By the time you've reached pregnancy week 19 you've literally come a long way, baby! What was once the size of a grain of rice has now blossomed to a 14cm long, 237 gram cute little mango sized baby. Your body has undergone a tremendous transformation. Although you might be starting to feel some baby-infused indigestion or heartburn, you can feel comfortable knowing that you've nearly reached the magic half-way point of the pregnancy!
The development that you and your baby have undergone in 19 short weeks is nothing short of amazing. Although the baby is very small in the grand scheme of things; the truth is that he or she is now bigger you’re your placenta. Your baby's arms and legs have fully developed proportionally and the baby has much better control of those limbs – as I’m certain you will experience at 2'oclock in the morning while you sleep! In fact, those limbs are so well developed that you might be able to tell the difference between an elbow poking your belly and a foot. The bonding between mother and child rapidly grows as week 19 commences.
When week 19 of the pregnancy approaches, your baby begins to develop some critical regulatory functions. Although doctors have not determined the exact date, it's estimated that between weeks 18 and 20 your baby will develop circadian rhythms which impact the breathing activity and heart rate. These patterns will be set for the remainder of his or her life and are critical to the overall smooth operation of the human body as a whole. The skin is transforming from translucent to developing pigment that determines the baby's skin tone.
The baby is also now covered in a protective, wax-type substance called Vernix Caseosa that is designed to protect their skin from amniotic fluids. The baby's brain has also begun a growth spurt by creating special areas for taste, smell, vision, hearing and touch.
It's very typical for soon to be mommies to experience some heartburn or indigestion during pregnancy. This typically begins around week 19 or 20 of the pregnancy. This also falls in line with a rapid growth of your baby-bump, which you should expect to notice during the back half of the second trimester. The movement of your baby will also significantly grow, and it's more common than not that some of these baby movements will surprise you with the intensity they display. Contrary to popular belief, this is not the baby's way of telling you that they want out. They are nice and cozy in that womb and still need some time to 'bake in the oven'!
Some other side-effects that you may experience during this phase of the pregnancy include blurred vision and some shortness of breath. If you wear corrective lenses and they are required for driving, it's a good idea to set up optical visits to have the vision checked and a new, temporary prescription filled. This condition typically clears up shortly after the birth, but can also occur if your body develops PCOS or Diabetes.
One of the little elephants in the closet that can frequently go undiscussed is the importance of communication between partners during a pregnancy. The miracle of childbirth is truly magical – but it's even more impressive and fun when it's experienced by your partner, parents, other family members, and personal supporters. A simple – yet great way to get people involved is the power of touch. When you feel your baby starting to move around and your partner is near – grab them and let them experience this magical moment for themselves. Many psychologists argue that this moment of touch can crack even the toughest skin and inspire others to want to have an active role in your pregnancy.