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Being pregnant

Your pregnancy: 20 weeks

Believe it or not, this week heralds the mid-point of your pregnancy. If you go full term, from the start of your last menstrual period to the time you give birth, your pregnancy will be about 40 weeks long. So you're halfway there. Congrats!

By Today's Parent
Your pregnancy: 20 weeks

Photo: Mandy Milks, Erik Putz, Anthony Swaneveld. Felt: thefeltstore.com

Twenty weeks pregnant: What's going on in there

Your tiny human is the size of a slice of bread this week! (Did you find out the sex? Were you shocked or excited? More on how to cope with that below.) At about 16.5 centimetres (6.5 inches) long, by 20 weeks pregnant your baby's weight is about 283 grams (10 ounces), which means that she would be a wee bit lighter than a can of soda in your hand. With very fine eyebrows and fingernails starting to sprout, she is looking more like a real person, although her lungs aren’t quite developed enough for her to survive on the outside. To prepare for her arrival, she is swallowing amniotic fluid (sounds gross, but it’s good for the digestive system). She sleeps and wakes up at regular intervals, can suck her thumb and is building muscle and coordination by kicking, flexing and even flipping. Do you notice more movement when you eat certain foods? Your baby’s taste buds are probably in full swing, but the tiny bits of flavour she gets in the amniotic fluid aren’t quite as strong as what you’re tasting.

Midsection of pregnant Black woman holding belly LWA/Dann Tardif / Getty Images

Twenty weeks pregnant symptoms

You definitely look pregnant now, and your belly has probably “popped.” You’ve officially hit the halfway point of your pregnancy (woo-hoo!), which gives a lot of women a much-needed mental boost. If you aren’t already feeling more energetic, expect a change in gears soon as you enter what many people call the “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy. Don’t be surprised by a bump in your sex drive. Take advantage: We guarantee that your libido won’t keep up with the growth of your belly.

An increase in your vaginal discharge might also be more noticeable now. Expect it to keep increasing as your pregnancy progresses. It’s your body’s way of keeping the area clear and bacteria-free (yeast infections also become more common, though, so talk to your doctor or midwife if you notice an odour or a yellow or greenish tinge to the fluid). Your internal milk machine may also be starting to fire up. If you notice any nipple discharge, don’t be alarmed: It’s perfectly normal. Your breasts are beginning to make colostrum, the yellowish, nutrient-rich substance that precedes breastmilk.

Your uterus is about even with your belly button now. It will grow about one centimetre (1/2 inch) each week from now on, and some of your discomfort will grow along with it. You may already have swelling in your feet and ankles (embrace that pregnant-lady stereotype and put your legs up whenever possible!), leg cramps, heartburn and indigestion (you’ll want to avoid deep-fried, spicy and acidic foods).

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What's on your mind when you're 20 weeks pregnant

Dealing with disappointment

If you found out the sex of your baby during the anatomy scan, there is a chance that you may be shocked by the result. If you’re having your first baby and had your heart set on a particular sex or if you’ve had multiple babies of the same sex and expected to continue the trend, it can be tough to come to terms with what (and who!) is actually inside of you. If you’re expecting a boy, it can be a little mind-blowing to realize the weird-but-true fact that you are growing a tiny penis and testicles inside your uterus. The good news is that you still have the second half of your pregnancy left to get comfortable with the notion. It might take you a few weeks to adjust to reality, but once you see the little face you’ve made in person, you’ll be smitten.

Pregnant woman at home sitting on sofa sad and crying, husband calms and supports, Liubomyr Vorona / Getty Images

Hitting the halfway point

With morning sickness (hopefully!) subsiding and your energy levels returning, you may find yourself focusing less on your body and more on your feelings. The excitement of hitting the halfway point is often mixed with growing worries over the fact that you’re going to give birth soon! Maybe you’re happy to have the first few rough months behind you. Or maybe time is moving too fast and you’re feeling a bit melancholy? If this is you, remember that there’s still plenty of time left to enjoy your pregnancy. Try your best to relax and do less worrying.

Around week 20, a lot of women begin to have concerns about pregnancy weight gain. If you’re going by the book, the aim is to gain just over one pound (16 ounces) a week from here on out. But your body isn’t a machine (well, it’s a baby-growing machine, but we’re also human), and it’s better for your baby if you can find a way to obsess less about weight. A nutritious diet is important, but go easy on yourself. If you’re worried about your weight or scrutinizing yourself in the mirror, talk to your doctor or midwife for ways to reduce any pressure you feel. Oh, and throw out your scale: Your job right now is to grow a healthy human, not be a leggy supermodel with an impossibly adorable bump.

High angle view of pregnant woman standing on scale gpointstudio / Getty Images

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Planning a big gender reveal or keeping it a secret

Not everyone who finds out the sex of her baby lets others in on the news. Are you planning to tell people or keep it a surprise until the baby is born? If you’re planning a reveal, there are plenty of fun ways to do it (some of them involve cake—yum!)—we've got tons of ideas below to help inspire you. After you announce the sex, you may be inundated with pink and blue outfits or baby onesies that make assumptions about boys versus girls (such as sports-themed outfits for boys and lots of frilly bows and florals for girls). Well-wishers may also have more questions and opinions about baby name possibilities. If you decide not to share the new, take pleasure in holding the most special kind of secret close to you. You have a few more months until it gets out—literally!

Best gender reveal party ideas

Invitations

Throwing a gender reveal party is a great excuse to have your close friends and family over for a barbeque. After all, if you've got a bun in the oven, you might as well put some burgers on the grill! Announce your cook out with these adorable Esty invitations or make your own.

Your pregnancy: 20 weeks Photo: Pinterest via Etsy

Pins

Bows or boots? Lashes or staches? Prince or princess? It's anybody's guess! As each guest arrives have them choose a pin to wear during the party that represents their prediction. You can make pink bows for the girl vote and moustaches for the boy vote or buy some from Esty. After the big reveal, see how many guests guessed correctly. For added fun you can also tell your guests in advance to come wearing something pink or blue, depending on their vote.

Your pregnancy: 20 weeks Photo: Pinterest via etsy

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Chalkboard

They say if you're craving sweet treats, you may be expecting a little girl. Check out our list of old wives tales for predicting gender and make your own gender-predicting chalkboard to use as a decoration during the party. All you'll need is a large chalkboard and some chalk. Don't forget to circle the symptoms you have. Guests can consult the chalkboard as they try to guess what your little one will be. If you don't feel like designing your own chalkboard you can also get a personalized printable one from Etsy.

Your pregnancy: 20 weeks Photo: Pinterest via tessarayanne.blogspot.ca

Name jar

Not sure what you're going to call your little bundle of joy? Set up a name suggestion station at the party and get your guests to help. All you'll need is a clear jar, some pink paper for girl names and blue paper for boy names. After you've announced your baby's sex, read the names out loud to see who came up with the most creative suggestion. Even if you know you're having a girl, be sure to read the blue choices, too—unisex names are quite trendy now. You can also save this idea jar for future kids.

Your pregnancy: 20 weeks Photo: Pinterest via clipzine.me

Sweet table

An Instagram-worthy blue and pink sweet table is a must for your gender reveal party. Give your guests a sugar rush with cake pops, cotton candy, macarons, cupcakes, cookies, dipped pretzels and more. Be sure to make everything equally pink and blue.

Your pregnancy: 20 weeks Photo: Pinterest via holidappy.com

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Baby pictionary

All you'll need for this fun gender-reveal version of Pictionary is a clear jar, some pink and blue paper and a chalkboard or an easel with paper. The parents-to-be can fill the jar with things that are traditionally associated with one gender, such as Barbie, baseball, mermaids or trucks. Then get your guests to draw and guess each thing. The jar of words can also be used for a game of Charades.

Your pregnancy: 20 weeks Photo: Pinterest via buzzfeed.com

Pin the sperm on the egg

It's just like Pin the Tail on the Donkey but with a very adult slant! To make the egg, print a large round circle with a face and place it on cardboard or poster paper. Then make sperm (with cute faces as well) out of paper or felt. Make one for each guest. Make some mini bows and moustaches with ribbon, felt or paper and leave them beside the sperm with glue. Have each guest choose either the pink bow or the moustache (based on their prediction) and then attach it to their chosen sperm. Blindfold them and see whose sperm ends up being the closest to the egg. The winning sperm is the winning gender. Play this game right before the big reveal so you can see if the game's prediction comes true.

Your pregnancy: 20 weeks Photo: Pinterest via whenlovegrows.com

Piñata

Announce your baby's gender with a bang. This giant question mark piñata is a great way to get the guests to participate in the big reveal. You can make your own piñata or buy one from Etsy. Fill it with confetti, candy and coloured paper that's either pink or blue, depending on the sex of your little one. If you want to be surprised on the big day, get another family member or friend (who can keep a secret) to fill the piñata. The parents-to-be and all the guests can take turns hitting the question mark until the big question has finally been answered.

Your pregnancy: 20 weeks Photo: Pinterest via allthingskatiemarie.blogspot.ca

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Half-and-half cake

Serve your guests a cake that's half girl, half boy to represent both possible outcomes. You could go with the traditional half-blue and half-pink, or use a theme, such as touchdowns and tutus, Superman and Wonder Woman, or pirates and mermaids. Check out our cake decorating ideas for some inspiration. This tasty dessert could also double as a gender reveal prop. Just get the baker to make the filling either pink or blue.

Your pregnancy: 20 weeks Photo: Pinterest via butadreamcakes.com

Gender neutral cake

If a half-and-half cake isn't your thing, go for a gender-neutral cake with a cute, punny theme instead. Try a "What will it bee?" cake with yellow icing and fondant bees, a "Waddle it be?" cake with yellow duckies or penguins, or cover a simple white cake with gold stars and write, "Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how we wonder what you are?" on top. To go a step further, use your cake theme for your party as well and dress up your home with matching decorations.

Your pregnancy: 20 weeks Photo: Pinterest via cakecentral.com

Party Favours

If you want to keep the pink and blue theme going even after the reveal, give your guests some he or she Hershey's chocolate bars as a party favour. Simply decorate the chocolate by colouring in the right letters in pink or blue—you can even add glitter, buttons and bows. Either give each guest a blue and a pink bar, or just decorate the bars according to the gender that has now been revealed and give each guest one bar with a cute "Thank you for coming" card.

Your pregnancy: 20 weeks Photo: Pinterest via craftymorning.com

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Just for kicks

Whether or not you know the sex, now is a great time to get started on a plan for your baby’s room—if you haven’t already. If a friend or family member is organizing a baby shower, start a registry of items. This will not only help you get the gear you want but also cut down on the likelihood that you’ll be showered with what you don’t. (Although even if you say “no gifts” or post a shareable registry, lots of loved ones will still go rogue and gift you items and outfits that you’re not into—that’s just how it goes.) If that sounds overwhelming, consider this: You don’t need to have a baby shower, or you could request a less traditional, coed shower. You also don’t have to build your entire registry in one day. Many stores allow you to set it up online. You can add to it as you go—and grow.

Friends laughing on babyshower zoranm / Getty Images

Baby names

Some parents want their babies to have unique names, but are some taking baby names too far?

name tag artisteer / Getty Images

Pregnancy to-do list: Week 20

Diaper decisions

While you’re thinking about all your baby supplies and making lists, it isn’t too early to start asking around about cloth diapers and whether it’s something you should consider for your family. Have any of your parent friends tried cloth diapers? The reusable covers come in super-cute designs, and they might save you money (but you’ll end up doing more laundry, unless you sign up for a diaper pickup service). 

Read more: Dreading your own baby shower? How to throw a coed baby shower Next up: 21 weeks pregnant

Your pregnancy: 20 weeks

This article was originally published on Aug 18, 2017

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