Your baby has now reached the size of a sweet potato, her kicks are stronger now, and her skin is developing some pigment! You’re putting on some weight, and may be experiencing occasional dizziness, bleeding gums and leg cramps.
19 Weeks Pregnant – Fetus
At 19 weeks pregnant, your baby is bigger than the placenta, now measuring 6 inch/ 15.3 cm (about the size of a sweet potato), and weighing 243 grams/ 8.6 oz. Your baby’s skin is as delicate as it was, but it’s not as translucent, and is beginning to develop some pigment. A wax-like substance called vernix caseosa is forming on it as well, and baby is starting to grow hair!
Vernix is mostly made of sebum, and serves to protect the baby’s skin from the amniotic fluid and prevent heat loss in the short period of time right after delivery. It also makes baby’s passage through the birth canal easier and is thought to protect her skin from bacteria. Some babies are born completely covered with a thick layer of vernix, others look more “clean”. Either is absolutely normal.
Your baby’s leg and arm muscles are developing and bones are hardening – which may mean that you will be feeling these kicks a lot more distinctly now. In addition to muscle mass, your baby is gaining a bit of fat – he is far from the chubby baby you will be hugging in a few months, but it’s a start.
19 Weeks Pregnant – Symptoms
Most women say second trimester is the best. If you feel energetic enough and have a healthy pregnancy, do your best to follow a mild exercise routine. Swimming, walking and prenatal yoga do wonders, and if you have been lifting weights, switch to a milder routine to avoid creating intra-abdominal pressure and overloading your joints – lighter weights and more reps, and no exercising while lying on your back please!
You may notice some pain in your lower abdomen or on one or both sides. Nothing to worry about – this is probably round ligament pain – muscles that surround your uterus stretch to accommodate the increasing weight of the baby.
You may be feeling lightheaded or dizzy occasionally. It mostly happens because the growing baby is pressing on your blood vessels.. and your lungs. There is nothing to worry about, but if you experience dizziness often, visit your caregiver to rule out preeclampsia. Another possible reason for dizziness is anemia, so eat a balanced diet and do your blood tests on time!
The extra estrogen may cause some increase in pigment (hyperpigmentation), which make take the form of dark patches on your cheeks, upper lip and forehead. This is called the mask of pregnancy (chloasma). The skin on your nipples, vulva, underarms and inner thighs may darken as well, and a brownish line called linea negra may appear under your belly button. It will all fade away shortly after you give birth. In the meantime, use plenty of sunscreen daily to protect your skin.
You may also experience pain in the pelvic area or hips and annoying leg cramps, especially when you stretch in bed. A good pregnancy pillow might help with the pains in the pelvic area. As for the leg cramps, straighten your leg and gently flex your ankles and toes back toward your shin. Try to avoid stretching when you wake up. It might be hard to remember, but after awhile, you probably will…
Pregnancy hormones may make you more susceptible to certain bacteria, including plaque. If your gums are bleeding or become red and inflamed, you’re probably suffering from pregnancy gingivitis. Don’t skip your visits to the dentist and let the dentist know that you’re pregnant in case a dental X-ray is needed. The radiation dose is extremely low and considered safe for the fetus, and most dental X-rays don’t affect the abdomen and the pelvic area. However, your dentist will probably prefer to wait until you’ve had your baby anyway.
19 Weeks Pregnant – Questions
You’re in your second trimester, and should be gaining some weight now! Are you gaining the proper amount of weight? Here’s how you know:
1. How Much Weight Gain is Normal During Pregnancy?
Gaining the proper amount of weight is crucial for your baby. Not gaining enough weight may mean your baby is not getting enough nutrients and may result in premature delivery, and an excessively rapid weight gain may be a symptom of preeclampsia. Your caregiver can estimate how much weight you should gain during pregnancy according to your body mass index (BMI). If you were average weight when you conceived, you should gain about 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy (14 pounds during the second trimester). If you are expecting twins you should gain 35 to 45 pounds during your pregnancy. If you were underweight, you should gain 28 to 40 pounds, if you were overweight, you should gain 15 to 25 pounds and if you were obese, you should only gain 11 to 20 pounds.