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Mother and Baby

19 weeks pregnant – what to expect

Your baby at 19 weeks

Your baby’s lungs are developing, and this week her windpipes will start to form. You might also start to feel her moving this week! Here’s what your baby and your body is doing at nineteen weeks.

How big is my baby at 19 weeks?

Your growing baby is now around six inches long, which is about the size of a mango! She’s had a bit of a growth spurt this week and weighs about half a pound now.

What’s my baby doing at 19 weeks?

This week, fat is starting to develop on your baby’s body, although she’ll still look pretty skinny. She’ll also be covered in a waxy substance, medically referred to as vernix caseosa. This is greasy and white and made up of hair, oil and dead skin cells. It might not sound too appealing, but it does an important job protecting your baby’s soft and sensitive skin from the amniotic fluid she’s living in. In fact, without the vernix, she’d look like she’d been in a bath for nine months! Most babies will lose their vernix coating before they are born, but some babies, especially those born early still have some and it will be wiped off by your midwife after birth.

At week 19, the pigmentation in your baby’s skin is also beginning to develop, thanks to melanocytes – skin cells that produce the skin pigment melanin – and this will continue after he’s born and well into childhood.

By now, your baby is also moving around a lot, so you can expect to start feeling those tiny flutters anywhere between 18 and 22 weeks. That said, every woman and every baby is different, so if you’re not feeling any movement, this isn’t a sign anything is wrong. 

By now, your baby is also moving around a lot, so you can expect to start feeling those tiny flutters anywhere between 18 and 22 weeks. That said, every woman and every baby is different, so if you’re not feeling any movement, this isn’t a sign anything is wrong. Some of it is down to your size, as the thinner you are the more likely you are to feel those movements earlier. It’s also largely down to your baby’s position – if she’s facing into your body, it’s much more difficult to perceive these early movements. Don’t worry if you haven’t felt anything yet – you will do in a few weeks' time!

What is my body doing at 19 weeks?

By now, your body is probably feeling pretty achy – whether that’s your back or your legs. Both are normal and when it comes to leg cramps, you’ll unfortunately feel them more when you’re lying in bed at night. No one really knows why they choose to interrupt your much-needed sleep, but when those painful leg cramps do strike, try straightening your leg and gently flexing your ankle and toes towards your shins.

You might also notice that your contact lenses feel a little uncomfortable, or your eyesight is slightly blurry. Despite seeming scary, vision changes are common in pregnancy as those pregnancy hormones cause a build-up of fluid in your eyes and changes the curvature of your eye. Hormones can also affect your tear production, which is why your eyes might feel slightly dry and gritty. It’s frustrating, but these changes are usually temporary so it’s often not worth getting a new prescription. That said, serious vision problems can be a sign of gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, so it’s important to mention changes in your eyesight to your doctor or midwife.

Common symptoms to look out for:

  • Increased appetite: Constantly hungry? This is a sign your baby is growing, so keep your handbag stocked with healthy snacks!
  • Constipation: This is a normal side effect of pregnancy, but it’s worth taking a look at any supplements you’re taking as those including iron can often make it worse. It’s also worth talking to your GP or midwife, as they’ll be able to help.
  • Stuffy nose: As we mentioned in previous weeks, those pregnancy hormones can often cause swelling in your nasal passages which makes it hard to breathe. Try unblocking your nose by gently closing one nostril and blowing out of the other.
  • Blurred vision: As we mentioned above, this is another normal side effect, caused by a build-up of fluid in your eyes. Try not to worry too much, but make sure you mention it to your GP or midwife.
  • Backaches: Your uterus is growing and putting extra pressure on your lower back. If you are suffering with back pain, make sure you take it easy - lay off the pregnancy exercise and try not to lift anything too heavy.

What to do this week:

  • Look for a childbirth class: It’s probably too early to start attending one, as most of them don’t start till you reach your third trimester, but this week is a good time to start doing some research. Take a look at our guide for finding the best one for you here. 
  • Book a dentist appointment: Did you know you get free dental check-up and treatments during pregnancy? Even if you’ve not experienced gum problems yet, half of pregnant woman do, so it might be worth booking an appointment anyway! 

Take me back to week 18

Take me to week 20

 
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