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19 Weeks Pregnant: Week by Week Pregnancy

Symptoms, Tips and Fetal Development

 

’s always exciting to start a new week of pregnancy, and here we are at week 19 – this close to halfway there! At 19 weeks pregnant, you might find out your baby’s sex, and find out that you can no longer button your jeans (or maybe you’re already wearing maternity clothes!). Here's what’s going on with your body, and your baby, at 19 weeks pregnant.

Baby at 19 weeks pregnant

Next time you’re in the grocery store look around for the mangoes – your baby at 19 weeks pregnant is the size of a large one, and weighs between 7-8 ounces. A greasy, white substance called vernix caseosa covers your baby’s skin and helps protect it from the constant exposure to amniotic fluid. Without the vernix, your baby’s skin would be very wrinkled at birth. S/he will shed most of the vernix before emerging into the world, although babies born early come out coated in it. 

Did your stomach just gurgle? Chances are your baby heard it. At this point, babies are able to hear the noises occurring in your body, things like blood swishing and food digesting. This hearing is really the vibrations in the skull being transmitted to your baby’s inner ears. In that way your baby hears your voice  – the lower the pitch, the better – as it vibrates through your bones. 

pregnancy week 19 embryo
Weekly development of a human fetus at 19 weeks pregnant.

Your body at 19 weeks pregnant

Hello, belly! With your uterus expanded to just a half inch below your belly button, there’s probably no hiding your pregnancy, especially if you’ve put on some pregnancy pounds. Some women may have gained between 8-14 pounds by this point. 

Swelling is a common symptom of pregnancy, particularly in the second half. You might already be noticing some mild puffiness in your ankles and feet, and possibly also in your face and hands. About 75% of pregnant women experience edema, or mild swelling, thanks to all of the extra body fluids that growing that baby requires. It is temporary and will ease and ultimately disappear after your baby’s birth (only 21 more weeks to go!). If you’re experiencing swelling that is more than mild, let your practitioner know as it might be a sign of preeclampsia

19 weeks pregnant ultrasound

Most women have an anatomy scan anytime between 18-20 weeks. The anatomy scan is a 2-D ultrasound that presents a flat profile of baby’s features and major organs, and also provides a chance to check your baby’s size, the location of your placenta, and the level of amniotic fluid. It’s also an opportunity for parents to learn the sex of their baby, assuming baby cooperates! If you don’t want to know the sex, be sure to let the ultrasound technician know so s/he doesn’t accidentally spoil the surprise. 

How big is my baby at 19 weeks pregnant?

a turnip, which is the size of a 19 week old fetus

At 19 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a turnip, on average measuring at 6 inches long and weighing between 7-8 ounces.

19  weeks is how many months pregnant? 

At this stage in your pregnancy, you're four months, three weeks (4m3w) pregnant. 

Common symptoms at 19 weeks pregnant

These are some of the most common pregnancy symptoms when you’re 19 weeks along.

  • Blurred vision: This is caused by water retention and generally disappears after birth. During pregnancy is not the time to get a new prescription or undergo eye surgery, lest you over correct your regular vision for your pregnancy vision!
  • Dry eyes: Hormones are to blame if you’re experiencing decreased tear production. Your eyes may feel dry and it can make wearing contacts less comfortable.
  • Swollen gums and blood when brushing: Pregnancy hormones soften your body’s tissue, including your gums, which is why you might be noticing they are bleeding a bit when you brush your teeth. Continue to take good care of your teeth and gums and don’t skip any regularly-scheduled dental appointments (but do tell your dentist about your pregnancy and skip having X-rays).
  • Dizziness: Dizziness is a common symptom in pregnancy and may be caused by low blood pressure, anemia, or blood sugar changes. Take care to stand up slowly, and don’t let yourself get too hungry.
  • Pregnancy brain: Many women report feeling forgetful or absent-minded in pregnancy, in a phenomena sometimes called “baby brain.” Although there’s no scientific evidence to support the idea that pregnant women experience cognitive changes, it seems reasonable to think that a major life change like pregnancy could affect memory temporarily. 
  • Fast-growing hair and nails: Thanks to a hormone-fueled boost in circulation and metabolism, your nails and hair are likely growing at rapid rates. 
  • Leg cramps: Leg cramps are common in pregnancy, particularly in the second half, and can be caused by inadequate levels of calcium or potassium. 
  • Mild anemia: Anemia occurs when you don’t have enough hemoglobin-rich red blood cells to carry oxygen to your body’s tissues. Anemia can cause tiredness, but unless it’s severe it won’t affect your baby.
  • Slight increase in vaginal discharge: Thanks to an increase in cell turnover, it’s normal to have milky, mild-smelling discharge throughout pregnancy
  • Increased appetite: As nausea fades, you might be feeling hungrier. Pregnant women need about 300 additional calories per day (so not a lot, really!). Aim to use them on nutrient-rich foods that benefit fetal development (with a few treats now and then of course!).
  • Back pain: Lower back pain in pregnancy is common, caused by loosening ligaments and the curving of your spine to compensate for your shifting center of gravity.
  • Heartburn: When your expanding uterus crowds your fuller belly, heartburn is often the result. If heartburn is an issue, try eating smaller, more frequent meals. 
  • Skin pigmentation: Skin pigmentation, such as the linea nigra on your belly, is a common side effect of pregnancy. Any pigmentation will fade and most likely completely disappear after pregnancy.
  • Increased libido: Many women notice they feel “in the mood” more often during the second trimester. Unless your doctor says otherwise, sex is safe during pregnancy

Pregnancy checklist at 19 weeks pregnant

There are quite a few things to think about when you're 19 weeks pregnant. 

  • Know your placenta placement. The ultrasound technician can tell you the placement of your placenta during the anatomy scan. The majority of time the placenta develops in the posterior uterus, on the spine side of your body. If your placenta is on the anterior, that means it’s positioned on the belly button side of your uterus and you have an anterior placenta. Having an anterior placenta makes no difference to the baby or his/her development, but it can provide a cushion between your baby and your tummy, and make it harder to feel your baby’s first kicks and movements. It might also have made it tricky to find your baby’s heartbeat in those early weeks.

    The other position your placenta might assume is in the lower half of your uterus, down by your cervix. Called placenta previa, this placement can cause complications at delivery. Your placenta can move around, though, and in the vast majority of women the placenta moves up and out of the way by the time your baby is ready to make an appearance.
  • Review your maternity leave. If you're a working mom and are planning on going back to the office after the baby is born, now is a good time to start planning for your maternity leave. Planning early can help ensure that you have adequate time to train a temporary employee or one of your coworkers on your workplace duties. 
  • Eat frequently. Focus on eating smaller meals more frequently. This can help keep the blood level of nutrients constant, and studies have found that is better for babies than eating large meals less frequently.

What to Expect at 20 Weeks Pregnant

 
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