Welcome to Scary Mommy’s pregnancy week by week guide! We’re here to give you all the info about what to expect when you’re expecting: be it week by week symptoms, your baby’s development, your changing body, or ultrasounds and appointments. Here’s everything you need to know about week 19.
Your Body at Week 19 Pregnant
You Can Feel the Baby Kick
You are nearly at the halfway mark but you’re already getting, “Are you there yet?” questions from everyone around you. But something wonderful to look forward to this week are the tiny kicks from your little one on the inside. If this is your first pregnancy, you may not feel them for a few more weeks, but if it’s your second or third, you’ll know the flutters for what they really are. Enjoy them now before they feel like tap dancing on your bladder.
Are You Getting Headaches and Migraines?
While you should never shrug off any sort of pain and discomfort, it’s important to spot the difference between a common pregnancy symptoms and when it’s imperative you contact your doctor. If you find that you’re suddenly getting headaches more often than before, you may be right. The increase in blood volume results in pregnancy headaches for some women. This symptom is usually caused by dehydration, posture, caffeine withdrawal, and blood flow and you should consult your OB if they persist and before you take any medication.
Contact your doctor right away if you are experiencing severe headaches during pregnancy, especially your third trimester, since it might be connected to high blood pressure and a sign of preeclampsia.
Your Baby at Week 19 Pregnant
A Shiny New Coat
This week your baby is developing a protective coating called the vernix caseosa. A white, creamy substance that protects the baby from infections and amniotic fluid, keeps it warm, and is the main reason your baby doesn’t come out looking all pruney after a 9-month long bath. If you have a vaginal birth, the vernix will serve as a lubricant of sorts as your baby makes the journey through the birth canal.
Coming in at a solid 8 ounces and 6 inches long, your baby is now the size of a corn dog. Their legs are now outgrowing their arms, and those sweet flutters (or is it gas?) you’re feeling is actually them practicing some karate moves inside your uterus.
So Much Development, So Little Time
Their sight, hearing, and sense of smell are all developing and they’re practicing breathing by swallowing amniotic fluid. While it may be a few more weeks before they will respond to sound, they can certainly hear at this point. And baby is now starting to sleep in regular patterns. Unfortunately for you, by the time they’re born that pattern is more awake all night and sleep all day than the other way around.
If you’re expecting a little girl, her maturing ovaries have formed 6 million eggs, a number that will drop to 1 million by the time she’s born.
Your Symptoms and Health at Week 19 Pregnant
Since stretch marks are genetic, whether you get them or not depends on your family history. Moisturizing that belly with shea or cocoa butter may minimize their appearance and aid in skin elasticity. But don’t worry if you see pink, reddish, or purple marks appear on your belly, breasts, thighs, and hips, they will fade in the months after the baby arrives.
Linea nigra, or the dark vertical line that appears on pregnant bellies, is a very common symptom many women develop in their second trimester. An increase in hormones tends to darken the skin for some women, causing the linea alba, an unnoticeable white line that was always there, to darken. The linea nigra is completely harmless and will fade away once the baby comes.
Hormones may cause the mucus membranes in your nose to swell, leaving you stuffy and congested and unable to smell that delicious toasted bagel in the morning. If symptoms persist or worsen, you may have pregnancy rhinitis, a condition which gives many women congestion during pregnancy. In both cases, make sure to consult your doctor before using any over-the-counter medication.
It’s common to suffer from leg cramps in the later stages of pregnancy, especially the second and third trimester. Per the American Pregnancy Association, nearly half of all pregnant women experience these muscle spasms in their legs. Pregnancy weight gain, changes in circulation, pressure from baby on your nerves — there are several possible reasons you could get leg cramps while pregnant. If your cramps are severe, give your doctor a call. Otherwise, there are interventions you can try, like elevating your legs and applying heat.
On top of all the aforementioned symptoms of this week that you’re feeling more intensely, you’re likely feeling a little dizzy. During pregnancy, your blood volume is increased to better support your uterus. That means your heart is working harder – 30-50 times harder, at that. Is it any wonder you’re a little light-headed? Try to ease with sudden, fast-paced movements and sit or lie down when dizziness strikes.
The contents of this article have been medically reviewed by Ruth A. Tessler, M.D. in July, 2019.
Written by Maia Efrem.
Follow Preggo Nancy’s pregnancy journey week-by-week and share in her joy, her symptoms, and even her pregnancy cravings.