pregnancy week by week - 19 weeks pregnant

Artist’ illustration of a 19 week old baby

 

19 weeks pregnant: what can I expect?

It’s time to do a little happy dance! You have reached another milestone; you are almost halfway through your pregnancy.If you have a friend who’s pregnant at the same time as you, you might be comparing your belly sizes. It’s natural for you to compare belly sizes with other pregnant women to see whose belly is the largest. Every woman’s body is different. Don’t be alarmed if your pregnant belly is not half as big as your friend at 19 weeks. People may still not be able to tell if you are pregnant if you haven’t developed the stereotypical belly. Petite women may not have much of a belly even at 19 weeks.

Physical changes in you at week 19

  • This week you might start to feel exhausted, tired or weak. All the extra weight you are carrying around will tire you easily and cause shortness of breath. Listen to your body when you feel like this. Don’t push yourself to do things beyond your endurance. When you feel tired drink water, eat fruits, take a nap and relax. Sometimes it could be a symptom of anemia. Eat more of iron rich foods like spinach. Use of vitamin C will help absorb iron better.
  • Your inner temperature this week will be a little higher because of all the extra blood that is coursing through your veins. Avoid layering up, in synthetic clothes. This will only make you feel more hot and uncomfortable. Wear simple cotton shirts and blouses. Full sleeves may irritate your skin. Go sleeveless if the heat bothers you.
  • Throughout your pregnancy there’s always a risk of urinary tract infection. Drink lots of water and empty your bladder whenever you can. Keep your vaginal area clean by wiping yourself from front to back.
  • You will feel a terrible burning sensation in your chest after eating – this is called heartburn. Even though it’s harmless it will irritate you. Heartburn is caused by the hormonal and physical changes in your body. Avoid foods like spicy curry, acidic foods, carbonated drinks and caffeine that increases heartburn. Try not to sleep or sit down immediately after a large meal as this will increase your heart burn. Chewing a sugarless gum will help ease your discomfort.
  • Your waist will increase in size this week and your uterus will be almost at the same level as your belly button this week.

Emotional changes in you at week 19

  • You will have more of those baby flutters also known as quickening this week. Every time you feel those flutters you will be excited. You will want your partner to feel those flutters too, but your baby might not co-operate at that particular time. Don’t worry there will be more of those in the coming weeks.
  • You will be so pre-occupied with your pregnancy that you would have neglected everyone else. Nothing in the world will matter to you more than your baby. If your friends are feeling too bad about you neglecting them, you can involve them in your pregnancy by sharing your pregnancy scrapbook. Talk to your friends about your feelings.
  • If depression is a problem, don’t deal with it alone. Seek medical help and talk to a counselor. There are many resources to help you cope with unhealthy feelings.

How’s my baby doing?

  • Your baby will be more than 14 centimeters long and is constantly growing. Your baby’s skin is so thin at this stage, that the veins in its body will be visible. To protect your baby’s vital organs its body will develop something called brown fats. This will protect your baby’s skin after its birth.
  • Your baby’s kidneys will continue producing urine. Your baby will have started to swallow amniotic fluid. Hair will continue to sprout on your baby’s scalp.
  • Vernix caseosa also known as vernix is a white waxy substance that will cover most of your baby’s skin this week. This is the covering you see on newborn babies.
  • Your baby will continue to sleep. Most of the baby’s growing is done while it is sleeping.

Useful tips for you this week

If you haven’t had an ultrasound done, book yourself to have one. An ultrasound should ideally be done at this time to check the health of your growing baby.It’s a good idea to talk to your baby now. Ask your partner to join in. When the baby is born it will recognize both your voices.Continue your exercise regime. If you have joined a pregnant mother’s exercise club, you will develop new friendships along with getting fit. Exercising will keep your weight gain at a steady level.