A creamy white coating is beginning to form on your baby’s skin. This is called vernix, and it protects the skin while it is still thin. This creamy white substance is believed to help protect the baby inutero. It will cling to the lanugo and in the creases. This is also something that can be seen sometimes after the birth. Rumour has it that nursery nurses use it for hand lotion, because of its smooth, protective quality. Vernix also helps the baby to come out during the birth because of its slippery texture.
You may be aware of sleep wake cycles in your little one. The weight is now up to 10 ounces (283 grams) and the baby measures about 25cm long.
This is your first chance to get a proper look at the baby – at the 20-week ultrasound scan. It doesn’t have to be at exactly 20 weeks, but this is usually the time you will have been booked in for the scan.
Your belly button may pop out and stay that way as your uterus presses upwards. You will have to urinate more frequently. Yes, probably more than during weeks 1-19. Do your pelvic tilts before laying down to hopefully allow you a few more minutes before the next toilet run.
Some people will have trouble breathing as their lungs become cramped. This will usually continue until the baby “drops.” In a first pregnancy this will generally occur 4-6 weeks before your birth and with subsequent pregnancies not until you are in labour.
You’ll almost certainly be feeling the baby’s movements in the womb now that you are half way. What you think is indigestion may be baby moving about. Then again, it could just be indigestion. Put your hand on your tummy and stay still. You may feel whether it is baby or just a bit of wind.
Heartburn is a common problem in pregnancy. As your womb grows it puts pressure on your digestive system, and sometimes allows acid to leak up out of your stomach and back into your oesophagus (gullet). This can cause a burning acidic feeling in your chest.
You can help avoid heartburn by identifying the foods that trigger it. Try eating smaller but more frequent meals and using extra pillows to slightly prop yourself up in bed at night. Ask your pharmacist for an antacid that is suitable for use during pregnancy.