You are now 19 weeks pregnant (or in your 20th week if that’s how you prefer to count it).
How your baby’s growing
Congratulations — you’ve made it to the halfway mark. This is a crucial time for your baby’s sensory development which takes place in specialized areas of the brain. If your baby is a girl, she has six million eggs in her ovaries… they’ll dwindle to one million by the time she’s born. Read more information on your baby’s development this week.
How your life’s changing
Your uterus has grown well into your abdomen — the top of it probably reaches your belly button. From now on it will grow at about a centimeter per week. You may also notice some aching in your lower abdomen. It’s nothing to be alarmed about — it’s just the stretching of your muscles and ligaments supporting your expanding belly.
Many pregnant women worry that they won’t be able to cope with the pain of labour and childbirth. Some women consider an elective caesarean to avoid the problem completely, but this isn’t necessarily a good idea as the risks with a caesarean delivery are much higher than with a normal delivery and there will still be pain involved, albeit after the birth. There are many effective forms of pain relief available in labour and delivery units. You could try some natural methods of pain relief first, including labouring in a birthing pool, which can help women cope with the pain of labour without any drugs at all. The more you find out about what is available or what you can try, the more in control you will feel and the less worried you will be.
Getting a good night’s sleep when you’re pregnant can be difficult, particularly if you have heartburn or indigestion. If that’s the case then food will be the last thing on your mind, but some pregnant women wake up in the night with hunger pangs and have to have a midnight feast before they can get back to sleep. Another cause of disrupted nights may be your partner’s elbow in your side because pregnancy can cause nasal congestion resulting in — yes, you guessed it — snoring. Follow our tips for a good night’s sleep.
Pregnancy Tip: Soothe Aching Muscles
“Try gently massaging your ligaments or use a heat pad, hot water bottle or warmed facecloth. If the ache continues, if it’s one-sided or if it’s down your back, it’s a good idea to get it checked by your doctor or midwife.” — Anonymous