Your baby at 19 weeks is the size of a mango, measuring about 15cm and weighing 230g.
You’re well into your second trimester and almost half way through your pregnancy. If you haven’t felt your baby’s first movements yet, it could start happening any day now.
Your baby at 19 weeks
A 19-week old foetus now has arms and legs that are in proportion to each other and the rest of its body. As they continue to grow, new and important developments are happening each week.
A white, wax-like coating called vernix caseosa is now covering your baby’s skin. This greasy coating aids and protects the rest of their body from several things.
It shields your baby from the amniotic fluid while in the womb and helps them regulate their body temperature. It also moisturises your baby’s sensitive skin and prevents wrinkling.
Unless your baby is born early, most of the vernix caseosa will be gone at birth. However, the little bit that remains will act as a lubricant for your baby while passing through the birth canal.
Your baby’s brain is growing at a remarkable rate creating millions of neurons – the message signals that connect the brain with the muscles. This allows your baby to make purposeful movements.
Your baby’s brain is also designating specialised areas for the five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.
White fat tissue (which stores excess energy) has already started to develop in your baby. Now, brown fat starts to develop in the 19-week fetus.
This type of fat is very important for newborns and will help keep them warm once they are born. Your baby will continue to add more layers of fat while in the womb.
First set of teeth
Babies at 19 weeks are developing their first set of teeth although you won’t see the first one pop up until around six to eight months after birth.
Your body at 19 weeks pregnant
Pregnancy at 19 weeks can look different for everyone. Your body is changing as your baby bump grows. You might start to notice certain discomforts or feelings you weren’t aware of before.
Here are some common things you might experience when 19 weeks pregnant
- Round ligament pain. Occasional abdominal pains can be the result of your growing uterus. The round ligaments that link your uterus to your pelvis have to stretch. This pain usually comes on suddenly in the lower belly or groin area. It’s more often felt when changing positions, laughing, sneezing, or coughing.
- Stretch marks. It’s estimated that between 50 and 90& of pregnant women get stretch marks during some stage of pregnancy. This is mostly due to genetics, but there are a few things you can do to decrease your likelihood.
- Increased appetite. Increased appetite and food cravings occur during pregnancy due to your growing baby’s need for nourishment.
- Constipation. The pregnancy hormone progesterone causes certain muscles to relax, including your bowels. This can cause the food in your digestive tract to hang around longer. Although, this might also be caused by the supplements or medication you’re taking. Too much iron, for example, can make constipation worse.
- Backaches. As your belly continues to grow, your center of gravity starts to shift forward, putting more pressure on your back. Try and maintain good posture and avoid lifting heavy items.
- Heartburn. Although more common in the third trimester, heartburn (also called indigestion or acid reflux) can occur at any time during pregnancy. It can be caused by pregnancy hormones as well as the increasing pressure against your stomach as your baby grows.
- Brain fogginess. Also called “pregnancy brain” or “baby brain”, most pregnant women report memory problems, feeling forgetful, or a lack of concentration. Fatigue can also be a contributing factor to brain fog.
- Dark patches. Due to a pregnancy condition called chloasma, also known as the “mask of pregnancy”, you may notice dark areas on your skin. These most often appear on your forehead, nose, cheeks, and upper lip. Exposure to the sun will darken these pigments even more. They usually go away a few months after giving birth.
- Tiny kicks or movement. This is around the time when you may start to feel your baby’s first movement. If you haven’t yet, don’t panic. Several factors can contribute to feeling a 19-week baby move, including your weight, muscle tone, and your baby’s position.
Taking care of yourself during pregnancy week 19
While you’re creating a new life, it’s important to also make time for yourself and be aware of how you’re feeling.
Here are some tips for taking care of yourself during pregnancy week 19:
- Sleep on your side. It might be time to get adjusted to a new sleeping position. After week 20, it’s not advisable to sleep on your back. Lying belly up places too much weight on the vena cava (a major blood vessel). This interrupted blood flow can cause dizziness, shortness of breath, and nausea.
- Stay active. As long as you feel comfortable, exercise during pregnancy is very beneficial for both mom and baby. Although, it’s important not to overdo it. Activities such as walking, swimming, and low-impact exercises are great choices.
- Drink plenty of water. During pregnancy, it’s important to drink more water than you normally would. This helps produce extra blood, carry nutrients, aid digestion, build new tissue, and flush out toxins. Your increased blood flow during pregnancy can also make you warmer and you might notice that you sweat more.
- Moisturise. To relieve the itching and dryness caused by stretch marks, keep the affected areas moisturized. Homemade stretch mark oil is a wonderful natural alternative to store-bought brands.
- Buy maternity clothes. Although pregnancy at 19 weeks looks different for everyone, you’ve probably noticed that your shape is beginning to change. This can be an excellent time to purchase some pregnancy clothes, or just clothes you feel more comfortable in.
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