You are 19 weeks pregnant or in your 20th week of pregnancy (counting from the first day of your Last Menstrual Period).
Keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. For variations and details, please talk to your doctor.
What’s happening to the baby?
- Your baby can hear now and will be startled when she hears loud noises.
- The baby is growing and needs a lot of iron for developing red blood corpuscles.
- Your body is passing its immunity (white blood cells) to your baby. For example, the virus infections you have had and are immune to will be passed to your baby and your baby might be immune to these viruses about 6 months after being born.
- Finger nails, toe nails and hair are growing well. Eyebrows and eyelashes are appearing.
- Your baby is about 15 centimetres long (Crown to rump length) and weighs about 255 grams.
What’s happening to mom?
- You will be halfway through your pregnancy at the end of this week. Whew!
- You will have a hearty appetite to support your growing baby. You might wake up with hunger pangs in the middle of the night. Keep some healthy non-perishable snacks near your bedside (carrots, nuts etc.).
- You might experience mild pain in your sides, your abdomen or your grown because your ligaments are stretching to accommodate your growing uterus. If the pain gets unbearable and more regular, you must call your doctor.
- Heartburn will continue to trouble you as your uterus keeps growing (the uterus will press against your diaphragm and cause frequent heartburn). Remember the tips: Eat smaller meals more often, avoid very oily or very spicy food and do not eat just before sleeping or lying down.
- Your uterus is now reaching your belly button. Your doctor has been measuring your fundal height that measures how much your uterus is growing. You can expect to have steady weight gain now. Your expanding uterus has started putting pressure on your lungs, kidneys and stomach.
Checklist for mom
- With so many things happening, do not forget to spend some quality time or “together time” (spend time talking, movie, dinner, sex, light tennis…) with your spouse at this time. It will help relax you, make you stronger as a team and refresh you both to face the new challenges.
- Make sure that you are eating a protein-packed diet at this time. Remember that protein is very good for your baby’s developing brain.
- If you are above 35, you might be going for amniocentesis very soon or would have already gone for it. Amniocentesis is the test taken between 18 weeks to 20 weeks that diagnoses Down syndrome and other birth defects. This test is intrusive and requires a specialist to draw amniotic fluid with a needle. Discuss with your doctor, spouse and other parents.
- This is the last week for you to get the “anomaly scan” ultrasound conducted. It is critical that you get this test done before your 20th week because in case the baby has congenital defects, you can consider and get an abortion before 20 weeks are over (in India the legal age for an abortion is 20 weeks). The anomaly scan is conducted between your 18th to 20th weeks and screens for neural tube defects and other congenital defects.
Ideas for dad
- Remember and spend some quality time or “together time” (spend time talking, movie, dinner, sex, light tennis…) with your spouse at this time. It will help you to relax, make you stronger as a team and refresh you both to face the new challenges.
- Do not worry about your protein intake just because you are a vegetarian. Vegetarians can find protein in foods like daal (lentils), rajma (kidney beans), channa (gram), tofu, milk, curds, paneer and cheese. It is said that the daal and rice or daal and chapatti combinations make the protein level higher than just having daal separately. This is because the protein or amino acid in daal combines with the amino acid or protein in rice and makes the amino acids or protein more complete. So, take solace in the age-old wisdom of our traditional Indian diets.
- Zinc (your body needs zinc for the growth and development of your baby) might be tricky for vegetarians during pregnancy since zinc absorption in the body is higher for zinc from animal sources than zinc from vegetable sources. But you can fortify your diet with zinc-rich foods like nuts, beans and whole-grains. If you are not confident about your zinc intake, discuss nutritional supplements with your doctor.
- Now that you are increasing your knowledge about pregnancy, share your tips and experiences with other Parentree parents.
Useful Parentree articles for this stage of pregnancy