19 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist
- Use sunscreen or stay in the shade if going outside
- Rest frequently, especially if you’re experiencing round ligament pain
- Start your search for a pediatrician
Your Baby’s Development
Your baby is now covered with a white, waxy substance called vernix caseosa, which helps prevent delicate skin from becoming chapped or scratched. Premature babies may be covered in this cheesy coating at delivery.
Your baby is still tiny, but this week brings the development of brown fat, which will help keep your baby warm after birth. During the last trimester, your baby will add more layers of fat for warmth and protection.
You might feel your baby’s first movements. This often happens between weeks 18 and 20. These first movements are known as quickening, and they may feel like butterflies in your stomach or a growling stomach. Later in your pregnancy, you’ll feel kicks, punches, and possibly hiccups! Each baby has different movement patterns, but if you’re concerned or if the movements have decreased in frequency or intensity, talk to your doctor.
Many women wonder around this time whether having sex will hurt their developing baby, and the answer is no. Sex is considered safe at all stages of pregnancy, as long as your pregnancy is normal. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to want to have it. Many expectant women find that their desire for sex fluctuates during the various stages of pregnancy, depending on their fatigue, growing size, anxiousness over the birth, and a host of other body changes. Keep the lines of communication with your partner open as these issues come up. Even though you may both be preoccupied with the baby, it’s also important to have some “together time.”
Pregnancy symptoms at 19 weeks
The aching in your lower belly is nothing to be alarmed about. The tissues holding your womb (uterus) in place are known as the round ligaments. As your bump gets bigger, these ligaments stretch to support it and can become tense. This tension is what causes cramps and aches.
It’s normal for your ligaments to be more painful on one side of your body. Although you may think that your womb sits in the middle of your body, it actually rotates to the right as it gets bigger. This means you’re more likely to have pains on your right side.
What you need to know at 19 weeks pregnant
You need more iron in your diet now that you’re pregnant. Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, a substance that helps your blood to carry oxygen around your body. If you don’t have enough iron, your hemoglobin levels will drop. This is called iron-deficiency anemia, and it can be harmful to your baby if it’s left untreated.
Eating plenty of iron-rich foods such as red meat, poultry, fish, lentils, leafy green vegetables and fortified cereals, will help ensure your iron stores are healthy. You should also include vitamin C in your diet, as it helps your body to absorb iron. Oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit and potatoes are all packed with vitamin C.
You don’t need to take iron supplements unless your GP or midwife prescribes them for you. They can give you unpleasant side-effects such as constipation, tummy ache and nausea, so it’s best to take them only if you really need them.