11 ounces and is a cozy 99.5 degrees to help keep the baby warm. Your blood volume has also increased and will continue to do so. This increased volume means an increase in hemoglobin (the portion of your blood that carries oxygen around your body and to the baby through the placenta) and the iron that is needed to create the hemoglobin. Your body will use this increase in blood volume for your growing baby and placenta. Getting plenty of iron in your diet will help ensure that your body can make enough hemoglobin for the baby's growing needs; good sources of iron include legumes, spinach, raisins, and iron-fortified cereal.
The increase in blood volume and warm amniotic fluid means you will be running a little hot. You might feel a little like a small furnace and have trouble keeping cool, leading to an increase in sweating and feeling faint. Drinking plenty of water and slowly standing up can help keep your blood pressure stable, so you are less likely to faint or get dizzy, thanks to your new "hotter" status. Your new furnace status does not mean it is okay to run a temperature. If you have an elevated temp, it is best to let your caregiver know so they can help.
- American Association of Pregnancy - Week 20
- WebMD - Your Pregnancy Week by Week