19 Weeks Pregnant

At week 19, you’re becoming an old pro at this pregnancy thing. You might be a bit more relaxed about everything and are enjoying this time before your life changes. The second trimester is often a good time to take a vacation before your baby comes. Before you jet off, make sure you talk to your healthcare provider and get the OK.

What’s happening with your body?

19Oh, the joys of pregnancy. While some women may feel great during pregnancy, others have every symptom in the book, and many women fall somewhere in between.

On the bright side, during week 19, you may feel energetic and might be enjoying this stage. You may have a cute baby bump, but your tummy is not big enough to make your uncomfortable yet. It may be a good time to get some things taken care of, such as shopping for baby clothes or getting your nursery ready.

One thing you may notice is the skin across your belly and breasts is becoming itchy. As your skin stretches, it can itch. The itchiness may continue throughout your pregnancy or may decrease a bit towards the end.  Keeping your skin moisturized may help, since dry skin is often itchier.

Speaking of your skin, you might also notice a dark line running from your pubic bone up to your belly button. It’s not clear why this line, referred to as the linea nigra, develops.

Some women also develop rib pain sometime in their middle trimester. As your uterus grows, it pushes up on your belly and may put pressure on your ribs. As far as symptoms go, keep in mind every woman is different, and you may not experience everything you read about.

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What’s happening with your baby? 

pregnancy-week-19At about 18 to 25 centimeters, your baby is about the size of a large tomato. She has more control over her movements and her muscles are a bit stronger, which may explain why you are starting to feel her gymnastics. Right now she still has a lot of room to kick and stretch, so she is taking full advantage of her roomy digs.

It may surprise you to find out that your baby is getting a cheesy covering on her skin. While it might not sound so cute, it has a purpose. The technical name is vernix, and it is a protective covering. The substance is made of oil and dead skin cells, and it protects baby’s skin from all that amniotic fluid. After all, you know how wrinkled your skin can get after a long soak in the tub.

Your baby’s brain is also becoming more complex. Certain areas of his brain are now designated for specific senses, such as hearing, taste and vision. Also, if you are having a girl, her ovaries have developed, and if you are having a boy, his scrotum is solid.

Things to keep in mind

Although you are not quite at the half-way mark, it’s not too early to start thinking about childcare options. If you plan to return to work, you’ll have to think about who will care for your little one.

If you have family who can help out, you probably have the problem solved. Depending on your work schedule, you may be able to arrange for either you or your partner to take care of your baby during the workweek.

But for other parents-to-be, they need to hire a childcare provider. You have several options including a daycare center, nanny or a home daycare.

It might be helpful to research all options and consider your finances, the hours you need and what each childcare provider offers. For example, some daycare centers may provide diapers and wipes while others may require parents to supply everything needed for baby.

One place to start is recommendations from family, coworkers and friends. Once you get a list together, visit the daycare, take a tour and ask about the qualifications of the teachers. If you are hiring a nanny, consider if you want to use a staffing agency or place your own ad.

It might seem like a difficult decision, but the main thing is to allow yourself plenty of time to consider all options. Leaving your baby to return to work is a lot easier if you are confident you have the right people caring for your baby.

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