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Second Trimester 1stTrimester     3rd Trimester

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20 WEEKS EXACTLY

140 days to go...

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Your baby today

Although your baby may be sucking her thumb, this is a very complex action that is not fully developed at this stage. For this reason, your baby is as likely to put her fingers or toes in her mouth as her thumb.

Congratulations-you're now halfway through your pregnancy. In around 20 weeks' time, you'll be a mom.

Does it seem like a lifetime, or has it flown by? At least from now on, you really will be counting down. Hopefully, at this halfway point you are feeling fine physically. You're not yet encumbered by a large belly and probably have a reasonable amount of energy. Psychologically, you may still be very emotional, although you will no doubt have gotten used to any mood swings by now (as will your partner).

At this stage you will continue going to prenatal appointments around every four weeks. Remember, your doctor is there to monitor your health and your baby's progress, but also to help, so get her advice on how to deal with some of the discomforts you might experience as you grow bigger.

Sitting correctly

Good posture can help to minimize pregnancy discomforts, including backaches (see Banish backaches page). When seated, make sure your lower back is supported by the back of the chair and keep your feet flat on the floor.

Yoga is a great way to learn to hold your body correctly, including how to keep your spine aligned and your lower back supported.

Sit upright on a chair with your legs wide apart and your feet firmly on the floor to align your spine. Make sure your lower back is resting against the chair.

As A Matter Of Fact

The gestation period for an elephant is an incredible 22 months, making it the longest of any land animal.

In addition to this, the common birth weight for elephants is 260 lb (120 kg). So, if your pregnancy is already starting to feel long, and your baby a tad heavy, spare a thought for our large-eared friends!

Ask A... Doctor

I haven't felt my baby move yet. Should I be worried?

While you understandably want to feel your baby's movements, there is no cause for concern yet since your recent scan should have shown you that all is well with your baby.

If it's your first baby, you may not notice the early movements since you won't know what to expect. Also, if you're an active person, these slight flutters may be missed. Women with a placenta lying at the front of the uterus may feel movements later, as may larger women since the movement may not be detected through the flesh.

Once you do feel movements, don't become too focused on every one. It's not until around 28 weeks that it becomes important to monitor the pattern. From this stage, the amount your baby moves, as well as the type of movement and when it happens, are relevant since these indicate that the placenta is sustaining the pregnancy and your baby's muscles are developing.

If you're concerned about lack of movement from your baby at any stage, speak to your doctor.

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Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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