Your pregnancy week-by-week: week nineteen

Now about the size of a mango, your baby measures around 14cm long, and weighs 240g.

Your baby

At this time your baby’s sensory development is speeding up. She’s busy growing the parts of her brain that are responsible for sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. She’ll be aware of many sounds, including any stress you may be feeling.

Her skin is beginning to develop pigment which will determine her skin tone. Your little one will now also be covered in ‘Vernix Caseosa’, a thin wax-like substance that helps to protect her skin from the amniotic fluid.

You

Your circulatory system is working hard to pump blood efficiently around your body and through the umbilical cord to your baby. With the rise in red blood cells, it’s essential you keep up your iron levels. This means eating red meat, green leafy vegetables, high quality cereals and fresh fruit. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron so add a glass of orange juice to your breakfast. The increased blood flow may make you warmer than usual, and you might sweat more. Wear light clothing and drink lots of water.

If you’re experiencing pain in any of the pelvic joints when doing things like walking or climbing stairs, then you may be suffering from Pelvic Girdle Pain. This affects about one in five mums-to-be.

Don’t forget you can get free prescriptions and dental treatment during pregnancy (and up to a year after) so don’t forget to apply for your maternity exemption certificate. Ask your doctor or midwife for the FW8 form.

Heartburn affects about half of all women during pregnancy. Try to avoid eating huge meals, especially just before bed, and prop yourself up on a couple of extra pillows to ease symptoms.

Your partner

Although you’re not the one carrying the baby, pregnancy will still have an impact on you – you’re bound to feel a range of emotions. The first pregnancy will change your life, even if it’s something you’ve been yearning for. It can also be daunting because you may not feel ready for new responsibilities.

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