It's half-time! Or almost – sometimes it can take until week 42 for your baby to arrive. But something else may be on the agenda right about now: A major ultrasound scan is often carried out around week 20 of pregnancy. Hopefully, you will see your baby in more detail than ever before! Read on to discover exactly what you can learn from this scan and more.
The fetus is around 5.5 inches long (crown-rump length = CRL) and weighs approx. 8-10 ounces. Each foot is roughly 1 inch long.
There is a lot going on in the brain: It is growing, and more and more nerve cells are forming – around 200,000 brain cells are created every minute! In order for brain growth to be possible at all, the bones of the skull only fuse together later on and currently have gaps between them. This also helps the baby to pass through the birth canal more easily during labor. The open areas of the skull (the so-called fontanelles) do not close together until the child is around two years old.
Your baby is now roughly as long as a banana – and as heavy as two!
Your baby's sense of taste is becoming more refined – your baby can even taste what you have eaten from the amniotic fluid. This is one reason why a varied diet during pregnancy is so important.
If a major ultrasound scan is performed now, it is possible to document the development of your little one in detail. The size of the head and rib cage, the length of the thighs, and much more can be visualized and measured. A screening of the organs can also be carried out, although this is usually voluntary.
The doctor will generally check:
If malformations such as a heart defect are detected, certain precautions can be taken, such as transferring the birth to a special clinic.
The uterus is now about the size of a handball and continues to expand. Many pregnant women now feel really good – for the majority, the nausea has passed by now. The round ligaments, pelvis, and back can make the baby’s presence felt, but any sensations are usually mild.
If you are unsure about what you are allowed to do or what you should consider in your situation, the same applies as always: Consult your doctor so you can travel worry-free!
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Source: Your Pregnancy Week by Week, Prof. Lesley Regan, DK Limited, London, 2019, pp. 174 f.