Your baby is now the size of a large heirloom tomato, measuring six (6) inches from crown to rump and weighing about eight and a half (8.5) ounces. You are in your fifth month of pregnancy.
The biggest news during week 19 of pregnancy is that your baby is now covered in vernix caseosa, which is a white waxy cheese-like protective material that covers the skin of a fetus in utero. Vernix protects your baby’s delicate skin from the amniotic fluid. Without vernix, your baby would be born all pruned and wrinkled. Premature babies tend to be born still covered in a lot of vernix while babies who are born after forty-two weeks tend to be born with almost none. After birth, the vernix continues to protect your baby from many common peritnatal pathogens including group B. Streptococcus, K. pneumoniae, L. monocytogenes, C. albicans and E. coli, so try not to give your newborn a bath too soon.
During week 19 of pregnancy, the specialized areas of your baby’s brain responsible for the five senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch are developing. The blood vessels are visible under translucent skin, making your baby look red. In addition to vernix, your baby is also covered in lanugo, which is downy soft hair that will disappear by birth. The internal organs continue to grow in size. Your baby’s arms and legs are now in proportion with the rest of the body. You should be able to feel the movements that your baby is making frequently by week 19 of pregnancy. You may also be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat using a fetoscope, which is a special stethoscope used for listening to the fetal heartbeat.
In addition to an obvious baby bump and some weight gain, your face may now be shouting to the world that you are expecting. Many women begin experiencing chloasma, or the mask of pregnancy, around week 19 of pregnancy. Due to the extra estrogen surging through your body, you may develop darker patches of skin on your upper lip, cheeks, and forehead. You may also notice that the palms of your hands are redder than usual as well as some darkening of your nipples, freckles, scars, underarms, inner thighs, and vulva. Some women also develop a linea nigra, which is a dark line that runs from the belly button to the pubic bone. Most of this darkened skin will fade after you give birth. You may also develop spider nevi, which are tiny but temporary red marks caused by dilated blood vessels, on you face, shoulders, and arms.
During week 19 of pregnancy, you may begin experiencing more intense round ligament pain. As your baby and uterus grow, the ligaments that support your uterus stretch to accommodate the extra weight. Some slight pain or achiness is normal, but contact your health care provider if the pain is intense or prolonged, especially when you are lying down. Other symptoms during week 19 of pregnancy include increased appetite, dizziness, heartburn, constipation, leg cramps, mild swelling of the ankles and feet, tingling and numbness in your fingers and toes, backache, nasal congestion, and stretch marks.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not meant to replace the professional medical advice of your health care provider.
19 weeks pregnant: http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy-week-by-week/19-weeks-pregnant_70783
19th week of pregnancy: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/weekbyweek/week19.htm
Curtis, Glade B. & Judith Schuler. 2011. Your pregnancy week by week. 7th edn. Philadelphia: Running Press.
Stone, Joanne & Keith Eddleman, eds. 2003. The pregnancy bible: Your complete guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. Willowdale, Ontario: Firefly Books.
Your pregnancy: 19 weeks: http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-19-weeks_1108.bc
Your pregnancy week by week: Weeks 17-20: http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-weeks-17-20
Newborn Baby with Vernix: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Postpartum_baby2.jpg
Ultrasound of 19 Week Fetus: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ultrasound_of_19_week_fetus.ogv
Baby Bump at 19 Weeks: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sheila_19_weeks.jpg