Your Nutrition – Pregnancy Week 20

Your Nutrition – Pregnancy Week 20

Second Trimester


You have reached pregnancy week 20! Congratulations! At 20 weeks pregnant, you are halfway through your pregnancy. Learn what research says about the benefits of nutrition during pregnancy as well as exercises you can do to prepare for labour and delivery.

Your Nutrition Tip of This Week

According to research, nutrition in utero can play a role in your baby’s health in many ways.

Short-term health effects include:

  • Brain development
  • Growth and body composition
  • Metabolic programming

Long-term health effects include:

  • Cognitive and educational performance
  • Physical strength, immunity
  • Risk for diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure

Your Wellness Tips This Week

Kegel Exercises
Ease your way to labour and delivery! Kegels are a simple and discreet exercise that can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, including the muscles around your vagina, urethra, and anus. Kegels help stop urine from leaking (like when you sneeze or laugh) and can help prepare you for delivery. Studies show that Kegels also might reduce the chances of an episiotomy during birth.

How to do Kegel exercises
You can do Kegels whether you are sitting, standing, or reclined. Like any exercise, you can increase both the hold time and repetition as you build stamina.

  • Squeeze or tense the muscles around your vagina and anus, as if you are trying to stop the flow of urine. Don’t actually stop the flow, though.
  • Hold for 10 seconds and release.
  • Repeat 10 to 20 times in a row, a few times throughout the day.

Your Baby's Development at Week 20

When you are 20 weeks pregnant, your baby begins to grow more rapidly, gaining weight and length. Consequentially, the brain weight and volume increase in tandem. Your baby is moving around and you may be able to feel it. Baby development includes the following:

  • When you are 20 weeks pregnant, your baby measures about 15 cm, about the length of an eggplant, and weighs about 0.2 kg.
  • Your baby’s skin thickens and develops layers under the vernix during the 20th week of pregnancy.
  • His hair and nails continue to grow.
  • His limbs are well developed when you are 20 weeks pregnant.
  • Your baby is moving and you can feel it. Make a note of when you felt these movements start and let your doctor know.

Your Changing Body at Week 20

Physical changes in your body continue at 20 weeks pregnant, you may see some of the following:

  • As your baby grows, your body adjusts to his size. By your 20th week of pregnancy, organs are beginning to be pushed out of their normal places by your growing uterus, which now reaches your navel.
  • Your intestines are the first organs to shift due to your enlarging uterus.
  • As your uterus expands and your weight increases, you might experience a change in your center of gravity. 
  • Your rate of urination may slow. Go often to minimize the risk of a urinary tract infection. Remember, you can lean forward to help completely drain your bladder. Don’t rush!
  • Vaginal discharge might slightly increase around your 20th week of pregnancy. Speak with your doctor if you are concerned about vaginal infection. It can be treated during pregnancy.

Round ligament pain
As tension increases on muscles and ligaments surrounding your growing uterus, you might experience some aches, particularly in your lower abdomen or back.

One specific type of pain is called round ligament pain. The round ligament is one of the ligaments that holds your uterus in place. During pregnancy, it stretches and thickens to accommodate your growing uterus. If you make a sudden move or reach for something quickly, you might experience round ligament pain, a sharp but temporary cramp in your lower pelvic area. Round ligament pain also can be triggered by exercise.

Contact your doctor if back pain is particularly severe and does not subside, if it significantly limits your routine, or if cramping continues

Your body in balance!
By your 20th week of pregnancy, your expanding belly and uterus are working together to change your body’s center of gravity.

  • You might feel like you are going to fall over at times. This is not unusual.
  • You might unconsciously be adjusting your posture and how you walk or move.
  • The lower portion of your spine might be beginning to curve backward slightly to help you compensate for your change in gravity. This can lead to additional strain on your back muscles.
  • As your increasing uterus and abdomen begin to place more strain on your back muscles, you might want to weave the pelvic tilt into your daily routine.

* Comparison among all maternal milk in Singapore as of January 2022, as declared on the label.

SG.2022.23687.SMM.1 (v1.1)