19 Weeks Pregnant
Fetal development in week 19
Your favorite womb-hijacker is suddenly huge, at 10 inches in length!
Pick your jaw off the floor mama. Yes, your wee baby IS bigger this week, but only because we're now able to measure their little legs which have straightened out enough to be measured accurately.
Just in case the random medical details weren't confusing enough already, it's standard practice to measure fetuses from head to toe in the second half of pregnancy, rather than from crown to rump as we did in the first half.
Week 20 is actually when most people transition the measurement over, but we thought you'd appreciate knowing a week early.
This week your lil' fetus will start digesting the extremely appetizing diet of amniotic fluid and baby wee, as they are now capable of swallowing, digesting, and passing the fluid as far as their tiny "large" intestines.
Fortunately for you, the solid waste by-products will build up slowly into a tarry lump of baby-poop and won't be coming out while they're still in your womb.
Some time shortly after your tiny poop factory is born, this fun lump will become the first in a verrrrry long production line of baby poops.
What finally comes out - commonly known as "meconium" to the science world, will be black and sticky. By the time you're done dealing with their tar poops, you'll be relieved to see that first sweet-smelling-but-runny breastmilk poop.
And how's mom doing?
Okay, it's that time again!Basically, if you don't want stretch marks you're going to have to work for it - or pray to the gods of genetics that your family is one of the few with super-elastic skin genes
Have you been taking your daily prenatals and eating right? How about staying active (minus the high-risk bed-resters)?
Unlike generations before you who believed pregnancy was a nine-month disease that renders women incapable of lifting a finger, much less taking a brisk walk outdoors, we now have solid scientific evidence that physical activity (within reason, skip the bungee jumping and snowboarding) is a good thing when you're pregnant.
In fact, if you're otherwise healthy, most physicians will recommend continuing or starting a pregnancy-friendly exercise regimen. Proper exercise can do a lot towards increasing your overall flexibility (at a time where your body wants to stiffen up) thereby somewhat reducing the pain and tension during labor.
If you don't like exercise, then think of it as physical activity, because seriously, nothing is worse for a normal pregnancy than sitting around doing nothing.
Oh yeah, not only will you weaken your heart, but you're likely to end up with of stretch marks due to reduced muscle tone.
Don't want stretch marks? Skip the expensive creams and get active!
Let's be clear, we're not guaranteeing no stretch marks for the women who take daily walks, but if you're determined to stay fit throughout pregnancy and make time for an hour of physical activity into each day, you can avoid or minimize them.
Stretch marks occur when the baby's growth-rate (and/or your weight gain due to pigging out on crap) surpasses your skin's ability to stretch, which causes the tearing and subsequent scarring that leaves angry red marks that eventually fade to a lighter color than your normal skin tone.
The only reliable way to combat that scarring, is to maintain your muscle tone (by - guess what? staying active!), which effectively slows the stretching of your skin to a rate that prevents it from tearing into rivulets of scar tissue across your belly, hips, butt, and/or breasts.
Basically, if you don't want stretch marks you're going to have to work for it - or pray to the gods of genetics that your family is one of the few with super-elastic skin genes.
What're some other reasons to stay active while pregnant? Well, obviously you're going to gain less unnecessary weight (which also decreases your chance of getting stretch marks and guarantees you a quicker bounce-back time to your pre-baby body), you'll experience less pain during labor, you'll be more flexible throughout pregnancy, have less heart burn, aaand last but not least: you'll significantly lower your risk for Gestational Diabetes, and Pre-eclampsia.
Obviously, you're going to want to avoid sports where you are at risk of falling or being hit in the stomach. Basically, stay away from sports like basketball, volleyball, tennis, soccer, and skiing. Instead, opt for the pool, weight room, and/or yoga class.
And to be clear: we're not saying you should stress yourself out trying to become a world-class athlete right in the middle of your pregnancy, but if you're eating right and getting enough sleep, daily physical activity during this health-critical phase of your life, will keep your collective energy levels higher and increase your feeling of well-being, as well as ensuring that you and your baby are in top physical and mental condition after birth.
So, what're you waiting for?? Get movin' mama!
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The Sarcastic Journalist is a freelance writer and mother of two living near Houston, Texas. She has a degree in journalism and an addiction to magazines. Here, she recounts the 40 not-so-glowing but hilarious weeks of her pregnancy!
Sarcastic Journalist ?
You see, many people view that belly as a way to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. I don’t know how many times I walked into a coffee shop only for them to ask me if I wanted my drink “decaf.”
Uh, no. If I wanted my drink without the “good stuff” in it, I would have told you so. Also, why are you looking at me strange? What? You don’t allow cigar smoking inside Starbucks? Okay, fine.
All kidding aside, it really chaps my hide when I see people telling a pregnant woman what to do. Even better is when the advice is coming from someone who has never been pregnant.
I know that the 16-year-old making my mocha thinks that all caffeine is bad, but it isn’t. That is because she hasn’t studied up on what is okay during pregnancy.
Instead, she listens to what she has heard and assumes that any woman that dare drink a cup of joe that isn’t decaf is going to have a five-headed baby.
Even if the baby does have five heads, I’ll make sure to teach those heads not to give unsolicited advice to pregnant women.