Your baby is around 6.5 inches (17cm) and 9 ounces (250gm) at 19 weeks pregnant.
Vernix Caseosa is now covering the whole body. This is a greasy white substance made from a mixture of lanugo, dead skin cells and oil and is vital to protect your baby from the effects of the amniotic fluid. Without it your baby’s skin would have the prune-like appearance of a nine month bath! Some babies are born with vernix still on their skin, especially if they are premature.
In the brain, nerve cells that have the job of specialising for the sensory systems of taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing are forming complex connections. At this stage sensory development is accelerating and your baby will be aware of many sounds and also any stress that you may be feeling.
The arms and legs are now in the correct proportions, the kidneys continue producing urine and fine hair is growing on the scalp.
From now on you will grow faster in the weeks to come. At 19 weeks pregnant your abdomen may ache and you may even experience a few stabbing pains in your side.
The pains are caused by stretching of the abdominal ligaments that support your uterus to allow for the increased weight. These pains are quite normal but do contact your doctor if they become persistent or severe.
This may be a good time to start a little gentle yoga which has the double benefit of de-stressing and re-aligning your muscles. Other activities you could try which are excellent during pregnancy include swimming, walking, stationary cycling, prenatal aerobics and aqua-fit classes.
The extra oestrogen that is flowing around your body may be causing changes in your skin. Red palms and dark pigment patches called chloasma may appear. You may also notice that your nipples darken as well as any freckles and scars on your skin.
The ‘linea nigra’ or ‘dark line’ running from your navel to your pubic bone also becomes quite visible. All this pigmentation is temporary and disappears soon after birth.
What to expect at week 20 of your pregnancy...