Pregnancy
20 weeks and 1 day pregnant

Your baby’s movements are still based on a set of reflex actions but this is now beginning to change. As the nerve pathways develop, expand, and mature, your baby gains greater and greater control of his actions.

You’re in the second half of your pregnancy and in the months that follow you’ll have more regular contact with a midwife.

Your antenatal appointments will become more frequent in the second half of your pregnancy. Even if you are in good health, and your baby has been thoroughly assessed at the 20-week ultrasound scan, it can be reassuring to have these regular health checks with the midwife.

The number of appointments you have will differ depending on whether it’s your first pregnancy and whether you’ve had any complications. If it’s your first pregnancy, you can expect around 10 appointments but if you’ve had a baby before, you may have only seven appointments, unless there are complications. As a general rule you can expect to have antenatal appointments at 25 weeks, 28 weeks, 31 weeks, 34 weeks, 36 weeks, 38 weeks, 40 weeks, and if, your baby is overdue, 41 weeks.

If this isn’t your first baby and there are no complications, you may not need to attend appointments at weeks 25, 31 and 40. However, you can contact your midwife if you have any concerns. If you’re expecting twins, your antenatal appointments will be more frequent than for a single pregnancy, and will depend on the type of twins you’re having: non-identical or identical. If they’re identical, the amount of antenatal care will depend on whether they share any of their support system.

With your usual office clothing straining at the seams, you might have to rethink your work wardrobe. The good news is that, unlike in years gone by, there is now a wealth of beautiful maternity clothing available and much at affordable high-street prices. These are often designed as co-ordinated sets, which makes putting them together easy.

Remember that you’ll be wearing maternity clothing for a few months, and it’s easy to become bored by the same items. If possible, designate a little of your wardrobe budget to buy yourself one or two items every month. If you’re tired of your black elasticated trousers, sleeveless pinafore, and smock dress, buy a pretty new shirt or jacket to jazz them up; you can wear them unbuttoned if necessary.

Don’t hesitate to accept hand-me-downs; even if they are not right for your office dress code, wearing them at home will enable you to spend a little more on work clothing. And don’t forget your shoes; if you were a stiletto girl before becoming pregnant, you’ll need to rethink.

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The wide range of maternity clothes that is now available means you can dress for a multitude of occasions. Look for items that you can also wear after the birth.

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