What’s it like?
Your belly is getting rounder by the day, as your baby is about the length of a summer squash. You may find that you need to rest more to keep your energy throughout the day. And your abdomen and back, especially the lower lumbar muscles, may be achy with the added weight. The nineteenth week is one where some of the more uncomfortable symptoms such as heartburn continue, but others fade for a peaceful period of the pregnancy
Your baby’s growth
- Body size
Being 19 Weeks Pregnant means that your baby has developed to be as tall as 6.5 to 6.7 inches (165 to 170 millimeters) and to be as heavy as about 0.66 pounds (300 grams).
- Head characteristics
Your baby’s lips differentiate more acutely this week, and teeth buds can be observed below the gum line. His or her eyes have been evolving as well, though the iris is not yet pigmented. Your baby’s brain develops millions of motor neurons, the nerves that help the brain and muscles communicate. This means your baby can make deliberate and involuntary movements.
- Body appearance
This week, your baby’s skin is covered with a white, slippery substance called vernix, which helps protect the skin, preventing it from peeling or wrinkles. Under the vernix, lanugo is still present.
- Internal organs
During the 19th week of pregnancy, your baby’s bone marrow begins to form blood cells. Until now, the blood cells were only synthesized by the liver and spleen, but as of this week the spinal cord will produce blood cells too.
- Also this week your child will begin to absorb small amounts of carbohydrates from the amniotic fluid that he or she swallows daily, which are absorbed by the digestive system. Your baby is also absorbing nutrients from the placenta.
What happens inside your body?
Abdominal pain, caused by the ligaments that support your uterus stretching, is common in the second trimester of pregnancy. It can disappear and reappear, like constipation and heartburn. Your growing uterus may also cause slow digestion and cause heartburn, as it presses on your stomach and intestines, and the stomach acid seeps into other organs. To avoid discomfort, try to eat small meals frequently, and avoid spicy foods, acidic foods, onions, garlic, black pepper, coffee, carbonated beverages, and chocolate. Although there isn’t sufficient scientific evidence, anecdotal evidence suggests that aloe vera juice is an effective natural remedy – it has a long history of being used for heartburn in Europe.
How different will you look?
On your skin, you may start to notice vascular stars. These are small areas of reddened skin, slightly raised. They usually occur on the face, neck, upper chest and arms and are caused by the increased estrogen levels. However they usually disappear after you give birth.
And, you may find you have more hair. Sex hormones called androgens can cause hair growth on your upper lip, cheekbones and cheeks, lower abdomen, pubic area and legs. Don’t worry – you’re not going to look like a man – the hair will be very thin and soft, hardly noticeable.
How can you care for both of your loved ones?
You doing your best to be as supportive as possible, so why not try cooking for her? She has to eat five times per day, so every little bit helps. As for what to cook, it doesn’t have to be fancy. Simple, digestible and easy does it. And if she has heartburn, stay clear of greasy, fried, spicy and acidic food, which can exacerbate the stomach acids. If not, avoid Caesar salads, or at least those made with raw egg, steak tartar, sushi, seared fish, all of which are fetal no-nos. If you cook with booze, make sure you cook it long enough to boil off all the alcohol. And then sit down and enjoy – you both deserve it!
Tips to help you go through trimester
Having sex is safe: reassurance
- When: Whenever you feel in the mood. Sex during pregnancy is completely healthy and can be great for your relationship. Miscarriage and provoking premature birth is not possible because your baby is well protected in the amniotic sac.
- Protection: As long as you and your partner are free from sexually transmitted diseases, neither of you need to wear protection during pregnancy sex. However, during the last two months of pregnancy, it’s a good idea to wear a condom, because his semen contains prostaglandins, which can stimulate the uterine contractions and provoke premature birth.
- Sexual desire: While many lose their sexual desire during the first trimester because of morning sickness, etc., the second trimester can be the time when it ramps up. This is especially true because your vagina is more lubricated than usual and your clitoris and vagina are more sensitive. Enjoy it while it lasts – some find that their sexual appetite falls again during the final trimester.
- How: You can try different positions to find out what’s best for you during pregnancy. For example, you both can lie on one side or you can get on top. To ease the pressure of your uterus, on your knees is also a popular position.
- Contractions: you may experience some contractions after love-making. This is perfectly normal and will not cause you to go into labour. They will pass after a few minutes.
- Why: If you have sexual problems, it is important to discuss them with your partner. Maintaining an active sex life during pregnancy is an important part of intimacy and closeness.
You’re almost into the mid-point. Congratulations! Your baby is about the size of a summer squash, and hopefully, your partner has stepped in to cook. And your baby can hear you better than ever. While she may respond to music or your partner’s voice, it is yours, which she hears through your body, that is most pronounced.