You’re almost halfway through your pregnancy. Congratulations! This could be a big week for a couple of different reasons.
If you haven’t felt your baby move yet, there is a good chance that this will be the first week that you feel that little flutter. At first, it may be hard to tell if that’s your baby. But soon you’ll recognize the sensation, especially as your baby gets bigger and more active.
This could also be the week that you get a level 2 ultrasound. This imaging scan provides a much higher level of detail of the baby’s organs than the level 1 ultrasound that’s usually performed in the first trimester.
A level 2 ultrasound is fairly standard at this stage of pregnancy, so don’t assume that it’s being ordered because a problem is suspected. The sonogram will allow your healthcare provider to see how the baby’s major organs are developing and functioning.
The procedure will also reveal whether your baby is growing on schedule, as well as the location of the placenta. Amniotic fluid levels and the fetal heart rate are also measured. And if you haven’t discovered the baby’s gender yet, this is probably the ultrasound that will reveal that as well.
Changes in Your Body
Your body is working hard to make a nice temporary home for your baby, so while most women tend to have more energy in the second trimester, you may still have episodes of fatigue.
If you’re used to sleeping on your side, you may still be enjoying a good night’s sleep. If you tend to sleep on your stomach or back, your growing stomach will make these positions difficult. Hopefully you’re adjusting.
Adding pillows around your stomach and in between your legs may help. Exercising during the day and avoiding caffeine may also help you sleep better.
Sleep may be difficult for other reasons. This is around the time you may feel the need to urinate frequently. Worrying about your baby and everything else in your world may lead to sleepless nights.
Try some stress-reducing breathing exercises to help you relax during the day and at night.
Other bodily changes include continued weight gain. Your breasts may be as much as two cup sizes bigger. You may also notice a dark line running down the middle of your stomach, starting at your navel. This is the linea nigra, and it usually fades a few months after delivery.
Your baby is around 7 inches long and weighs about 7 ounces. Within that little body are a lot of new developments.
The kidneys are producing urine. The sensory parts of the brain are developing. And the hair on top of the baby’s head is starting to appear.
Lanugo, the soft, downy hair that covers a baby’s body, is also forming. On top of that is vermix caseosa, the oily substance that protects the skin while the baby is growing in the womb.
If that’s a daughter in your tummy, her uterus has formed and her ovaries contain about 6 million eggs. Can you believe it?
Twin Development at Week 19
Your babies’ skin is now coated with a waxy substance called vernix caseosa. It protects them from wrinkling or scratching in the amniotic fluid.
Coping with Nausea
Hopefully any nausea or morning sickness you experienced early on has resolved by now. If you’re still feeling sick, talk with your healthcare provider about ways to cope with or treat those symptoms.
Natural remedies like ginger and peppermint may help you feel better, but check with your healthcare provider about other herbal remedies or medications.
Eating smaller but more frequent meals may help ease those feelings of nausea as well. It is also important to stay hydrated now and throughout your pregnancy.
Round Ligament Pain
While you may not feel sick to your stomach any more, you may, unfortunately, feel occasional pain in your abdomen. This is usually round ligament pain, and it often starts on one side of your abdomen or hip area. Sometimes the pain is felt on both sides of your tummy and may extend down to your groin.
The round ligament connects the front of the uterus to the groin and stretches throughout your pregnancy. These sharp pains usually last for a few seconds. They may be caused just by standing up or by coughing.
Try moving slowly when you stand up or change positions while sitting or lying down. And be sure not to lift anything heavy during the rest of your pregnancy.
If you experienced early hair loss a few weeks ago, that is probably slowing down. Your hair may be fuller and shinier than it’s been in a long time. Now might be a good time to schedule a haircut.
When to Call Your Doctor
If the occasional round ligament pains last even after resting, you should tell your physician. The same is true if you experience severe pain of any kind that lasts for more than a few minutes.
As always, if you experience pain along with other symptoms, such as fever, vomiting, bleeding, or a change in vaginal discharge, contact your healthcare provider promptly.
Remember that headaches are common during pregnancy. But if you get them frequently or they are more severe than usual, tell your doctor. Also check with your doctor about the use of pain relievers, including over-the-counter analgesics.
You’re Almost Halfway There
By the end of this week, you’ll be halfway through this amazing journey. You’ve already been through a lot and there’s much more ahead.
Never hesitate to ask questions of your doctor, a nurse, or other healthcare provider. Getting more information about what’s happening with you and your baby will give you some comfort and confidence as you get ready for the second half of your pregnancy.