Picture and Explanation of How Your Body and Baby are Growing and Developing at 20 Weeks Pregnant
The enlargement of the uterus during this week is greatest at the site of the placental attachment (usually on the front or back wall), so the uterus has an asymmetrical bulge. The wall of the uterus, which lengthens and thickens early in pregnancy, stretches as the fetus grows, and becomes thinner now, only 3 to 5 millimeters thick. The bladder ascends but not as much as the uterus, which straightens as it ascends.
Your ascending uterus rests against the lower portion of the front of the abdominal wall, causing it to bulge forward noticeably by your 20th week. The amount of the bulge is influenced by the tone of the abdominal muscles. If they are firm, the uterus may be pressed against the spinal column, and there will be no noticeable bulge; if they are weak, the pressure of the uterus against the interior wall produces a sizeable bulge.
The position of the uterus during this week explains why you may feel more comfortable at this stage than earlier in your pregnancy. Pressure within the pelvic cavity, which during the earlier weeks may cause weariness and frequent urination, is relieved when the uterus ascends into the abdominal cavity.
Most recent page update: 11/7/2007
© 2015 National Partnership for Women & Families. All rights reserved.
Founded in 1918, Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Together, these two women's health powerhouses are transforming maternity care in the United States.
News and Features
Check out our resource, "Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing: Evidence and Implications for Women, Babies, and Maternity Care"
Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families.
This interactive timeline highlights our trailblazing work since 1918.
We want all women and babies receive the best possible maternity care.