At 20 weeks, each of your babies will weigh approximately one pound! By 24 weeks, they will have gained another half pound and will be approximately 12 inches long! The babies are continuing to grow and have produced some fat under the skin. Lanugo-soft, furry hair-covers their skin and you will most likely notice this at birth. The babies are also starting to be covered with a cheesy substance called the vernix caseosa coating. The twins are in constant contact and kick and nudge at one another for space. The membrane that separates them still is amazingly elastic! Every joint in their bodies are flexed. The chin is at the chest and their elbows are tucked at their sides. Their legs are often brought up to their chest and the feet are tucked under their bottoms. On ultrasound, you will often see that they like to have their hands up near the face. During periods of awake time, they will stretch out and move around.
You should be feeling your babies move around every day. You might not be able to tell which one is which though. You may only be able to feel it one side occasionally and that is OK. It may be that both sets of legs are stretching out in the same direction.
Edema is not uncommon during any pregnancy, especially when carrying multiples. Sometimes the extra accumulation of fluid can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a tingling or numbness in part of the palm and fingers caused by excessive compression of the bones and nerves. If you are experiencing this, try to rest as much as possible and drink lots of water. You can also purchase carpal tunnel wrist guards at a local drugstore. Symptoms usually go away after delivery.
You may be noticing that you are warmer than everyone else in the room. Your resting metabolic rate is increased during pregnancy and causes you to feel overheated. It does not mean you have a fever. Drink extra fluids to replace any fluids that you are losing through perspiration.
Many pregnant women also begin to experience leg cramps at this point of their pregnancy. It can be a sudden and extremely painful feeling. Because you are carrying multiples, you are at increased risk for experiencing leg cramps. You are carrying extra passengers and they can be very greedy when it comes to getting the mineral they need for good nutrition. You may be suffering from a shortage of calcium. Ask your doctor to help you find a way of getting enough for your and your babies.
It is not uncommon for mothers of multiples to go in to labor early. Pay close attention to any changes in your pregnancy and inform your caregiver at once if you experience any signs or symptoms of preterm labor.
Sensitivity to sun
Round ligament pain
Leakage from nipples
Glow of pregnancy
Change in sexual desire
Decrease in urination
To Think About This Month
Obtaining baby care essentials
Birth preparation classes
Birthing options and plans
Work arrangements if not already done
Childcare arrangements if needed
At The Doctor
You should be very comfortable discussing concerns with your doctor at this point. It is important to share your feelings and questions with them. Make sure to keep your doctor informed on your lifestyle and any changes that are occuring. If you have not had a 20 week diagnostic ultrasound performend, you will most likely be receiving that as well. Your doctor will be reviewing the results of any tests you have had performed. Your doctor will probably be going over the sings of preterm labor and giving strict instructions on when to call if needed. In addition, your caregiver will also be checking:
1.) Weight gain
2.) Blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate
3.) Heart and lung check
4.) Breast exam
5.) External palpation of the uterus
6.) Measure height of fundus
7.) Fetal heartbeat
8.) Urine screening for blood, sugar and bacteria