Week 19

Your baby this week

240

GRAMS IN WEIGHT

Your baby is becoming more and more active.

Your baby’s five senses are developing rapidly.

Your baby's legs are now longer than her arms.

How big is your baby?

In week 19 of pregnancy, she measures 16.5cm (6.5in) long and weighs around 240g (8 ½ oz), which makes her just about the size of an average mango.

How big is your baby?

In week 19 of pregnancy, she measures 16.5cm (6.5in) long and weighs around 240g (8 ½ oz), which makes her just about the size of an average mango.

What does your baby look like?

She’s still a skinny little thing but she’s getting more and more into proportion. Her legs are now longer than her arms and she’s covered in vernix caseosa. This waxy substance helps regulate her body temperature in the uterus and protects her skin while she’s submerged in amniotic fluid.

Changes in your body this week

By now you are probably starting to develop a ‘real’ baby bump as your uterus becomes ever more pronounced as it grows. It’s likely that only you will be able to feel your bay’s movements in week 19, it will take a bit longer for others to feel them on the outside, but the fluttering will become more regular as she has numerous growth spurts over the coming weeks. Enjoy this special, unique time with your baby and use it as a time to bond – once you can feel her, it becomes really ‘real’ – you have a little human inside you.

How your baby is developing

In a girl, her ovaries are developed and contain follicles. Soon, half of the genetic information of any future grandchildren will be fully formed – incredible!

Your baby is also becoming more and more active, kicking, twirling and reaching out to touch her surroundings, as well as her own face and limbs. In her brain, nerve cells for all five senses are developing rapidly, ensuring her ability to see, hear, taste, smell and touch.

How your baby is developing

In a girl, her ovaries are developed and contain follicles. Soon, half of the genetic information of any future grandchildren will be fully formed – incredible!

Your baby is also becoming more and more active, kicking, twirling and reaching out to touch her surroundings, as well as her own face and limbs. In her brain, nerve cells for all five senses are developing rapidly, ensuring her ability to see, hear, taste, smell and touch.

Health concerns

As your pregnancy progresses, you may start to experience back pain as the weight of your uterus means that your back has to work harder to keep you upright. You can mitigate any discomfort by keeping your back straight and shoulders together and staying supported when you sit down by placing a cushion in the small of your back. If you’re uncomfortable in bed, try putting a pillow in between your knees while you lie on your side.

Are there any symptoms you should be looking out for?

Weight gain during pregnancy is normal, but keep an eye on how much. If you suddenly gain a lot of weight and feel extremely dizzy or lightheaded, then these might be symptoms of pre-eclampsia. This is a dangerous condition for both mother and baby and requires urgent medical attention.

Safety first

Toxoplasmosis is a nasty bacteria which has serious consequences for pregnant ladies if ingested. It’s often found in cat faeces, so if you have a litter tray then now is the time to delegate that particular job to someone else. If this isn’t feasible then make sure that you wear thick rubber gloves whilst handling both old and new cat litter, or when you’re washing the tray.

If you’re a keen gardener, or you grow your own veg, you should also be aware that soil can be a carrier for the bacteria. Always wash your hands thoroughly after being in the garden, or using gardening tools and always wash vegetables and salad leaves thoroughly before eating.

Important issues this week

Unfortunately, as your pregnancy goes on, you are likely to have more general aches and pains than before. Round ligament pain in particular occurs regularly as the uterine muscle stretches to accommodate your growing baby. Keeping active and staying hydrated are vital tools in ensuring your wellbeing. Leg cramps can often be a sign of dehydration, so keep drinking water – even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Keeping fit, staying healthy

If you’ve been used to running marathons, now is probably time to hang up those particular running shoes for a while. It’s important to maintain your core strength, however, but aim for lower impact training as your body is under strain, weighing more, thus making your muscles and ligaments much more prone to damage.

It’s also important at this stage that you make sure you have plenty of ‘good fats’ and vitamin B in your diet as these are vital ingredients in aiding healthy development of your baby’s brain and nervous system which ramps up in week 19.

Looking forward; planning ahead

Thinking of a home birth? Some women prefer to give birth in their own home, in familiar surroundings with the ability to move around and relax as they wish. But it isn’t for everyone and needs careful consideration. Some women are advised not to have a home birth – primarily those with a higher-risk pregnancy due to placenta praevia or other complications, those who have had a previous difficult delivery, or those for whom it is their first pregnancy.

Factors to consider when making your choice include:

  • Your likelihood of having a straightforward birth. Your midwife and GP will be able to discuss this with you and assess the risks
  • The type of pain relief that you want. Your options for a home birth are limited to gas and air with stronger types of pain relief, such as pethidine, only available in a hospital setting so that you and your baby can be closely monitored
  • Whether you can realistically labour at home, or whether there will be things to complicate it, such as having other children around

No two women will labour and give birth in the same way and you need to consider all options before making your choice.

Important – If you or your child are unwell you should seek medical advice from a professional – contact your GP or visit an A&E department in an emergency. While My BabyManual strives to provide dependable and trusted information on pregnancy and childcare 24/7 via our website pages, we cannot provide individual answers to specific healthcare questions.
Please sign in to comment on this article.
Be the first to write a comment on this article.

Partners perspective

Is there anything more gratifying than feeling your baby kick out through ...

Read More

Week 19

Your pre-pregnancy BMI is important when considering how much weight gain ...

Read More