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Pregnancy WEEKs

Pregnancy Week 19

Why Nutrition is Particularly Important Now

You are halfway through your second trimester and entering the fifth month now, and your belly is a hive of activity. An increasing number of women will finally feel their baby now. Read on to find out why some women have to wait longer for this, what foods you should avoid, and how your little one is developing in week 19 of your pregnancy.

What's Going On in Your Belly at 19 Weeks Pregnant?

The fetus is around 5-6 inches long (CRL) and weighs approx. 7 ounces. 

In the brain, the nerve cells for all five senses are continuing to grow: Sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Hearing is now particularly well-developed.  

Your baby is now about the size of a grapefruit.

Your baby is now about the size of a grapefruit.

Although the ventricles and atria are not yet separated, the heart is otherwise already fully functional and currently beats about twice as fast as an adult’s. There is also a lot happening in the lungs: The bronchi are developing. However, the baby can only breathe independently starting around week 34 of pregnancy, because until then the lungs are missing an important substance (surfactant), which enables the pulmonary alveoli to function.

A waxy vernix coating now completely covers the baby and protects it from the amniotic fluid. During labor, it serves as a lubricant as the baby passes through the birth canal. After birth, it helps keep the baby warm, moisturizes the skin, and also reduces infections due to its antibacterial properties. So there should be no rush to remove the residues. 

How Do You Feel at 19 Weeks Pregnant?

Still not felt your baby move yet? Don't worry, it will happen very soon now. Most expectant moms feel their baby's movements between weeks 19 and 22 of their pregnancy. If you are anxious, ask whether you have an anterior placenta when you attend your next medical checkup. If this is the case, you may not feel any movements until later on. The amount of amniotic fluid and the thickness of the abdominal wall can also influence when you feel movements.

Due to the growth of the baby and the placenta, you both need plenty of nutrients, vitamins, trace elements, and minerals. A well-balanced, varied diet is vital during pregnancy, but not all foods are suitable for pregnant women.

Which foods should you avoid during pregnancy? 

You should definitely not consume alcohol or any foods containing alcohol. It is impossible to define an amount of alcohol that is safe during pregnancy, so it is best to avoid it altogether.

To be on the safe side, reduce your intake of caffeine and drinks containing quinine (tonic water, bitter lemon).

To avoid infections with pathogens, there are some "forbidden foods" during pregnancy:

  • Raw meat and meat that is not fully cooked (e.g., steak, roast beef)
  • Cured meats, raw meat products (e.g., salami, smoked sausage, raw ham, and other charcuterie products) 
  • Smoked, raw, or uncooked fish and seafood 
  • Raw or undercooked eggs and dishes with raw egg (e.g., tiramisu) 
  • Pre-packed salads (tests showed increased levels of germs in many products), foods displayed on an open counter, ready-made   sandwiches and rolls, juices freshly squeezed in-store 
  • Unwashed fruits, vegetables, and salads 
  • Oily predatory fish such as tuna, pike, and king mackerel (due to possible contamination with heavy metals) 

If you are unsure about which foods you may eat during pregnancy, consult with your doctor. What you are and are not allowed to eat depends on whether you already have antibodies against certain pathogens (e.g., toxoplasmosis). 

The positive thing about these minor restrictions is that you will enjoy these treats all the more after pregnancy!

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