pregnancy week 19

Your developing baby

Your bump is really starting to show this week and you may feel a fluttering sensation inside as your baby practises kicks and somersaults and is big enough for you to feel it. It is also about now that a few pregnancy aches and pains start to happen as your body supports the extra weight of your growing bump. 

If you were to look inside of you, you would see that your baby is covered by a protective coating of white vernix. Vernix protects your baby’s delicate skin from any bumps and scratches but also from the watery world of the womb. Babies born prematurely are often delivered with vernix all over them, but babies born on time or later will have shed this sticky substance.

This week your baby's arms and legs have finally reached the right proportions so she no longer looks like a little alien, but more like the baby you will meet in twenty weeks or so. Your baby will also start to develop fat layers at this stage which will help to keep her warm after she is born.

Because baby girls are born with all their eggs inside of them (about two million), if you are carrying a girl, you are not only carrying your unborn baby but half of any babies she may have one day.

Your developing body

This week you might start to develop backache from the pressure of your growing baby on your back. Pregnancy yoga can help, as can making sure you are sitting with a good posture at your desk (no crossing those legs). You may also experience round ligament pain during the second trimester, which is a jabbing sensation or a dull ache around the lower abdomen, groin and bikini line area. These pains are perfectly normal and happen because your uterus is expanding so the ligaments around your groin and abdomen have to stretch constantly to accommodate it. If you feel a severe pain consult your doctor right away. Round ligament pain should only last for a few minutes and shouldn’t be too painful.

Sometimes in this stage of pregnancy you may start to feel dizzy from time to time especially if you lie on your back. This is because the weight of your uterus presses onto the veins that carry blood from the lower part of your body back to your heart. The flow of blood is then reduced slightly from your brain making you feel dizzy and faint. This can be dangerous for you if you faint and injure youself or the bump. Avoid lying on your back during the second and third trimester, instead lie on your left side or prop a pillow underneath you so that you are tilted when lying down.

Low blood sugar levels can also make you feel dizzy in pregnancy so make sure you eat little snacks between meals to keep your blood sugar up. Bananas are great because they provide a rapid source of energy and their natural sugars and potassium can help to reduce swelling, another pregnancy feature that can start to happen soon.

What to expect in week 20? Read on...

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