Your infant has had a growth spurt this week, measuring six inches long and weighing just over half a pound. Furthermore, the child's nails are coated with a cheesy varnish.
What do you mean? You heard that correctly: the fetus' skin is now covered with a defensive material called vernix caseosa (vernix is the Latin term for "varnish"; caseosa means "cheese"). It's greasy and white, and it's made up of lanugo, oil from your baby's glands, and dead skin cells.
Vernix is a waxy "cheese" that covers the baby's delicate skin from the underlying amniotic fluid. It does not sound enticing, but it's there for a reason. He'd be wrinkled at birth if he didn't have it, as you'd be if you soaked in a bath for nine months.
As delivery approaches, the vernix sheds, but some babies — particularly those born prematurely — can still be wrapped in it at birth, giving you a glimpse of your baby's first anti-wrinkle cream.
19 weeks pregnant is how many months?
You're in month 5 of your pregnancy if you're 19 weeks old. There are just four months left!
Your Body at Week 19
Nothing beats falling into bed after a long, stressful day, particularly when you're pregnant. You throw back the blankets and plan to peacefully float into dreamland, aching for a full night's sleep — practically, if your back has been acting up again.
But, if you're like many pregnant women, leg cramps might be keeping you awake at night — apart from choosing what color to paint the nursery. During the second and third trimesters, excruciating spasms that radiate up and down the calves are very common. Although these cramps can happen at any time of day, you'll feel them — yeah, boy, you'll notice them! — more at night.
Nobody knows for sure what triggers them, but there are lots of logical hypotheses. It's possible that the leg muscles are simply tired from bearing all of the extra weight that comes with pregnancy. At 19 weeks pregnant, the uterus is compressing the blood vessels that bring blood to and from your thighs. There's also evidence that it's due to a bad diet or a lack of hydration, but this hypothesis hasn't been confirmed by science.
When a leg cramp strikes, whatever the cause, you'll need a fast cure — particularly if it's standing (or lying) between you and a good night's sleep. Now here's a little something for you: Straighten your leg and return your ankle and toes to your shins with a gentle flex.
Feeling baby's kicks
Your girlfriend, like your best friend, said she felt her baby kick by this stage in her pregnancy, but you haven't felt it yet. And for this morning's gas bubbles... Wasn't it a lot of fun?
Perhaps, but perhaps not. The first tiny kicks can be detected in a variety of ways, from the tiniest flutter to the most insistent slug, between weeks 18 and 22 on average. Or as gas bubbles that aren't gas at all — you might think it's all the dried fruit you've been eating for days.
Some of that has to do with the weight — the lighter you are, the more likely you are to notice gestures sooner. It even has much to do with the muscle tone. The better it is to feel such punches, for example, the more relaxed your uterine muscles are. As a result, second-timers seem to notice them earlier than first-timers. Part of that has to do with the baby's position: it's more difficult to detect vibrations while the baby kicks inward.
Furthermore, an incorrect due date might cause you to question whether the first kick was really your baby's. Don't fear, until your kid masters the strategy — and grows tall enough to pack a powerful punch — there'll be no mistaking the real thing.