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Pregnancy Week 19

Your baby in pregnancy week 19 can weigh up to 8.5 ounces and is 6" long. The growth of your little one is going to escalate quite fast. This week, your baby will also produce a sticky, white substance called vernix, which protects your baby's skin from the outer amniotic fluid. You know what happens when we keep our hands in water for a long time? The skin gets all wrinkled up. However, with vernix, your little one's skin is kept a bit softer and smoother.

Your baby can produce an excretory substance called meconium, which is made of lanugo, the baby fine hair; mucus; bile; cells that have been shed by the baby's intestines and amniotic fluid. It is a tarry substance and is greenish black. It will be excreted when your baby is born. It is very normal for a newborn baby to excrete it soon after delivery, but it's very dangerous if it's passed while the baby is still inside the uterus, as it can cause fetal distress. It is dangerous because the fetus breathes in and breathes out amniotic fluid every day, when inside the uterus, and so if the baby excretes meconium, it can breathe this in, together with the amniotic fluid, and it then may get into the lungs.

At delivery when the water bag bursts, the healthcare professional will know if there is meconium in the amniotic sac, because the usually clear amniotic fluid will be greenish or yellowish. If the color is not clear the healthcare professional will suck out the amniotic fluid together with the meconium using a vacuum suction apparatus, as soon as the baby is born and before the little one's initial breath. This is to avoid any undue problems such as pneumonia after delivery. But passing meconium in the uterus or in utero, is not a common episode at all, so do not worry.

If your baby is a girl, by now she would have produced around 6 million ovum or eggs in her ovaries, but the number will reduce by a few million by the time she is delivered. Her brain is specializing to respond to touch, sight, hearing, taste and smell.

This pregnancy week you may experience a bit more ligament pain. From now onwards make sure that you rest well, relax, and take things as easy as you can. Be careful as you may not be as stable as before, because your body's center of gravity would have moved, and so you must adjust your posture to accommodate that, and so your posture will not be straight, but bent slightly back. You may also feel a bit dizzy and may experience a form of low blood pressure called, postural hypotension. So learn to move slowly, stand up and get up slowly as well. Some women may also feel supine hypotension that is low blood pressure when lying down, causing dizziness. You can overcome this by turning to one side.

You can fly till about the 34th week, after which there are many restrictions placed. No matter how you travel, you must stop or get up and walk. Or sit in your place and do some exercises like flexing your toes or feet and stretching your legs. This is to help in the circulation and to prevent blood clots. Eat a lot of fibre-rich food especially lots of fruits and vegetables, and drink lots of water and you and your little one will stay healthy.

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