20 weeks and 6 days pregnant
Your baby is now developing periods of movement and activity and periods of rest and quiet. Soon these periods will become definite cycles of activity, providing something of a daily (and nightly) routine to his movement.
Your baby’s reproductive organs are gradually developing and the differences in the genitals are increasingly obvious.
In the absence of high levels of testosterone in a female baby, the reproductive glands become ovaries, which contain six million follicles at this stage, of which about one million will remain at birth. The ovaries have now descended from the abdomen into the pelvis. The testes also undergo a similar descent, but have not yet reached the scrotum. Under the influence of the hormone oestrogen you produce, your baby of either sex may develop breast buds, although these will disappear after birth. Whether your baby is a boy or a girl has very little impact on the pregnancy. Later in pregnancy, there is a slight weight difference, with boys being slightly heavier than girls on average.
I fell recently. Could I have harmed my baby?
Falling during pregnancy is extremely common, as your increasingly protruding abdomen, softening ligaments and joints, and changing centre of gravity can cause you to lose your balance. The good news is that your baby is safely cocooned in amniotic fluid, which protects and cushions him when you fall. Your injuries would have to be quite severe to cause any harm to your baby.
The best thing you can do is to monitor your baby’s movements after a fall. If he’s moving as much as normal all should be fine, but if you want reassurance, pay a visit to your midwife. If you do experience any discomfort, or unusual discharge or bleeding from your vagina, seek medical help. If you pass water, this is likely to be urine caused by stress incontinence, not amniotic fluid.
The amniotic sac is sometimes referred to as a “bubble” because of its appearance. It may be transparent, but it’s tough and extremely difficult to pierce, so your baby is very well protected in this safe environment.
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