Your 19th Week

It’s easier now to think of your baby as a real person, especially if you see him on another scan around this time. He’s almost fully formed and the function of his organs is well advanced. You’ll be taking your maternal responsibilities very seriously, but don’t let anxieties build up. Talk over any worries you may have with your partner and your doctor; many pregnant women also seek comfort and advice from their own mothers.


You’ll probably find you’re becoming more attached to your baby each day

You are 18 Weeks and 1 Day 153 days to go…

As you approach the halfway mark of your pregnancy, you’ll continue to be astounded that there’s a baby growing inside you!

Your baby today

Anchored to the placenta by the umbilical cord, your baby floats in amniotic fluid. Your uterus provides a warm, protective environment for your baby with lots of room to move in near weightless conditions.

The further along the path of pregnancy you are, the more attached and protective you’re likely to feel toward your baby. What was once a tiny bundle of cells now looks like an almost fully formed baby—and you will continue to be amazed that you and your partner have made that baby and that this incredible process is happening inside your body.

Once you feel your baby move (see You are 19 Weeks and 3 Days) within the next few weeks, the attachment to him is likely to grow even stronger. While you may have some anxieties at times, try to relax and enjoy your pregnancy—it will be over before you know it.

… Doctor
Q: I have a high-powered career and have hardly had any time to think about the baby since I’ve been pregnant. Will this stop us from bonding?
A: Even if you work full time while you’re pregnant, this doesn’t have to have a negative effect on your relationship with your baby. As your baby grows, you will probably find that you start to develop a relationship with your “belly” as you anticipate your baby’s movements and perhaps talk to him. Make sure you plan enough maternity leave before your due date since this gives you time for practical and emotional preparations, as well as time to rest.

There’s some evidence to suggest that too much stress in a mother can affect her unborn baby’s brain development (see You are 16 Weeks and 3 Days). This highlights the importance of ensuring you have regular opportunities to relax during pregnancy and so, if your work is stressful, maybe this would be a good time to look at your priorities.

… Health
It’s all a blur

Water retention in pregnancy can affect the eyes. Both the lens and cornea can become thicker, and there can be an increase in fluid in the eyeball, causing pressure and blurred vision. This usually resolves itself after the birth. Exercising to keep the fluid moving, and avoiding wearing contact lenses can help. Notify your doctor if you have vision problems.

You are 18 Weeks and 2 Days 152 days to go…

Although you won’t feel it yet, your baby may start to have hiccups at this stage of his development.

Your baby today

The sound of your baby’s rapidly moving heart muscle can be detected using a simple handheld listening device—the frequency change it produces is converted into a sound that is easy for you and your doctor to hear.

At around this time, your baby may start to hiccup. Just like your own, his hiccup is a short, powerful, jerky contraction of his diaphragm, which will last for less than a second.

Hiccups frequently follow each other in rapid succession and are often followed by gentle limb-stretching movements. No one is certain why babies hiccup. Perhaps it’s due to the immaturity of the nerves supplying the diaphragm, or else to your baby’s small stomach quickly becoming overdistended.

Your baby’s ears and eyes are now in their final position on his face. The ears have moved up from the jaw line and the eyes have moved from the side of the head to lie closer together, looking forward. The eyes move beneath the lids but not yet in a coordinated way. He will open them at around 26 weeks.

Your baby is looking more human and fully formed every day, with well-developed facial features and limbs—and he may even get the hiccups.

… Nutrition
Not all fat is bad

Many fats are healthy, and should be consumed as part of a heart-healthy diet. The key is to choose healthy fat. For example unsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil, canola oil, and in nuts and avocados, are good for you and your baby.

Saturated fats, such as those found in butter and whole milk, and trans fats (chemically altered vegetable oils) found in many processed foods, should be kept to a minimum. Substitute good fats for bad fats in your diet:

  • When making a salad dressing or in cooking, choose olive oil or canola oil. Store-bought salad dressings are often high in saturated fat.

  • Eat nuts and avocados, which are full of healthy fats.

  • Eat white meat since it is lower in saturated fat than red meat.

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