You have now entered the 19th week of pregnancy. You might be feeling your healthy baby moving about inside you, and might already know your baby’s sex. As the midpoint of pregnancy (Week 20) approaches, you are probably feeling the pregnancy more than ever. Are there any new points for you to take away in Week 19?
19 Weeks Pregnant: Belly and weight gain
The uterus swells up to slightly below the navel. The fundal height is about 18–23 cm this week. Weight gain will continue and it is recommended that women gain about a pound each week during the second trimester. You might also be able to determine the sex of your baby.
Symptoms: Melanin and pigmentation
During pregnancy, the amount of progesterone increases, and this stimulates cells called melanocytes, which produces melanin. This causes freckles, spots et cetera to darken. You might see your armpit areas, vulva and nipples darken. Also, you might notice the appearance of the linea nigra, a line of darkened skin running down the middle of your belly.
These are all the result of extra melanin accumulating. As sunlight stimulates the melanocytes and further increase production of melanin, you can prevent these spots from darkening by shielding yourself from the sun as much as possible, by wearing a cap or putting on sunscreen.
19 Weeks Pregnant: Pains and tightness in the belly
Although some moms feel better and experience less abdominal pain and cramping in the second trimester in comparison to the first trimester, others have trouble with abdominal pain and tightness. This is because the uterus is growing bigger and is expanding both left and right at the same time, stretching the abdomen to its limits.
You might not feel the pain as intensely when you are up and about doing housework or work because you are constantly moving around. However, you might be hit with a sudden wave of pain when you try to get up from bed or when you turn your body.
When your belly feels tight, don’t push yourself too hard. Make sure you are well rested. If you feel pain while working, warm the area where you feel the most pain with a hand warmer or a blanket to ease the pain. If possible, get some rest.
When the pain becomes extreme or does not end, it could be a sign of placental abruption (premature separation of placenta from uterus), or other abnormalities in the uterus. Do not self-diagnose – just go to the doctor immediately.
Another thing to note that generally occurs in Weeks 19 and 20 is cervical incompetence, which refers to the inability of the cervix to retain pregnancy. This can cause your cervix to open too early. Therefore, cervical incompetence brings with it the risk of a preterm birth (a birth that occurs from Week 20 to Week 37). Get a check-up and if the OB-GYN says you are at risk, refrain from doing any strenuous activities and pass each day as quietly as you can.
19 Weeks Pregnant: Sonogram of fetus in your belly
Fetus: Things are getting lively!
The fetus grows to about 16–20 cm and weighs around 200–280 grams. The fetus is now lively and turns around in the uterus, which might leave you wondering if it’s getting crowded in there. The fetus’ heart is now fully functional and distinctly divided into 4 chambers. Listen carefully – do you hear the steady beating of its heart?
- Eyelashes begin to grow
- Hair begins to grow on the head
- The kidneys and bladder are almost completely formed
- (Female) Uterus, fallopian tubes and vagina are completely formed
- Brown adipose fats now can be stored in the fetus’ body which protects the fetus against the cold
19 Weeks Pregnant: Fetal movement, breech baby
Baby moves freely in your belly in Week 19, but as the weeks go by and Baby grows bigger, there is less and less space in the uterus. Generally, fetal movement is felt in the region below the navel.
However, if you feel that the fetal movement comes in the region above the navel instead, you feel a dull pain in your bladder or if you feel like you’ve been kicked in your gut, then there is a possibility that your baby is a breech baby. It is recommended that you check fetal movement every day and determine the region where fetal movement is located.
Breech babies usually correct their positions by themselves by Week 30. If you have a breech baby, continually consult your OB-GYN and keep tabs on the baby’s position. If your baby does not correct its breech position, there is a possibility that you might have to deliver via a C-section.
19 Weeks Pregnant: Baby products
When you are feeling relatively well in the second trimester, you might want to start getting baby products. You might especially want to start preparing clothes for your little one. Note the season and climate, and if you are into fashion, it will be fun turning your little one into a fashionista. Looking at all the baby-sized clothing will surely set your heart aflutter.
Don’t let your guard down!
You might feel your baby move in you, you most likely already know Baby’s sex: what else could a mother ask for? Week 19 is definitely a period in which you might be feeling over the moon. However, when your belly grows bigger, the body will bear the brunt of this physical burden.
Be sure you have enough rest and don’t allow stress and fatigue to build up. Letting your guard down during this “honeymoon” period isn’t recommended: there is still the risk of being hospitalized over a threatened abortion – bleeding with or without cramp-like pains that may be followed by the expulsion of the fetus during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Regardless of whether it’s work or housework, don’t overdo things. The mantra you might want to live by each day would be: “keep calm and carry on”.