Pregnancy Week 19
Congratulations! You made it half way! The last 18 months have been annoying and pleasing too. Your body and your baby have been gone through many changes. But wait, there are more to come. Though you have started to show but still some ladies can keep the news secret. Your abdominal muscles or fat near it can camouflage your pregnancy. This becomes easier in winters as you can hide your small baby bump under the big woolens.
Though, tiny enough to be easily hidden, the baby is making tremendous development. Getting almost all features of a human being, your baby is all set to grow in size now.
Growth and Development of Baby
By this week, your mini gymnast is showing growth spurt in its sensory development. Measuring about 6 inches and weighing around 8 and 1/2 ounces, your baby is now the size of a tomato. The arms and legs are growing at good pace keeping nice proportion between each other and the whole body. The baby’s skin is turning translucent with the gradual deposition of the fat underneath it.
The brain has developed different areas for all sensory organs like taste, smell, sight, hearing, touch etc. Now, your baby is capable of doing all things, human like us can do. The neurons in the body are forming connections with the brain, muscles and cartilages so as to allow more limb movements to your baby.
The scalp hairs are also sprouting at a high speed. Some babies who are born premature are covered with fine hair on their back and arms. However, there are also some babies who are born bald and do not have hair for months and others have mop of thick hair on their head. This is totally dependent on the individual.
The kidneys are working fine and continuously producing urine which is fair amount of amniotic fluid. The baby’s heart is becoming strong and healthy which is evident with the fast and loud heartbeats your midwife can listen with the Doppler.
The major development of this week is the formation of a protective covering on the baby’s skin. This covering is made up of a substance vernix caseosa which is greasy and white in its texture. This is made up of lanugo, (downy hair), oil which comes from baby’s glands and dead skin cells. Can you imagine your skin soaked in water for nine months? It would be highly wrinkled. The vernix covering acts like an anti-wrinkle covering for your baby. It protects the baby’s skin from surrounding amniotic fluid in the later months. As the delivery approaches, vernix shed down.
While you are working, your baby is sleeping a lot to conserve valuable energy to grow and mature. However, he or she is equally active which you can feel while sleeping or lying down without moving.
Changes in the Mother’s Body
Are you taking enough iron and vitamin C? If not, try including green leafy vegetables, cereals and fresh fruits in your daily diet. This is because; your circulatory system is working hard to pump blood to your body and baby. This requires more of energy otherwise you will feel breathless.
As you all must have observed by now, that pregnancy brings lot of exhaustion. After the long day, you just want to surrender to sleep. However, there can be one thing which can keep you awake and i.e. very annoying leg cramps. During second and third trimester, you may feel painful spasms moving along your calves. There can be many reasons for the same as muscles getting tired, leg under uterus pressure or increased blood flow. Whatsoever is the case, you have to find some quick fix to get out with it. Try flexing your ankle and toes towards shins (front of leg below the knee). You may get some relief.
Your baby is like a small heater inside you keeping your inner temperature high. This makes you sweat a lot. You will desire taking a bath every time or remain in air conditioner for the whole day.
By now, your waist line would have completely disappeared as your uterus has almost reached to the belly button. Don’t be disappointed as you will get it back provided you follow the right lifestyle.
Women are always more prone to urinary tract infections rather than men. This is because their urethra is small which allows an easy passage for bacteria to get inside. On top of that, if you are pregnant, the possibility multiplies. So, do not forget to wipe from front to back after urination or after sex. Drink plenty of water to avoid any infections. Also, do not delay in going to toilet if you have urge.
You must be feeling as of you will come out. Am I right? The darned pregnancy hormones affect your stomach and gut also. Due to this, the acidic contents of stomach which should settle down there only now regurgitate in your gut anytime giving you a burning sensation. The problem is aggravated with oily and spicy foods. Try to avoid them. If the problem persists, talk to your doctor. She can suggest you some relieving medications.
Must have felt those tiny flutters by now? Isn’t it? Even if you have not felt, need not to worry. Mostly first time moms find it late to realize that those gas bubbles or slight snug she has been observing since last days are actually the baby movements. There is no need to worry as your baby will give you more than hundred chances to feel so in the coming weeks.
Now, as you are feeling your baby movements, you may spend your days and nights thinking about baby only. You may even ignore your partner or other loved ones. Do not be guilty with this change as this is Mother Nature’s way of helping mothers to prioritize their baby over any other thing or person.
- It is human tendency to compare with others and if they are pregnant women, they ought to do so definitely. Generally, they compare their tummy size and get despondent if they have little pod. Don’t worry with these as every woman has different kind of pregnancy. No one can analyze the baby’s health, gender and size by just looking at the tummy. Ignore views, advises and comments in this regard who so ever it is.
- Thanks to modern technology that now 3D ultrasounds are also available in which you can see your baby moving around in a clear 3D picture. However, beware before heading for such scans. According to the medical experts, these scans are not safe for baby as it uses high power levels for longer periods than considered safe.
- If you haven’t started talking to your baby in person, you must do it now. Your baby has completely developed his hearing capability and now can listen to every activity you do. If it feels awkward talking lonely with baby, start with reading books aloud, singing songs or can also involve your partner. Surprisingly, your baby may respond to your voices and sounds sometime.
- Fat is essential during the growth and development of baby but you must choose the right type of fat. Cut back saturated and Trans fat intake totally to ensure healthy pregnancy.
- Don’t want stretch marks? Get up and follow a friendly exercise regimen. Though, it never guaranteed that those who are working out daily would not have them but yes, the possibility of minimizing or avoiding them is too high. So, the key to combat those red annoying scars is to keep your muscles toned.
- Apart from keeping your stretch marks at bay, staying active would also help you avoid unnecessary weight gain. Your muscles will remain flexible, you will experience less pain and there will be less difficulty in labor.
- Some women have history of mental health disorders or they are more prone to depression. As this week brings quite emotional changes in you, you may become stressful which may lead to depression. Talk to your health care provider in this regard if you are feeling closer to depression anyway.
- Though, it’s too early but some women are ahead of others and start researching about pediatrician for their coming baby. There is no harm in doing so as better research and more information will give you good results.
More excitement is waiting for you in the coming weeks as gradually you will be seeing little bumps on your tummy as your baby moves. Be regular with exercise, healthy diet and suggested supplements. Also, be patient, rest and relax. There is nothing you can do except waiting. So, better enjoy your today and get excited for tomorrow.