In a couple of weeks, you would be halfway through your pregnancy and this is in fact great news! This is your 19th week and time has flown by pretty fast. In the beginning, your baby was being compared to a tadpole, and now, it does look like an actual baby.
This is the fifth month of your pregnancy and you have roughly about 4 months to go. If you still haven’t got your baby’s movement, you should probably feel that this week — could be a little flutter.
You might attribute it to something else, but following an emerging pattern and the sensation becoming more persistent as your baby grows older, you would start to identify it very easily.
This week, you will probably get another ultrasound. This second ultrasound is a recognized part of pregnancy at this stage but it isn’t mandatory.
The imaging scan from your ultrasound would give better and clearer details regarding the state of your baby’s organs compared to your first ultrasound that took place in your first trimester.
It also indicates the location of the placenta and is used to determine whether your baby is growing just as it should.
Heart rate and amniotic fluid levels can also be measured and for the news that you have been waiting to hear, this ultrasound would probably reveal
the sex of your baby.
Your Baby’s Development
At 19 weeks, your baby is about 6 inches long and weighs about 8.5 ounces. In terms of new development, its organs and body aren’t relenting at all. There is a whole lot of exciting new growth this week.
Your baby is now about the size of a mango.
The hair on top of the head is beginning to grow and of course, the kidneys are already producing urine.
The region of the brain responsible for sensory responses is developing. Other developing regions include those responsible for various senses — gustatory, tactile, visual and auditory, and olfactory.
Lanugo (the soft, downy hair that covers your baby’s body) is continuing to form with vernix caseosa (oil substance responsible for protecting the skin in the womb) found on top of it.
Your baby’s lungs, which are already in use are continuing to develop and by this week, windpipes would begin to form. You may also feel some movement this week, how great is that! Also, your 20-week scan is just a week away, pretty exciting stuff.
By the 19th week, the reproductive system is coming along nicely. If your baby is female, the uterus, Fallopian tube, and vagina are already developing and in position as well.
Her ovaries would also hold millions of underdeveloped eggs already. If you’re carrying a male baby, testifies have formed and genitalia is still developing.
If you didn’t feel movement last week, you probably should this week. Your baby is pretty big now and would be moving around quite a bit.
You may not feel these movements very strongly, they could feel like flutterings or regular sounds that the belly makes from time to time.
Your baby is working on its sleep cycle at this point. You would notice that your baby has various times during which it is more active — awake and swimming around. At other times, there would be perfect stillness because it is asleep.
You may be the only one feeling these movements. A hand placed on your belly may not feel any of these movements at this point. And until this week, your baby pretty much had translucent skin that allowed the blood vessel under to show.
However, starting from this week, pigmentation would start to occur and this would eventually determine your baby’s skin tone.
Your Body & Symptoms
While this would have been going on for a while, your body is still working on creating a temporary space where your baby can thrive.
And although you may experience the occasional episodes of fatigue, you would definitely feel more energized this week.
Other changes that you may notice in your body include weight gain, development of linea nigra — the line that starts at the navel and rubs down the middle of your stomach, as well as an increase in the size of your breasts.
At this point, you would be going in for your mid-pregnancy ultrasound very soon. The baby in your belly has come so far along that the sex can be determined at this point.
The ultrasound would reveal more details of your baby’s body — both on the inside and out and it is just downright amazing how much progress your baby would have made by 19 weeks.
In the way of symptoms, here are some that you may begin to experience:
1. Leg Cramps
Pregnancy could leave you exhausted at the end of the day. Lugging around extra weight really isn’t easy. And there’s nothing like the thought of blissful sleep after a long day.
To get under the covers and let the arms of sleep envelope you and carry you safely off to dreamland.
However, like other pregnant women, there might be something new keeping you awake — leg cramps. You know how period cramps felt right?
Except that this time, you feel these excruciating spasms radiate along the length of your calves, and it is pretty commonplace especially around the second trimester. These cramps also happen during the day, however, the night is when they come alive.
There are no clear reasons for why they come about, though there is a boatload of explanations. It could be as a result of fatigue in your leg muscles from all the extra weight that you’re carrying.
It could also be a result of compression by your uterus that has expanded significantly now.
Another theory purports that it may somehow be related to insufficient hydration or diet deficiency — this hasn’t been proven.
If you ever get leg cramps, straighten your leg and then flex your ankle and toes gently back in the direction of your shins. This should take care of it.
2. Baby Kicks
You probably think that baby kicks sound like something that you should feel right. They are kicks, so they would be hard to miss right? Well, you’re not wrong, at least it could be this way later on.
However, in the early days, they could simply be gas bubbles that you feel in your stomach; or are they really gas bubbles?
It is possible that they were, or maybe not. The first kicks can be experienced in different ways and anytime between week 18 and week 22. It could be as soft as a flutter or pretty apparent so that you can’t miss it. It could also be what you felt was gas, but it really wasn’t.
The main factor in this scenario is your body size. The slimmer you are, the higher the chance that you would feel the kicks very distinctly. Your muscle tone may also factor in.
For instance, the less lax your uterine muscles are, the harder it would be to feel the kicks, and this is why women with repeat pregnancies would most likely feel it earlier than first-timers.
The baby’s position also factors in; if your baby is facing in, detecting movement would be more difficult.
A wrong due date is yet another factor that might make you doubt your baby’s kick. However, there’s no need to worry, soon, you would no longer be in doubt once the kicks get really strong.
3. Round Ligament Pain
Experiencing occasional pain in your abdomen is nothing amiss.
While you may not feel sick to your stomach anymore, you may still experience round ligament pain, and it begins around your hip area or on the side of your abdomen.
At other times, the pain may extend as far as your groin and to both sides of your belly too.
This ligament links the groin and the front of the uterus and keeps stretching all through pregnancy. These pains usually lay for very few seconds and they may be triggered by coughing or simply standing up.
Moving very slowly is advised, especially when you want to change positions while sitting or lying down as well as standing up. Heavy lifting is a total no-no too.
4. Dizziness or lightheadedness
It’s not strange to feel dizzy or lightheaded during this period. It mainly occurs as a result of hair growing uterus putting pressure on your blood vessels.
Your oxygen also reduces significantly given that your baby is crowding your lungs at this point.
Other factors such as hunger and dehydration may also contribute to their own quota. Therefore, you need to practice great self-care, eat healthy, and stay hydrated.
Measures To Begin To Observe
If you have started to slack off on taking your vitamins or exercising, try to get back on track.
At this point, getting out of bed might already feel like too much already.
But this is partly because you’re not exercising. Workouts would make you feel considerably stronger.
Your workload at this point should have significantly reduced so that you don’t feel too stressed out and exhausted at the end of the day. If you haven’t, you really should right now!