Your Guide to Being 19 Weeks Pregnant:
How did you feel during month five?
Your baby’s skin is now covered in vernix, a white waxy substance. It helps protect her skin from becoming waterlogged while she’s immersed in the amniotic fluid, and also from scratches inflicted by her wayward fingernails.
At 19 weeks, your baby’s sensory development is at its peak. The nerve cells that will control all of her senses are developing in specialised areas of her brain. The reproductive system is complete now, too.
As your baby’s nervous system develops, she’ll master increasingly complicated movements, twisting, turning, stretching, grasping and even doing somersaults. If you press firmly on your bump, she won’t just sense the pressure but will actually move away.
What’s happening to you
With your body working harder and pumping more blood, you might find you feel hotter and sweatier and even develop heat rashes (lovely!). In fact, your skin can be altogether unpredictable at this stage; while some women bloom, others see a resurgence of adolescent acne.
As your bump becomes more obvious, don’t be surprised if everyone wants to talk babies. Whether you love this attention or hate it, it’s perfectly within your rights to tell people to step back if the bump–rubbing becomes too much.
Don’t be alarmed if, from now on, your bump has spasms where it feels taut and uncomfortable. These ‘practise contractions’, or Braxton Hicks, are completely normal, and will probably increase in frequency and intensity, although some women don’t get them at all.
Pregnancy hormones relax the valve at the top of your stomach, and your uterus pushes up from beneath, forcing gastric acid back into your oesophagus and causing heartburn. Try cutting back on spicy foods and caffeine, eating little and often and sleeping semi-upright on a bank of pillows.
When to check it out
If you’re in agony with heartburn, talk to your pharmacist; there are various over-the-counter antacids that are safe to take in pregnancy.
‘To do’ this week
With your 20–week scan looming, decide whether you want to find out your baby’s sex. Don’t leave the conversation with your partner till the very last minute; the sonographer won’t want to witness a hormone–fuelled domestic!