Welcome to your week 19 pregnancy update where we outline the changes you and your baby are experiencing.
Baby is now around 15cm and is having a nice old time sloshing around your belly. Her hearing is becoming sharper all the time as her brain and ears develop. She’s been listening to all your digestive gurgles since around 13 weeks, but because sound travels four times faster through fluid than air, these days she gets to hear all kinds of things in the womb.
All sounds reach baby distorted, with lower base notes registering with baby more readily than high-pitched singing or voices. Baby hears the melody and rhythm of conversations going on around her, rather than anything specific – and her mother’s voice stands out. Your voice transmits through the fluids of the body as well as the walls of the womb, priming her to recognise and be soothed by your voice before she is even born. Don’t tell dad-to-be, but voices like his may not even cut through the general background noise to make it to the womb.
Baby might now be getting herself tangled and untangled in the umbilical cord, becoming more and more active and co-ordinated. She’s now weighing around 1/8th of what she will when she is born. If your baby is a little girl, her vagina, uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes are in place. Females have a limited supply of eggs in their lifetime and at this point she will have 6 million eggs – yet studies show her egg supply is likely to decrease to approximately one million by birth. If your baby is a boy, his genitals are distinct and recognizable and his tiny testes may be starting to descend, though will have not yet passed the abdominal wall into their final destination – the scrotum.
Just like adults, all babies are different and develop at varying rates in the womb. This information gives a general idea of your baby’s development and progress.
The Mum Update
It’s getting close to the halfway mark! If everyone else is saying they could feel their baby moving by now but you can’t, don’t despair! The average is 18-22 weeks and it can depend on things such as muscle tone, your size and accuracy of your due date.
Your baby belly is likely popping out now. Investing in maternity clothes is worthwhile because not only will be comfy as you grow in size, you’ll return to them after baby is born as you drop in size. When you shop for maternity clothes, buy your regular size in maternity.
If you haven’t already, you can start thinking about baby names. Many people have a list of favourites and then wait until the baby is born to finally agree on a name. Sometimes couple have very different ideas about names for their child. Do you plan to honour a close friend or relative by using their name? Will you use a family name? What problems could arise if you choose a peculiar, difficult-to-say or hard-to-spell name? What do the initials spell out? You could try making a list of your favourite baby names. Ask your partner to do the same then swap lists and cross off any names you don’t like on each other’s list. Hopefully you will have at least one you both like. If not, start again!