Pregnancy Weeks 17 – 20

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Week 17

The cartilage which is found throughout baby’s body is now starting to harden into bone. Baby can measure up to 4.8 inches and weighs almost 3 1/2 ounces. You may have increased vaginal discharge and may start to suffer from indigestion as your uterus puches your insides upwards and your oesophageal muscles and sphincter begin to relax.

Week 18

You are 5 months pregnant and baby is 6 inches long. Your baby can hear your heartbeat. You may see the return of poor sleep and should try to sleep on your left side to avoid restricting your blood flow through an important vein called the vena cava. You may have your blood taken by your midwife to be able to receive your results at your 5 month scan appointment. You are tested for Hepatitis B and for the possibility of your baby having Down’s Syndrome. You can also choose to test for HIV and syphilis.

Week 19

You are now half way through pregnancy. You may begin to feel even more strain on your abdomen and back. Your baby may now weigh 7 ounces. You may begin to feel slightly dizzy on occasion, especially when getting up from a lying down or sitting down position. You may also begin to have bleeding gums when you brush your teeth as a result of increased blood in your system which is needed for baby. Make sure that you eat little and often to keep your blood sugar up. You may also be struggling to get comfortable in bed. A pregnancy pillow will support your stomach and help you to get your legs and pelvis into a comfortable position.

Week 20

Your baby has slowed down in it’s lentgh growth and now begins to concentrate on putting in weight. It is now very clearly a boy or a girl and if it is lying in a good position an ultrasound may reveal what sex it is. You may start to feel breathless as baby and uterus intrude into the space which your lungs usually occupy so take it slow and rest whenever you need to. Your baby is around 9 ounces. You may have your anomaly scan at this point which, for most women , will be the last time you see your baby before you meet in person. You may also be able to find out the sex of your baby.

Anomaly Scan

The anomaly scan will usually take place around the 20 week point and looks to check that baby is developing and growing properly with no problems.  The scan will check;

That baby’s head is the correct size and their are no problems with baby’s brain

That the spine is aligned and covered with skin

That there are 2 kidneys and the bladder is working

That the heart is the right size and shape and all chambers are present

That the hands and feet are ok

That the placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic fluid are ok

You can also ask the sex of your baby but keep in mind that the primary reason for this scan is to check baby’s health so allow the sonographer to do their checks before moving onto the sex of the baby.

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