During week 19, your baby is already the size of a mango, and he keeps growing healthily! You’re just one week away from being halfway through pregnancy — tempus fugit, right? When you're 19 weeks pregnant, you probably have awful leg cramps due to your baby moving a lot in your womb. But hey, perhaps he’s training for becoming a little action figure, ready to choreograph Matrix-like movements, right? If you’ve reached the 19th week of pregnancy, here’s what you need to know about your symptoms, your baby’s development, and additional tips.
Many changes occur in your body (and on your body) during week 19.
At this point, back pain is very normal, and is the result of your growing uterus, which makes your back work harder to keep you upright.
You can expect aches in your lower abdomen, and sometimes brief, stabbing pain on one or both sides, most likely when you shift positions. This is due to an overstretching of the ligaments that support your growing uterus to help accommodate your developing baby. While this is nothing to be concerned about, you may want to see your doctor or midwife about it if the pain becomes severe.
How big is your tummy right now? Well, that’s just the beginning, because it will be getting even bigger during the weeks to come! The progress of your pregnancy is also causing your body to produce more estrogen, which can lead to red palms.
You may also notice some patches of darkened skin due to a temporary increase in pigment. These darkened patches are likely to appear on your cheeks, forehead, and upper lip, and they’re called “chloasma” (in English, that means “mask of pregnancy”).
Darkening of your nipples, vulva, inner thighs, underarms, and scars is also normal during week 19. You’ll want to protect from the sun to avoid more intense pigmentation. By now, you’ve probably experienced “linea nigra” already — the dark line running from the belly button to the pubic bone. Another symptom that’s common during this week is heartburn, and it’s caused by your growing tummy.
Your Baby at 19 Weeks
How big is baby at 19 weeks? Your baby size is around the size of a mango, and he measures 6 inches, head to bottom. Fetus limbs are now in proportion with the rest of the body. The neurons are connected between the brain and muscles, which makes your baby’s movements much more coordinated. No doubt you’re feeling him “dancing” inside your belly!
The most notable change that your little one is going through this week is the development of vernix, or varnish. Vernix caseosa is a protective substance that’s made up of lanugo, dead skin cells, and oil from the baby’s glands is now covering his skin. This substance helps protect the skin against the amniotic fluid surrounding him — without this “varnish,” his skin would look like yours if you bathed for 9 months! Quite wrinkly, is it? Since he can hear your voice now, why not start playing some Beethoven, Mozart, or some other classic music? Or, perhaps you can start listening to some kid songs — or will it be Sandra? Whatever you like, your baby will like too!
Ultrasound Images of 19 Week Pregnancy
Bellies at 19 Weeks
If you haven’t had your ultrasound yet, then week 19 is the perfect time to have one. This may also reveal the gender of your baby — how exciting is that?
Make sure to protect your skin against sun — sunlight can intensify your skin pigment, and make you prone to burns. If you don’t spend much time outside, it’s okay to wear just a t-shirt without a cardigan. A good tip to keep in mind is applying sunscreen under your makeup — whether you go outside or not, and whether the weather is sunny or cloudy, this will serve as a barrier against sunlight. Plus, your skin will keep its youthful appearance for longer!
If sleeping has become painful due to your back, consider sleeping on one side only. This might help relieve tension and make sleeping easier. Over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen may help, but you must discuss with your doctor or midwife before taking it. He or she may prescribe you a safer OTC drug that won’t interfere with your baby’s development.