One more week before you are officially half-way through this pregnancy, the 19th week is like a precursor to what’s expected when you reach the mid-point of an important journey. This is yet again a phase where you can expect your baby to have growth spurts because the preparations are in full swing and a number of developmental milestones are soon to be met. Almost the size of a large mango, your baby will have a whitish coating on its skin this week that will protect your baby’s developing skin from the surrounding amniotic fluid. Imagine your fingers soaked in water for an entire day; they will turn crinkly in less than an hour. The same theory applies to your baby soaked in amniotic fluid for 40 weeks or more, which is why the cheesy coating develops to offer protection to its sensitive skin. This layer is called the vernix1 and even though it starts shedding as delivery approaches, a lot of newborns are born with the vernix on their skin.
Your Baby At 19 Weeks
The factors responsible for your baby’s sensory development are picking up pace. To say this in simpler words, your baby’s brain is catering to more specific needs like the sensations of smell, taste, sound, vision and touch. These sensations are developing rapidly and like the previous two weeks, you can continue singing lullabies to your baby so that he or she recognizes it after birth. Still measuring in Crown rump length at 6 inches, your baby weighs not less than 8 and ½ ounces. What used to be a disproportionately shaped body is now growing into a proportionate structure; the limbs have finally grown out in sync with the rest of the body. Nothing is out of place anymore.
Your baby is producing and excreting urine into the amniotic fluid and there is a definite layer of hair on your baby’s scalp by now.
If you are having a daughter, her ovaries contain more than 6 million eggs at the moment and her uterus is completely formed. This is so interesting to know because this little being you are nurturing inside your womb will have her own babies some day, for which she is gearing up already.
Your Body At 19 Weeks
Is your baby bump bigger than ever before? Relax, because this is just the beginning. Your belly will seem the largest every week till you can’t wait to deliver at full term. This is the week when your growing bump will make you feel the achiness in your lower back. There is no denying the fact that the belly places considerable pressure on the back and the ligaments providing support to the uterus are continuously stretching. If you have been standing up or sitting in the same posture for a long time, there is a possibility that you have developed round ligament pain.
Some women start having this pain quite early in pregnancy while some others start at around the 18th or the 19th week when the stretching and the pulling are in full swing simultaneously. Round ligament pain is characterized by a sharp and stabbing pain that can originate on either one side or both sides of the abdomen. This pain may also extend to your groin at times and unless it is so severe that you cannot continue with your normal, everyday activities, there is no reason to feel alarmed. However, if you have had a history of miscarriages or preterm labor, always keep your doctor informed about any new symptom.
Ensure that you are not lifting heavy objects because this can worsen the pain. Avoid sudden movements that can trigger the round ligament pain unexpectedly. While the pain lasts for not more than 15-20 seconds, it can be extremely uncomfortable when you are busy at work. If you feel the onset of this pain when there is something important coming up, try getting up and moving around a little. Stretching your arms, legs and practicing kegels while standing up can ease your muscular stiffness.
Skin Changes This Week
Has your skin been changing its color recently? Is there a darker tone that is catching up? From all the extra estrogen that your body is secreting, there are bound to be visible changes on your skin. There are a number of things that could happen; from your palms looking reddish in color to the skin of your face looking darker in patches. These patches are distinctly visible on your cheeks, forehead and upper lips, making you look darker than you are and are popularly known as the ‘mask of pregnancy’ or chloasma2. What else is darkening on your body? Your nipples, vulva, underarms and inner thighs will also show visible amount of darkening because of the pregnancy hormone estrogen. The Linea nigra continues to grow darker and becomes a prominent line by now.
All these signs and symptoms will eventually fade away after you deliver but if you are feeling a little self-conscious because of these marks and spots, you can use concealers that can camouflage them. Furthermore, always use a sunscreen and a hat when you are stepping outdoors because not only could your skin condition worsen after direct sun exposure but also feel itchier because of the heightened sensitivity.
Is The Little One Kicking Already?
Was that a gas bubble popping or is there something going on in there? The first flutters could confuse you, especially if you are a first time mum but if you have had babies earlier, you would know the difference between quickening and gas bubbles. The first tiny kicks can feel adorable because they are living proof that your baby is connected to you in every way.
Why is it that some women feel the movements earlier than others? This has got a lot to do with your structure. If you are on the skinnier side, you are sure to feel the movements earlier than a woman who has more body fat. It also depends on where you are carrying your baby. if you placenta is lower in position, you will not feel a thing till your 22nd or 23rd week but if you are carrying higher, the feelings will come in sooner.
What seems like a one-off situation now, will improve over time and when your baby can kick real hard, you will not be confused about the movement any further.
Exercising During Pregnancy
If you are healthy and your pregnancy is uncomplicated, there is no reason why you should not work out as much as you used to before you had conceived. However, you will probably need to avoid jarring movements, sudden jerks and changes of position that could lead to further trouble for you. Find below all the kinds of exercises that you could do with ease in the second trimester of pregnancy.
I’m A Beginner. How Will I Start?
It is advisable to start slow if you have never really exercised before. It is also safer if you discuss your exercise regime with your doctor beforehand so that if there is something that you should avoid, you will be aware of it before starting off. Always start with mild to moderate exercises and never undermine the importance of proper stretching. A proper warm up will help avoid unwanted nerve pulls and such.
The safest form of exercise to begin with is walking. Whether you choose to brisk walk or walk slowly is up to you but try and walk for 10-15 minutes every day so that your joints and muscles don’t turn stiff. What you need to invest in is a comfortable pair of walking shoes. The other safe form of exercise that you could try is swimming. Swimming is extremely beneficial in pregnancy and can help refresh you completely. Swimming involves working of the small and the large muscles together that aims at a complete workout of the entire body. It also helps to hold up your body weight and provide a good deal of comfort from lugging around so much weight.
Have You Heard Of Kegels?
There is nothing better than a set of Kegels a day in pregnancy. Kegels are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you in more ways than one. Your pelvic muscles hold urethra, bladder, uterus, vagina and your rectum together which is why the more the number of kegels, the stronger your pelvic floor muscles will be. Kegels are also known to get your blood circulation regulated so that painful hemorrhoids can be avoided. Urine incontinence3 is the commonest complain that pregnant women experience every year and Kegels are the best possible means to ensure that you don’t suffer from it.
How Will You Do Kegels?
When you feel the urge to pee, imagine that you need to suppress it by tightening your vaginal muscles. You are squeezing and lifting your pelvic floor muscles while keeping your abdominal and leg muscles relaxed. Never hold your breath for long while doing Kegels. Breathe as normally as you do.
Holding your breath for 8-10 seconds and releasing them will help you to keep a lot of problems away. Kegels can be repeated three to four times a day and can literally be done anytime and anywhere you wish to.
Have You Thought Of Baby Names?
There is no denying the fact that you have thought innumerable times about naming your unborn baby. While it could prove to be a lot of fun for some couples, it could also get quite adventurous for some. Naming a baby depends on a lot of factors like the ancestry, heritage, uniqueness of the name, relevance of the name to modern times, compatibility with last name, relevant to the nature of the baby etc. Furthermore, there are family members who would also want their share of naming. All these could proves to be unavoidable hassles but there are ways in which you can choose your baby’s name without losing your mind. listed below are some:
Find A Unique Name
Instead of opting or what’s trending at the moment, find a name that is unique and different from all others. However, you will need to be careful in this matter because a name that nobody has ever heard or a name that has spelling variations could be difficult to pronounce and that will invariably brew troubles. Find something that is out of the box but still holds some relevance to the life you lead.
Compatibility With The Last Name
Please find a name that sounds good with the last name. Parents often end up finding baby names that sound beautiful by themselves but are absolutely out of sync with the last name. Your kid will use both the first and the last name throughout his or her life so please ensure that both sound good together.
If you have a rich cultural heritage that you would want your child’s name to reflect, think of names that serve a dual purpose of being traditional yet not old-fashioned. You will be able to find such names in books and on websites that speak of countries and their origin.
What Do Family Members Have To Say?
This is the tricky part. Most family members would want to participate in naming the baby with what they find is appropriate. It can get pretty sensitive if your great grandmother in her 90s comes up with her aunt’s name and your eyes are almost falling out because your kid will probably hate you for such a name. What is advisable at this point is to take as many suggestions as you can, as politely as you can, and keep the naming a private matter. When people around you are dropping hints, thank them for their participation and let them know that their suggestions will definitely be taken into consideration. In this way, you are neither hurting them nor losing your sleep over anything.
Think About Bullies At School
Your name is the first thing that people will probably hear from you and it is a major source of embarrassment for many. Bullies at school invariably pick out kids whose names are different from the rest so this could be a factor if your child gets bullied often at school.
Following In The Footsteps Of Your Older Child
You may want to name your younger child as per your older child is named; probably something that rings a similar note. This is a beautiful idea and will add the much-needed bonding between the siblings.
What Are The Red Flags In The 19th Week?
Every week comes along with a few red flags that you should never ignore and listed below are some for the 19th week, in the presence of which, you should immediately contact your doctor.
- If you have cramps or any kind of pain that is severe and does not get better with hot compress or general pain relief medication, you will need to speak to your doctor right away. This is because it could be symptomatic of a number of things like a miscarriage, preterm labor4 or other complications.
- If you have high fever accompanied with chills, body ache, vomiting and vaginal discharge, call your doctor right away.
- If you witness a vaginal discharge that is runny and trickles down like water, your amniotic sac may have been ruptured prematurely and you will need to be hospitalized immediately.
- In a situation in which you feel dizzy and weak, or your hands turn cold or clammy, call out for help and ask for glucose water if you can speak. Blood sugar tends to become slightly unstable in pregnancy which is why you might have bouts of dizziness.
- If you are gaining weight rapidly and you simply cannot control your urge to have sugar-laden food, you should ideally get checked out for diabetes.
- Keep your weight gain in check. If you find that there is unexplained swelling in the body and it keeps getting worse, talk to your doctor about the possibility of preeclampsia.
- Always carry an identification card with yourself so that in unforeseen circumstances, people can contact your family members.
A Few Tips And Tricks For The 19th Week
As the saying goes, “Make hay while the sun shines”, it is a wise idea to enjoy this golden phase of pregnancy while you have the energy to do so. If you have been postponing that vacation for the last couple of months, it is time to think of it right away. Once you are in your third trimester, it would be very difficult to lug around that huge pregnant belly of yours to beaches. Plan a baby moon with your partner and have as much fun as you want to.
Plan night outs with your best friends. If you breastfeed your baby, there will be quite some time before you can think of planning night parties, which is why party as much as you can so that there are no regrets later.
If you are expecting twins, there is all the more possibility for you to develop preeclampsia. This is otherwise known as pregnancy induced hypertension and affects a lot of women these days. Eating right, staying active and getting enough rest are ways to prevent this condition although there is no evidence-backed way to keep it way.
Along with heightened sensitivity, your body will have an increased tendency to dehydrate easily. You will be more sensitive to heat in general. The idea is to keep yourself as hydrated as possible and keep having fluids often.
You might be struggling your way through work because all that you feel like doing is sleeping for 8 hours at a stretch but caffeine is not the solution to all your queries. It is a tempting solution nonetheless but it will only add to the drying effect and make you pee even more frequently than before. Caffeine also tends to make you thirstier and it enhances your heart rate significantly.
Sugar is not as bad as you think it is because using it moderately has always been the recommended idea. Balancing the intake of sugar with proper exercise and lifestyle is extremely important.
Do you want to use cloth diapers for your baby? If you do, then this is the time to start investing in them. It might sound too early for you but cloth diapers are expensive and hard to find. If you are looking for customized cloth diapers, start talking to mums who have dealt with them. Find out your options and your choices. Along with the good parts, find out the negative aspects of using cloth diapers. You will need to take up the responsibility of washing, drying and caring for them since they can be used for a decent amount of time depending on their aftercare.
What Can You Do For Your Pregnant Spouse At 19 Weeks?
Start looking for daycare or nurseries in your neighborhood along with your pregnant spouse because if the location is not safe enough, you might need to plan relocation. Do not keep these factors for the last minute because there are bound to be issues that might get difficult to sort out at the last moment.
Keep a check on your financials. This is one factor that both you and your spouse will need to discuss frequently and try saving up as much as possible. Owing to pregnancy induced forgetfulness, your spouse might have difficulty in remembering things and this is where you play an important role. Remind her gently about how she could also contribute to the discussion.
As for every week, remind her to take her prenatal vitamins on time, always ensure that she is having balanced meals and getting enough rest. If you two have been enjoying sex lately, indulge in it as much as you can because all the happy hormones will do great things to help uplift her mood.