Week 19 of Pregnancy
Your Baby in Week 19 of Pregnancy
Have you ever seen a mango dipped in cheese? Well, that’s what your baby looks like this week due to a little growth spurt (she’s about a half pound in weight and six inches long) and a substance called vernix caseosa. This greasy white stuff covers your baby’s skin, protecting it from the surrounding amniotic fluid. (Without it, she’d look totally wrinkled as she entered the world.) The vernix sheds as delivery approaches, though some babies still sport a bit of the coating at birth.
Learn more about your baby in week 19 and a baby’s protective coating.
Your Body in Week 19 of Pregnancy
One minute you’re lying peacefully in bed and the next your calf muscle feels like it’s about to explode. Leg cramps during pregnancy are pretty common (no one knows exactly what causes them, but muscle fatigue or compressed blood vessels are the likeliest culprits) and tend to strike at night. You might also be wondering about tingling and numbness in your fingers and toes about now. It’s a weird sensation but totally normal, probably a result of your body’s swelling tissues pressing on nerves.
Learn more about your body in week 19 and leg cramps during pregnancy.
Week 19 Pregnancy Tip: Feeling Baby Kick
Your sister said she felt her baby kick by this point in her pregnancy — and so did your best friend — but so far, you haven’t felt a thing. Except those gas bubbles this morning…those were gas, weren’t they? Maybe, maybe not. Those first tiny kicks can be felt many different ways — anytime, on average, between week 18 and week 22 — as the merest flutter or the most insistent slug. Or as gas bubbles that aren’t gas at all (that’s how I felt it that first time — and for days I was sure it was just all the dried fruit I’d been eating). Some of it has to do with your size (the thinner you are, the more likely you are to feel movements earlier), some of it has to do with your muscle tone (the laxer the uterine muscles, the easier it is to feel those kicks — which is why second-timers generally feel them sooner), some has to do with the baby’s position (when the baby kicks facing in, it’s more difficult to perceive the movements). Also, an inaccurate due date can have you doubting whether that was your baby’s momentous first kick. Don’t worry — there’s no mistaking the real thing once your baby gets that technique down — and gets big enough to pack a serious punch.
Learn more about fetal movement during pregnancy.
Week 19 Pregnancy Symptoms
Hearty appetite: Having a hard time staying away from the fridge (and cupboards and pantry)? Keep tempting junk foods out of the house, and instead fill your kitchen with nutritious goodies — but do occasionally allow yourself to indulge in sinful treats so that you don’t end up bingeing on them.
Constipation: If you can’t seem to get regular, take a look at your supplements and medications; some of them, such as iron, can make constipation worse. Ask your practitioner to help you come up with some alternatives until your digestive system gets back on track.
Occasional faintness or dizziness: Your growing uterus may put pressure on your blood vessels (among other parts of your body), reducing blood flow to your brain and causing you to feel light-headed. Even though dizziness is common, don’t ignore it — take it easy and sit or lie down as soon as you start to feel woozy so that you don’t hurt yourself or the baby.
Possible nasal congestion: Is the swelling in your nasal passages making it hard for you to breathe? Here’s how to blow your nose without damaging nasal membranes and causing a nosebleed: Use your thumb to close one nostril, and blow gently out the other side.
Lower abdominal achiness: The ligaments that support your uterus are getting stretched as your uterus expands — which can cause lower abdominal achiness (or round ligament pain). Try to make yourself as comfortable as possible — and avoid changing positions suddenly because this can trigger pain.
Backaches: As your uterus grows, you may find your center of gravity shifting forward, putting extra pressure on your lower back. Avoid straining your back further by letting others lift heavy loads for you. If you absolutely must lift something, stabilize yourself by assuming a wide stance, bend at the knees (not at the waist), and slowly lift with your arms and legs, not your back.
Stretch marks: About 90 percent of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy, so you’re not alone. While there is no proven cure, moisturizers such as cocoa butter can help ease the dryness and itching associated with stretched skin.