At 19 weeks you’re not the only one with the heightened senses. In a few days, time your baby will be joining you too. Even before you’re aware of it, you’re little one will have developed his preferences in taste. How? Because her tiny brain has commenced work on the five main senses. Learn more below. 

Baby development

Your baby’s about 6 inches in length; the size of a summer squash they say. Your baby’s not only getting bigger but heavier. From a whopping 7 ounces he or she now weighs around 8 ½ ounces. 

The most crucial development at 19 weeks is the work on the five senses. The brain starts developing nerve cells that will strengthen and support the senses of hearing, smell, sight, taste and touch. Besides this, the brain is also forming million of neurons. Neurons are the messengers of the body. They transmit signals to and from the brain.

The fetus’s body also starts strengthening its thin and delicate skin. A thin protective coating develops around the skin. It is whitish in color and has a greasy, waxy texture. It is called the vernix caseosa. Its function is to protect the skin from the amniotic fluid. The Lanugo covers the skin below the vernix. Some residue of the vernix is visible even after birth and is cleaned up later. The hair on the scalp appears denser. The baby continues to pack on fat under the skin – a mechanism to regulate body temperature once out.

By 19 weeks, your baby can hear clearly. In addition to the internal sounds, she is easily alerted to outside sounds. She can probably hear you hum, talk and scream.

If you take an ultrasound at this age, you may be lucky to see your baby in action- sucking her thumb, moving her head, trying to reach for her face, pedaling her feet and trying to grasp the umbilical chord. Mischievous little one!

The kidneys are functioning amazingly. The kidneys make urine. It is excreted into the amniotic sac following which it is disposed by the placenta.

Changes to your body 

Your growing belly ups your level of discomfort a bit. Majority of the pregnancy symptoms are carried forward from the 18th week – aches and pains in the abdomen (an occasional stabbing pain on both sides) and lower back, leg cramps, dizziness and light headiness and weight gain. The average weight gain around the 19th week is 10-12 pounds. This figure will vary for each woman. 

A new symptom during the 19th week is changes to the appearance of your skin. A temporary increase in the skin pigment (culprit: hormones) causes darkening of the skin. Freckles and moles, if you have any, get darker. The areolas (the skin surrounding the nipples) darken. Even the underarms and inner thighs get darker. Mask of Pregnancy or Chloasma is another pregnancy symptom. This condition is described as the development of darkened spots or patches on the upper lip, cheeks, forehead and chin.

You will notice you are not very stable on your feet as your expanding uterus shifts your center of gravity. You may be very proud of your luscious mane. The hormones extend the growing phase. However, at the same you will observe increased hair growth on the face, arms and legs, under arms, stomach and around the breasts.

Tips for this week

  • You can read aloud, sing to and have those long secret conversations with your baby.
  • To relieve leg cramps, stretch your legs and bend your ankles and toes to point your knees. There’s nothing better than a soothing leg and back massage from your spouse.
  • When sleeping, place a pillow between your knees and sleep on your side.
  • Skin pigmentation or darkening occurring during the second trimester will fade after pregnancy. However, for the time being, avoid too much exposure to the sun as it will increase pigmentation.
  • Wear flats for better foot support.
  • Change your posture.
  • You can also use heating pads to relieve pain.
  • Make sure you get the necessary vitamins and minerals.
  • See your practitioner if the lower abdominal pain is severe.

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