19 Weeks Pregnant

Congratulations, you are halfway along your pregnancy! This is a busy week for the development of your baby’s senses. Areas in the brain are specializing to refine vision, smell, taste, touch and hearing. Communication with your baby is getting real now. Start singing lullabies and read her stories.

Your baby’s development at 19 weeks

At 19 weeks, your baby is 6 inches long, and she is growing at a fast pace. The sensory development is on the rise. Your baby can hear you and she might be able to taste the amniotic fluid she swallows. The arms, legs and body are now well proportioned, as you might be able to see in the ultrasound pictures. More cartilage is being transformed into bone, which means grasping and kicking are done more firmly and controlled now. Your baby might also grow hair on her scalp already, although you will not be able to see this yet at a 3D scan. The skin of your baby is getting covered in vernix – a white, creamy substance that protects her sensitive skin from the amniotic fluid. This will shed by the time of birth, although some premature-born babies can be covered with vernix.

Your body and lifestyle at 19 weeks

Your uterus is getting crowded after this halfway mark of pregnancy. Be prepared with comfortable maternity wear, midwife advice, a nutrition plan and a schedule for your most important ultrasounds and check-ups.

This is also a period of pregnancy called quickening – when mums start feeling their baby’s movements. It usually happens between 18 and 21 weeks, but if you only start feeling movements later, it is not a worrying sign. Try to pat or brush your belly whenever you get signals from the baby. She might be able to feel it and a true bond will start to form between you two. For many mums, this is an experience that helps to become aware of how real the baby is. It’s a magical moment. Share with your close ones. Everybody is delighted to feel the baby kicking.

Ultrasound scans you can take at 19 weeks

One of the most important pregnancy scans is the anomaly scan. Book this scan before the end of week 21. It is recommended to have this scan for assessment of risks and of the general health and well-being of the baby.

You can already have a growth scan at this time if you haven’t yet. This is to track how your baby is growing in size. Your sonographer can explain you in detail all the measurements that are taken during a growth scan appointment and how the results can be used.

You can also have a gender scan, although it is better to wait until after 20 weeks for clearer images that can confirm the gender of your baby with accuracy.

Schedule an appointment for a 4D Baby Scan to see your baby in motion, floating and, if you’re in luck, grasping and kicking. For better video quality, book an HD Live 4D Scan.

Best Times to Get a Pregnancy Ultrasound

After your first appointment with your OB doctor, it is advised to make a planner for your pregnancy scans and tests. Although most scans can be taken in a flexible period of time, for some ultrasounds there is an optimal time frame.

11 Weeks – the Early Pregnancy Scan

This is the first baby scan you can take and one of the most important ones. The early pregnancy scan, also called a viability scan or a dating scan, confirms pregnancy, calculates your estimated due date and checks for twin pregnancy. It can be taken starting with week 7 of pregnancy. The scan images will not show much, but their symbolic value makes them a precious memory.

12 Weeks – the NT Scan

The NT scan is carried out at 11 to 13 weeks and is designed to provide initial measurements of your baby and identify the risk for Down syndrome and other abnormalities. Screening tests for Down syndrome are also taken at 12 or 13 weeks.

16 – 24 Weeks – the Growth Scan

The best time for a growth scan is the one recommended by your doctor. This baby scan can be taken several times and records measurements of your baby. These measurements are compared to the average sizes. The purpose is to track your baby’s development and make sure that your pregnancy progresses as planned.

20 Weeks – the Anomaly Scan

The Anomaly Scan is a notable pregnancy scan, carried out between 18 and 21 weeks. The sonographer will look at the scan in detail to analyse specific anatomical structures.

20 – 36 Weeks – the Gender Scan

The best time to take a scan for finding out the gender is after week 20. The gender scan can also be carried out earlier, at 17 weeks.

26 – 29 Weeks – the 3D/4D Scan and HD Live Scan

The 3D, 4D and HD Live scans can be carried out between 17 and 32 weeks, but the best time for a really cute picture of your baby is after week 26 and before week 30. Before 26 weeks, your baby’s skin is very transparent and you will not be able to see your baby’s face very clearly. After week 30, the chances to see your baby’s face at all are small.

32 Weeks – the Wellbeing Scan

Also called the Late Pregnancy Scan, this ultrasound is carried out between 25 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. Checking the overall wellbeing of your baby indicates how your baby is prepossessing before the big day.

Packing the essentials for your hospital bag

You should plan the list for your hospital bag as soon as you decide whether you will give birth at the hospital or at a birth clinic. The bag should be all set up and ready to grab two or three weeks before your due date at the latest. Your midwife or your antenatal class instructor will help you with the details, maternity notes and all the important to-do lists for the big moment.

It is recommended to pack two small bags, in order to have the items for labour separated from the items prepared for after birth.

Make sure to include the following essentials in your labour bag:

  • your maternity notes
  • a list of all the important phone numbers (have them in your phone as well)
  • about 3 changes of loose clothes to wear during labour; pick the most comfortable and breathable clothes
  • a dressing gown and slippers
  • socks or leg warmers
  • a birth ball, in case you’ve planned to use one (check with the hospital or your birth clinic to see if they already have one)
  • a toiletry bag with toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, towel, hairbrush, hairbands and clips (if you have long hair) and a lip balm
  • a sponge or a water spray for your partner to cool you down during the heat waves of labour
  • sanitary pads
  • healthy snacks, drinks and a straw
  • your tablet, iPod, magazines or a book to help you pass the time or relax
  • phone and charger
  • props or pillows to make yourself more comfortable at the hospital (they might not have enough extra pillows)

Have a separate bag for items needed after your baby is born. If you will have a straightforward birth, you and your baby will probably arrive at home a few hours after birth. If you will give birth by C-section, you may stay between 3 and 5 days in the postnatal ward, in which case you may need to pack a few extra essentials.

Here are the basic items for your after-birth bag:

  • comfortable clothes to wear after you have given birth and for going home
  • a baby blanket to wrap your new-born baby in
  • baby clothes, hat and nappies
  • if you’re giving birth in the winter, pack a jacket or a snowsuit for the baby
  • an infant car seat
  • two or three nursing bras
  • breast pads
  • maternity pads
  • front-opening shirts will come in handy for breastfeeding
  • travel-size toiletries
  • towels
  • eye mask and earplugs for restful sleep and naps

12th Week of Pregnancy

In this last week of your first trimester of pregnancy, your baby will start moving around more, flexing muscles and kicking. It’s now time to switch to comfy maternity wear and discuss with your midwife about changes for the next trimester.

Your baby’s development

Most babies are about the size of a kiwi by at week 12, and a bump may become visible by the end of the first trimester. Your baby’s legs and arms are fully formed, and reflexes have appeared. You might not feel these moves, but your baby will feel when you press your tummy. She can already move her fingers and wiggle her toes. If you’ll have an ultrasound this week, you’ll see that the face looks much more like a human face, with the eyes close together and the ears in the right position.

How your days are changing

You may experience dizziness or the feeling of fainting during the 12th week, especially when standing up briskly. This is caused by the rise of progesterone levels in your body. The role of progesterone is to increase the blood flow to the baby, which means that the blood flow in your body may slightly decrease. Don’t skip your meals and make sure that your sugar levels are sufficient.

As you enter the second trimester of pregnancy, you may notice that several symptoms have waned, such as frequent urination or having excess saliva. Certain smells may become easier to detect. If you’re having problems with strong smells that make you feel nauseous, keep a citrus scent at hand, maybe on your scarf. Your appetite should increase over the next weeks, and you will need plenty of Vitamin C, Zinc, Calcium, Beta-carotene and omega oils for a healthy development. Find out the basic nutritional needs for your second trimester and the recommended food sources.

Ultrasounds in week 12

The Nuchal Translucency scan is ideally carried during the 12th week. This is the first ultrasound to check the baby’s measurements and it also assesses the risk of Down syndrome. Many pregnant women have the first ultrasound during this week, to check how the development is going and to confirm the due date calculations.

The 9th Week of Pregnancy

As you’re advancing into the 3rd month of pregnancy, your baby keeps busy growing. The little one is now almost one inch long and is starting to get the baby-like look more and more each day. The eyes, nose and mouth are becoming more distinct, while tiny ear buds are appearing. Eyes will stay shut for another 5 months, but they have already developed. The essential organs have formed by now and they continue to develop and perfect their functions. Your placenta has more complex functions and has started to produce nutrients and to eliminate waste. You can’t feel anything by touching your belly just yet, but you might hear it. Around this time, your baby’s heart beat should be audible with a Doppler device, so make sure to ask for it at your next appointment.

How to take care of yourself at 9 weeks pregnant

It’s likely that your baby bump is barely visible, and yet all these highly-complex changes are going on through your body. At this stage of pregnancy, most women have symptoms of tiredness and morning sickness. Pregnancy hormones are kicking in, sometimes leading to headaches, backaches, mood swings and other symptoms.  It’s important to take really good care of yourself to diminish the negative symptoms and to make sure your body has enough activity and nutrients to keep you and your baby healthy and growing.

Set your appetite on fruits and vegetables. All day. Every day. There are no healthier and safer sources of vitamins and minerals than the natural ones – fruits and vegetables. If you are having morning sickness, your appetite could be decreased, so try to set up a meal schedule with small and regular snacks. Make it easier to adjust to your new lifestyle by seeking advice from a nutritionist or by informing yourself from the web. There are now quite a few useful apps that can help you follow a nutrition plan for the pregnancy months ahead of you.

Further preparations

Schedule an antenatal appointment with your doctor or midwife if you haven’t done so yet. This is mainly for taking routine tests, but you can also get more informed on your progress and get recommendations on eating, rest and exercise based on your medical history and condition. If you have not had a confirmation of pregnancy from your OB yet, do so by taking the first ultrasound scan, called the Early Pregnancy scan or Viability scan. Based on the early pregnancy scan, the sonographer will calculate your estimated due date and check whether you have a single pregnancy or a twin pregnancy.

After you have had confirmation of pregnancy from your doctor, you now have the certainty needed to make the official announcement to your friends, relatives, co-workers and your boss. You can show the first baby scan photos to your close ones and enjoy the wonderful experience ahead.

Celebrity Baby Names – Top Picks for Inspiration

Celebrities choose the coolest and weirdest names for their babies. Some with complex and sought-out meanings behind them, others chosen just because of the cool sound, here are some of the most inspiring baby names of celebrities.

Baby boy names

George Alexander Louis

Parents: Kate Middleton and Prince William

Prince George was named after the Queen’s father – King George VI. The name ‘Louis’ is rumoured to be after Lord Louis Mountbatten. When Prince George will come to rule the country, he will be King George VII.

 

Romeo James

Parents: Victoria Beckham and David Beckham

Apparently ‘Romeo’ is just a name that Victoria and David liked very much.

 

Angelo James

Parents: Adele and Simon Konecki

Adele and Simon kept their baby boy’s name a secret for almost 4 months after his birth. The singer first revealed the name by wearing a gold necklace with the name Angelo.

 

Rex Rayne Wood

Parents: Fearne Cotton and Jesse Wood

The parents did not reveal their inspiration for their baby boy’s name, but it is certainly unique and it has a cool sound.

 

Milan

Parents: Shakira and Gerard Piqué

Shakira revealed the origin of her baby boy’s name on her website: “The name Milan (pronounced MEE-lahn), means dear, loving and gracious in Slavic; in Ancient Roman, eager and laborious; and in Sanskrit, unification.”

 

Astala Dylan Willow and Phaedra Bloom Forever

Parents: Peaches Geldof and Thomas Cohen (S.C.U.M.)

Geldof chose a Jewish name for her first-born, picked up from a baby name book. ‘Astala’ is supposed to be the male version of the Jewish girl name Esther. As for Phaedra, born one year later, Geldof declared in an interview that she had chosen the name from the song ‘Some Velvet Morning’, by Lee Hazlewood. The boy was also named ‘Bloom’, after Peaches’ middle name Honeyblossom and after Nirvana album ‘In Bloom’.

 

Baby girl names

Theodora Rose

Parents: Robbie Williams and Ayda Field

Robbie declared he wanted an old-school name for her daughter, and had several such names already planned before Theodora’s birth.

 

Isabelle Catherine

Parents: Emma Willis and Matt Willis

‘Isabelle Catherine’ is a beautiful and well-chosen baby name, much more conventional than her brother’s name: Ace Billy.

 

Marnie Rose

Parents: Lily Allen and Sam Cooper

The name ‘Rose’ was chosen after her mother’s middle name.

 

Fox India

Parents: Emma Ferguson and Mark Owen

The parents have not declared their inspiration for the highly criticized name ‘Fox India’.

 

Marlowe Ottoline Layng

Parents: Sienna Miller and Tom Sturridge

The name ‘Marlowe’ has been reportedly chosen after Christopher Marlowe, a great Elizabethan dramatist who influenced Shakespeare.

 

Tabitha (Xiao Xi)

Parents: Hugh Grant and Tinglan Hong

Hugh Grant’s daughter also carries a Chinese name – Xiao Xi – which means ‘happy surprise’.

 

Preparing for pregnancy

There are a few things you should do and know about your body and lifestyle before trying to conceive. If you’ve decided to have a baby, having the time to plan and prepare for pregnancy is an opportunity and you should make the most of it. Get a healthy start into pregnancy and plan ahead as early as 1 year to safely prepare your body for the big journey.

Get a full health check-up

Get a complete health check-up before planning to get pregnant. How else will you know if your body is ready for pregnancy? Discuss your medical history with your doctor and your prescription medication, so you’ll be fully informed of all the risks for your pregnancy and your baby. Check if you have immunity to rubella and chickenpox or if you need vaccines. Go to the dentist as early as 6 months before getting pregnant to check if there’s anything to fix so you don’t have to worry about tooth aches while you’re pregnant. Schedule a Pap test right before trying to get pregnant, to know you’re good to go.

It’s also important to know your blood type and that of the father, as they might be incompatible. In this way you can prevent HR disease, which is caused by blood incompatibility and can be treated during pregnancy.

Take folic acid

Taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid as early as 2 months before pregnancy has been shown to reduce the risk of neural tube defects and to improve fertility. Talk to your doctor about the amount of folic acid supplements you need and other prenatal vitamins.

Control your weight

Studies show that women who are significantly overweight or underweight have higher risks of developing complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Plan a balanced diet as early as possible for getting to your ideal weight in a healthy and natural way. Make sure to choose a healthy diet. Severe diets and starving will have negative effects on your chances of conception instead of preparing your body for a healthy pregnancy. You’ll be much more successful if you combine your diet with an exercise routine, to get in shape faster and have more energy.

Eat healthily

Ideally you should get your vitamins and minerals from food and not from supplements. Aim for fixed and healthy meals that include plenty of nuts, fruits and vegetables, as well as red meat and poultry. Oily fish is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, but it is not advised to consume more than 2 fish meals per week. Avoid fish that contains high levels of mercury, such as: shark, marlin, swordfish and tuna.

Stop smoking

Smoking tobacco releases harmful substances that can be stored in your body for longer periods of time so you should stop smoking early before getting pregnant. If your partner smokes too, now is the ideal time for both to stop. Also avoid second hand smoke before and during pregnancy, as it can be harmful for your baby.

Stop using contraception

It is usually advised to get off the pill a few months before trying to conceive. Sometimes, ovulation can be irregular after stopping contraception pills. Depending on the method you use, it may take longer than a month for your hormonal cycle to return to normal. Visit your OB and discuss this in advance.