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Week 19 of Pregnancy

Written by Amina Hatia RM
Medically reviewed by Marley Hall BA RM Diphe
January 25, 2022

Slowly inching your way to the all important milestone of the halfway point – you are firmly in your second trimester and things are due to change alot over the next few weeks.

Take a moment to just reflect back on where you are – you may have had a straightforward journey to pregnancy, or it may have been a longer more complicated one – you may have really struggled with pregnancy sickness – and a few of you may even still be dealing with it now, but you have come such a long way in this amazing journey!

You may also be feeling physically a little different too – as your body changes, your agility is different too, be conscious of how the changes impact you.  In pregnancy, your body releases a hormone called relaxin, which helps to loosen up your ligaments to accommodate your growing baby.  This can, however, leave your back, your ankles and even your knees feeling different as they are now without their usual support. Listen to the clues your body is giving you when changing position, stretching, moving and walking due to the weight of your bump now.

It may be tempting at this stage to crash out on your sofa and put your feet up – and some days it’s absolutely the right thing for you, especially if you haven’t been sleeping well.  But it’s just as important to get up and out and about, walking, running if it’s something you do and enjoy, any form of gentle movement will be great for your physical and mental health.

How big is my baby?

Your sweet 19-week baby is now the size of a large juicy mango.  By the end of this week they will measure somewhere around 15 cms in length and weighs around 240 grams, which explains why you be feeling the weight of your bump a bit more!

What happens in week 19 of pregnancy?

Your baby is continuing to grow and develop – and looking forward to next week when they can show all their changes to you during your 20-week scan.

Around this gestation is when your baby’s skin starts to generate a substance called vernix. It is a thick, greasy coating that protects your baby’s skin from the amniotic fluid that surrounds them in the uterus, keeping their skin nice and soft.  Towards the end of your pregnancy, the vernix starts to fall off, but it’s not uncommon for babies to be born with some still left on their skin. 

Underneath that vernix, your baby’s skin is still wrinkly as baby hasn’t gained too much fat yet. Worry not, over the next few weeks your baby’s fat stores will start to increase, filling out those wrinkles.

Another interesting development deep inside you at week 19 is that your baby’s adult teeth are starting to grow!  It’s truly mind boggling that your baby already has the teeth that will erupt many years from now forming inside you – just behind their milk teeth, which will first start to show when your baby is around 4-6 months old.

Week 19 pregnancy symptoms

One of the common pregnancy symptoms in the second trimester that you may experience are leg cramps.  If you’ve never had them before, they aren’t fun but can be managed and will pass quickly.

Leg cramps are when you experience painful spasms that shoot up and down your calves.  They can occur anytime, but you may notice them more at night – often when you are fast asleep.  Sometimes they can be powerful enough to wake you up from a sleep too.

We don’t know what exactly causes them or why some people get them and others don’t.   One of the theories is that due to the weight of carrying around your growing pregnancy body, your leg muscles get easily tired, resulting in leg cramps, or that the pressure of a growing uterus compresses the blood vessels in your legs. 

Dehydration – not drinking enough water may also be a factor in why leg cramps happen.

Leg cramps can be painful in the moment and can cause other issues such as tiredness due to broken sleep.  The best way of managing a cramp is to get up (if you are sitting or lying down), straighten your leg and gently flex your ankle and toes back toward your shins to encourage blood flow.

Week 19 pregnancy tips

  • Have you decided if you would like to find out your baby’s gender at your scan next week?  Whilst gender isn’t something your sonographer is looking for in their checks, they may be able to give you a hint if you ask. 
  • Discuss with your partner/support if this is something you’d both like to know – who to share with or if you’d rather keep it to yourself.
  • Get moving – find what you prefer, walking, swimming, pregnancy yoga – and see what feels right at this stage in pregnancy.  A little bit of activity, some gentle stretching daily will help ease some of the pregnancy aches and pains.  Don’t overdo it – listen to your body, the aim is to feel better, not tire you out.
  • How are the bump photo’s going? – or have you found another way of marking your pregnancy journey.  It can help to feel more connected and can be something lovely to look back on.  If you’ve been taking photos, look back at them – admire the changes in all aspects of you and celebrate them.