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Pregnancy health centre

19 weeks pregnant

WebMD Medical Reference
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks


How is your baby growing at 19 weeks?

Your baby should now be about 17cm from head to bottom (crown to rump) and weigh about 250g, about the size of a very large tomato. Specialised nerve cells in the brain should be forming complicated pathways that will allow your baby to experience the senses of taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing. Your baby will become increasingly aware of the sounds around him or her – and may start to pick up when you are feeling stress.

Along with the protective layer of lanugo (the fine hairs), a whitish greasy substance called vernix (or vernix caseosa) covers the baby’s skin. This forms a waterproof layer on the baby's skin to help protect it. Vernix is composed of a mixture of lanugo (the fine hair), dead skin cells and oil.

If your baby is a girl, her womb ( uterus) and vagina and fallopian tubes will be developing. Although the genitals should be recognisable by now, it could still be difficult to correctly determine the gender of your baby during an ultrasound.

The arms and legs should be in the correct proportions to the baby's body by now, and as the muscles are continuing to develop, your baby's movements will be getting increasingly stronger.

How are you changing in week 19?

During the second and third trimesters of pregnancy dizziness may occur for several reasons. If the growing womb puts pressure on your blood vessels, in particular the inferior vena cava on your right side (this transports blood away from your legs), you may feel dizzy when you sit or lay down. However, dizziness might also be due to low blood pressure – your blood pressure will be lower than its pre-pregnancy level – and in this case you'll feel light-headed if you stand up too quickly. Dizziness may also indicate that you need a boost of energy from food, or that you have anaemia, for example iron deficiency anaemia, or that you have another problem. So contact your GP or midwife if you have any concerns.

What you need to know in week 19

If pressure on your blood vessels is causing dizziness, resting on your left side can help improve your blood flow, and thereby help reduce you feeling light-headed. If you have low blood pressure, whenever you get up from a sitting or lying position, take your time and do so slowly. Make sure you have some healthy snacks at hand to help boost low energy levels – and don't forget to also drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. To help keep up your iron intake, try to eat more red meat, dried apricots, green leafy vegetables and pulses such as baked beans, chickpeas and lentils. If you are getting your iron from vegetarian sources, make sure you include something in the meal with vitamin C – such as tomatoes, potatoes or fruit juice – to help your body absorb the iron.

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