Week 19 of Your Pregnancy

A look at your body, your baby, and more

Welcome to week 19 of your pregnancy. Your belly is slowly and steadily getting bigger to accommodate your developing baby. And all of that growth may be leading to growing pains this week.

week 19 pregnancy highlights
Illustration by Verywell 

Your Trimester: Second trimester

Weeks to Go: 21

You This Week

Right now, your lower belly and groin area may be in pain—something that’s very common during the second trimester. There’s no need to panic. It’s likely just a sign that your round ligaments, which snake from the top of your uterus to either side of your pelvis, are lengthening and thickening to accommodate your growing belly. “Everyone experiences this pain differently,” says Allison Hill, M.D., an OB-GYN in private practice in Los Angeles. “Some describe it as a pulling sensation down their sides and groin, and others describe a stabbing pain.”

While round ligament pain does not harm you or your baby, it’s important to tune into the intensity and duration of the pain you feel and raise any concerns to your healthcare provider. (Read on for what may indicate a problem.)

Your Baby This Week

Seven is the number to remember, since that’s how many ounces and inches your baby-to-be will clock in at by week’s end. Right now, his or her little arms and legs are finally proportionate to rest of the body. 

He or she also will be covered in a white, wax-like coating called vernix caseosa. It’s there to protect your baby’s still developing, delicate skin from the drying and chapping effects of amniotic fluid. In fact, it’s one of the reasons babies have such soft skin after birth. Vernix also acts as a lubrication to help your baby pass through the birth canal with more ease.

Other exciting happenings this week:

  • The areas of your baby’s brain that are responsible for his or her senses are rapidly developing.
  • If your baby-to-be is a girl, there are already about six million eggs at home in her ovaries.
  • Baby’s fatty tissue continues to develop with an upswing of brown fat, which provides warmth after birth, this week.
  • Your baby’s permanent teeth are beginning to grow behind his or her already-formed, but yet to descend baby teeth buds.

At Your Doctor’s Office

If you are at all concerned about any shooting pain you may be experiencing around your lower belly and/or pelvic area, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider. As noted, round ligament pain is very common. However, you don’t want to confuse that pain with something more serious.

For instance, if a sharp, increasingly intensive pain that doesn’t resolve within 30 to 60 minutes could point to preeclampsia or preterm labor. And if that stabbing sensation is on just your right side, that may mean appendix problems. It’s especially important to contact your doctor or midwife if your pain is accompanied by bloody or unusual discharge; fever; chills; nausea or vomiting; lower back pain; or if it burns when you use the bathroom.

Most importantly, listen to your body, but remain calm. While these or other problems could be afoot, sometimes pregnancy is simply just uncomfortable and there’s nothing to worry about. See your practitioner promptly to find out.

Special Considerations

If you’ve previously had a spontaneous premature birth, your healthcare provider may suggest you begin to get progesterone shots (also called 17P) between week 16 and week 24 of your pregnancy, continuing until week 37. The hormone progesterone works to prevent contractions, thus increasing your chances of delivering your baby at full term.

Alternatively, if you’re at risk of preterm birth because of a short cervix, vaginal progesterone may be given. At home, you’ll use an applicator to insert a vaginal progesterone suppository or capsule into your vagina daily until around 37 weeks.

Neither option is recommended for women carrying multiples.

Upcoming Doctor’s Visits

Your next prenatal visit is likely in just a week’s time. If you’re scheduled to have a 20-week ultrasound, know that this appointment will be longer than your last visit. You also may need to arrive with a full bladder to better facilitate quality images, so double check before you arrive.

In addition to the ultrasound, your healthcare provider will once again check your weight. Know that by now, you may have gained around 8 to 10 pounds—and that’s great news. While you likely have been gaining 1 to 2 pounds weekly, you can now expect to gain about a half pound to a pound each week throughout the remainder of your pregnancy.

Taking Care

While there’s no way to prevent round ligament pain, you can ease your discomfort. For instance, if sudden movements prompt your pain, consciously move slower when you’re changing positions to give your ligaments a chance to adjust. Warm baths may also help dull pain and relax you.

Don’t worry about the supposed dangers of taking a bath while pregnant; it’s mostly a myth. You simply need to keep that water temperature around 98.6 degrees and avoid soaking if your water has broken. (Hot tubs, jacuzzis, and saunas, however, are to be avoided, since they can rapidly—and dangerously—up your body temperature.)

For Partners

While your partner may already feel the baby move, there’s a good chance you won’t notice any kicks or wiggles quite yet. Your baby-to-be needs to grow a little bigger before his or her movements can be felt from the outside—something most people don’t experience until at least 28 weeks.

Verywell Checklist

  • Continue taking prenatal vitamins.
  • Continue drinking about eight to 12 glasses of water a day.
  • Add a nightly bath to your routine to help with pain and sleep.
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