There’s one week to go before you’re midway through your pregnancy. It’s weird to think that your little munchkin is nearly half-baked at week nineteen of pregnancy, right? Did you miss our week 18 article – read it here!
By now, you’ve learned that pregnancy is unique to everybody – the symptoms, body changes, and the highs and the lows differ between women.
Continue this crazy journey with us. We provide the facts, insights and advice to maintain a healthy pregnancy, manage symptoms, and prepare for labour and life with a newborn.
Ever wondered why babies don’t come out looking older and wrinklier after marinating in juices for months? This week, we answer this and other pregnancy curiosities. Have your own questions or unique pregnancy experiences? Share your stories, concerns or interests in the comments.
We’ve also added a FAQ section for mums and parents on the go.
Here’s what to expect this week.
At a Glance: Week Nineteen Pregnancy
- Your baby’s the compact size of a mango, measuring fifteen-ish centimetres, or the length of the iPhone you’re reading this on.
- Clocking in at 240 grams, just a tad less than a cup of sugar, they’re steadily growing.
- Back aches and hip pains aren’t signs of ageing, but annoying pregnancy symptoms cropping up. Your baby needs room to grow, which will impact your body differently. Be prepared for significant changes in the next few weeks.
- Our top tips this week focus (again) on self-care and comfort; plus, we’ve added a few must-do activities to consider.
Week Nineteen Pregnancy Overview
Do you know what vernix caseosa is? The term directly translated from Latin is “varnish cheese”, which probably doesn’t tell you much.
Let’s enlighten you – it’s a substance covering your baby that’s described as “waxy or oily white cheese”, appearing in places on their skin at birth. Although it might look like nothing more than bits of afterbirth, it plays an important protective function. By week nineteen, vernix caseosa is fully coated on the skin.
Your baby’s skin is developing in other ways and will slowly change from transparent to opaque over several weeks.
With your body stretching, changing shape and hormones unleashing chaos, life becomes increasingly challenging for a 19-week pregnant woman.
Baby Size and Latest Developments for Week Nineteen of Pregnancy
Measuring over 14 centimetres and weighing 240 grams or one-quarter of a kilogram, your mango-sized munchkin looks more like a little human than a tadpole. And while your little one continues to swim about in amniotic fluids, they’re a whole, albeit tiny, baby.
Are you curious about your baby’s movements and developments as a nineteen-week-old fetus? Here’s a snippet into your womb.
- One of the most notable developments is the production of vernix caseosa, which started a few weeks back and now completely covers your baby’s skin. Made up of dead skin cells, oil and lanugo or downy baby hair, vernix shields sensitive baby skin from amniotic fluid. This fluid has a slightly acidic content that may otherwise completely wrinkle the skin.
- Your baby has grown body hair, eyebrows, lashes and more, and this week, wispy hair sprouts from the top of their heads.
- Feeling the (heart) burn? Some evidence out there suggests there may be a connection between pregnant women who regularly have heartburn and children born with a full head of hair. To that end, the hormones that cause heartburn may activate fetal hair growth.
- Until now, your baby’s skin is translucent, revealing the intricate blood vessels working away beneath the skin. It takes a while, but the skin is slowly becoming more opaque.
- Out of all your baby’s organs, their lungs are extremely slow developing. The bronchioles, the lung’s main airways, are gradually beginning to form.
- Quickening might happen this week; we’ve explained in earlier weeks about what to expect.
Because every pregnancy is unique, the above description generalises fetal development. Variations in the timing of milestones can occur.
Body Changes for Week Nineteen of Pregnancy
Symptoms and body changes could be dampening your quality of life. Can you get out of bed? Absolutely possible, but there may be aches and pains involved or unexpected dizziness if you’re too enthusiastic about kicking off the day.
Here’s a recap of common symptoms you might feel while nineteen weeks pregnant.
It’s important to note that all pregnancies are unique. The timing and experiences of pregnancy symptoms may vary.
1. Increased Hunger
After surviving on dry crackers and pure resilience in the first trimester, having your appetite restored is quite the feat! Now that you’re hungry, is it safe to safe that you regularly have food on the brain?
2. Leg Cramps
Ouch, cramps travelling up and down your leg can feel intense.
Sometimes encountered during the day, leg cramps are commonly felt as you drift off towards dreamland at night.
3. Abdominal Pain
Abdominal or round ligament pain targets the groin and sides of the stomach. As the ligaments supporting your expanding uterus stretch, you’ll feel discomfort in both your abdomen and lower back.
4. Back Pain
Back pain is par for the course of pregnancy. Contrary to the belief that it’s experienced later, your back might already feel under strain 19 weeks pregnant.
5. Coughs and Colds
While morning sickness might have passed, you could still be getting ill. That’s because pregnancy changes your immune system. A compromised immune system is crucial to prevent your body from attacking your growing fetus, but it does make you more prone to infections.
6. Nose Bleeds
A staggering 25% of pregnant women suffer nose bleeds, attributed to an increased blood volume in the body, which causes blood vessels in the nose to expand, break and bleed. The occasional pregnancy-induced nosebleed isn’t usually something to be overly concerned about.
7. Weight Gain
Weight gain during the second trimester occurs weekly, so don’t be alarmed by your changing body. It’s simply doing what it needs to do – playing host to your baby and keeping it healthy and fed.
8. Pregnancy Bump
Do you compare your bump to friends who are also pregnant? It’s time to stop. Bumps come in different shapes and sizes. Yours might be bigger or smaller than expected. Factors like previous pregnancy, being short, tall or plus-sized, and your core abdominal muscles all contribute to the unique size of your pregnancy bump.
Are you also experiencing varicose veins or dizziness, or other symptoms we haven’t listed above? Pregnancy manifests in various ways, featuring a wide range of symptoms.
Week Nineteen Pregnancy Tips and Tricks
Now that you’re headed toward mid-pregnancy, you might be wondering what to do next, or how to manage your symptoms.
Throughout pregnancy, following a healthy diet and eliminating specific foods and alcohol have been top priorities. At week nineteen of pregnancy, these golden rules still apply as your baby continues developing.
Yet what other additional measures can you take to optimise your health and lifestyle in the remaining months? We have some thoughts.
1. Book Birthing Classes
Normally, people enrol for birthing classes in the third trimester, within weeks of their baby’s due date.
And while that might be the case, birthing classes are extremely popular, so it’s important to book and research lessons in advance.
Various types of birthing classes cater for your preferences, personal beliefs and philosophies about childbirth, so you can attend classes that best align with your personal interests.
Curious about what hypnobirthing entails? Read our article on it.
2. Make Time for Fun
Enjoy some limited baby-free time before you’re knee-deep in nappies and spit-up.
Book a babymoon trip if it’s on the cards. If not, do something fun and budget-friendly.
3. How to Cope With Stress and Big Feelings
Now that your pregnancy is half done, the reality that an actual, growing baby could finally sink in. Feeling stressed about becoming a parent and questioning if you’re ready for motherhood?
Although pregnancy might be rife with worry-filled nights, be mindful of chronic overstressing and anxiety, as they can harm you and your little one.
You can relieve stress by incorporating yoga, meditation, and pamper days into your schedule. Otherwise, talk to a professional if your mental health is genuinely suffering.
4. Find Parenting Groups
Pregnancy is joyful and exciting but often isolating and lonesome, especially if you’re the only couple in your social group or family expecting.
Exploring parenting groups, whether Facebook pages or in-person yoga or meetups, might be exactly what you need during this season of change – connecting with people undergoing similar experiences.
But in the same vein, although they offer support, empathy, understanding and priceless advice, these groups can also be overwhelming and even toxic. Read why here.
5. Continue Exercising
Even though pregnancy physically impacts you, exercising while you’re expecting remains important.
But while it’s recommended to engage in physical activity, you might want to contact your healthcare provider about finding a suitable exercise routine in case of health problems.
6. Get Better Sleep
Sleep is important but sometimes elusive during pregnancy. As you grow larger, you might find it difficult to get comfortable or have aches and pains that interrupt your sleep.
Here’s how to improve the quality and duration of your nighttime slumber.
Sleep on Your Side
Sleeping on your back isn’t only uncomfortable, but it compresses blood vessels taking blood to your uterus, reducing the blood flow your fetus receives. Sleeping on your side maximises blood flow to your child.
Get a Pregnancy Pillow
A pregnancy pillow could be a game-changer to relieve aches and leg cramps. Tailored to support and provide comfort to different areas of your body, they can also be used to reduce common pregnancy symptoms like heartburn while improving circulation.
Practise Sleep Hygiene Practices
You might have encountered the term, but what is sleep hygiene, and how can it enhance your sleep, exactly? Sleep hygiene is a set of practices to improve your sleep by changing your nightly habits while optimising your sleeping environment. These include establishing a fixed sleep and wake-up time, turning your bedroom into a sleep-only, device-free space, and reducing daytime naptime.
Do I Need an Ultrasound for Week Nineteen of Pregnancy?
You could have another ultrasound this week to check on your baby, where they’re measured and monitored for irregularities.
An integral part of this ultrasound (for you) might be finding out the baby’s sex. Still, the examination includes more than a potential gender reveal. During the appointment, the rest of the body is checked to ensure the absence of abnormalities and that different organs are functioning well.
You might have a scheduled amniocentesis this week if it’s a recommendation by your doctor. It’s important to note that the procedure is invasive and carries some risks, although it is an accurate detector of Down syndrome and other disorders.
FAQ Section: Week Nineteen of Pregnancy
All your pregnancy questions about week 19 answered.
1. How Big Is My Baby?
Your 19-week-old munchkin measures 14 centimetres, more or less.
2. How Much Does My Baby Weigh?
240 grams, nearly one-quarter of a kilogram.
3. Will I Feel My Baby This Week?
You could feel your baby move for the first time this week or soon!
4. What Is My Baby Doing This Week?
Your baby is going through wake and sleep cycles. When you start feeling your baby moving, you’ll know when they’re awake.
5. What Are Some Major Developments in the Womb This Week?
Vernix canseosa, a protective cheese-like layer, now covers every inch of your baby’s skin, protecting it from acidic amniotic fluids. Speaking of skin, it’s changing from see-through to opaque as pigment starts to set in.
6. What Are Some Common Pregnancy Symptoms and Body Changes at Week 19?
By nineteen weeks, you might have various aches and pains, leg cramps, dizziness, nose bleeds and congestion, oedemas, a growing bump, weight gain and more.
7. What Are Some Good Week Nineteen Pregnancy Tips and Tricks?
To get your mind off annoying symptoms, look at having some fun with your partner, getting enough exercise and sleep, joining parenting groups and more.
Fun Facts for Pregnancy Week Nineteen
- Expecting a gummy, toothless newborn to exit your vagina? Don’t be surprised if your little one enters the world with a couple of teeth. Out of every 2000 babies born, one child is born with pearly whites called natal teeth. Often loose, these teeth are pulled because they’re a choking hazard.
Week Nineteen Pregnancy Checklist
- Not sleeping because of aches and cramps? Pregnancy pillows are for the win – buy one now.
- Book your babymoon or make time for fun.
- Arrange your third-trimester birthing classes. Interesting in hypnobirthing practises?
- Ultrasounds and tests might be coming up – destress with pampering and relaxation.
- Feel alone and unprepared? Join parenting groups to learn and meet other parents-to-be.
- Interested to learn more? Watch this space for our 20-week article!