You’re almost halfway through your pregnancy. Congratulations!
If you haven’t felt your baby move yet, there is a good chance that this will be the first week you feel that little flutter. At first, it may be hard to tell if it’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 another ultrasound. A second ultrasound is standard at this stage of pregnancy, but it isn’t required. This imaging scan will provide a much higher level of detail of the baby’s organs than the last ultrasound, which is usually performed in the first trimester.
The procedure will reveal whether your baby is growing on schedule and show the location of the placenta. Amniotic fluid levels and the fetal heart rate are also measured. And this ultrasound will probably reveal your baby’s sex.
Your body is working hard to make a temporary home for your baby. Most women tend to have more energy in the second trimester, but you may still have episodes of fatigue.
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. And there have been a lot of new developments.
Your baby’s kidneys are producing urine. The sensory parts of their brain are developing. And the hair on top of their head is starting to appear.
If your baby is a girl, her uterus has formed and her ovaries contain about 6 million eggs.
Your babies’ skin is now coated with a waxy substance called vernix caseosa. It protects them from wrinkling or scratching in the amniotic fluid.
During your second trimester, you may encounter these symptoms throughout week 19:
- frequent urination
- weight gain
- enlarged breasts
- dark line down your abdomen
- trouble sleeping
You may also experience additional symptoms that include:
Hopefully any nausea or morning sickness you experienced early on has resolved. If you’re still feeling sick, talk with your doctor about ways to treat this symptom.
Natural remedies like ginger and peppermint may help you feel better, but check with your doctor about other herbal remedies or medications.
Eating smaller, more frequent meals may help ease nausea. It is also important to stay hydrated throughout your pregnancy.
Round ligament pain
While you may not feel sick to your stomach any more, you may 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. Read further to find out when you should be concerned by pregnancy cramps.
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.
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. You may feel the need to urinate frequently. Worrying about your baby and everything else may also lead to sleepless nights.
Try some stress-reducing breathing exercises to help you relax during the day and at night. Learn more about sleep positions while you are pregnant.
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 before.
If the occasional round ligament pains last even after resting, you should tell your doctor. 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 doctor right away.
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.
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 your doctor questions. 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.