The fetus now measures between 13.4cm 15.2cm in length (crown to rump) and weighs approximately 200g. This week marks the halfway point of a full term pregnancy.
Ultrasound image of fetus at 19 weeks gestation.
This week marks the halfway point of a full term pregnancy. The fetus now measures between 13.4cm 15.2cm in length (crown to rump) and weighs approximately 200g. The fetus is now covered with a greasy, white, protective substance called vernix caseosa that protects the delicate skin from the amniotic fluid. The vernix is usually shed during the last few weeks of pregnancy, although some babies are born with some vernix remaining.
Key developments in the brain will take place during this week. In particular, sensory nerve cells, responsible for sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste are all developing in specialist areas of the brain. The actual production rate of nerve cells is slowing down as existing nerve cells grow and form ever-increasingly complex connections. The fetus now also sleeps and wakes in a regular pattern and is continuing to practice breathing movements in preparation for life outside the uterus.
The fetus continues to swallow amniotic fluid and the kidneys are now effectively producing urine. In addition to this, hair continues to sprout from the scalp.
Your uterus has now grown to the extent that it is level with your belly button. The uterus will continue to grow approximately 1cm per week for the remainder of the pregnancy.
This may be the week that you first feel fetal movement. Most women first experience this some time between 18 and 20 weeks, although there can be a large amount of variation. Many women report feeling fetal movement earlier with their second and/or subsequent pregnancies. Many women describe the sensation of early fetal movement as a ‘fluttering’ – also known as quickening.
If you are suffering from pregnancy-related back pain, improving your posture could help. Yoga is a good way to improve posture, but you should make sure that your yoga teacher knows that you are pregnant, as some yoga poses are not recommended during pregnancy. You may also be experiencing tingling and/or numbness in your fingers and/or toes. This is a common pregnancy symptom and is probably due to swelling tissue pressing on nerves. It is usually nothing to worry about, but you should talk to your midwife or Doctor if you are concerned about it.
You may also be continuing to suffer with occasional faintness and/or dizziness. This is likely to be caused by restricted blood flow to your brain due to compression of blood vessels by your uterus. If you start to feel dizzy, light-headed or faint, you should act immediately and sit, or lie down as soon as possible. Although occasional dizziness is normal for many women during pregnancy, you should approach your midwife or doctor if you are concerned.
Vaginal bleeding is not normal at this stage. Some abdominal pain and backache is normal. Vaginal discharge should be of consistent milky colour and volume. If it is pink or more voluminous you should see a medical professional. This is particularly true if you have had a previous late miscarriage, operation on your cervix or short cervix. It is also important if you are carrying twins.
The midwife will be able to provide you with advice. NHS hospitals may offer you the routine second scan at 18 weeks but it is better to defer it until 22 weeks when the view of the detailed structure is much better. This is called the anomaly scan.
General midwifery and medical advice is available in private clinics for which you do not require a referral letter. An ultrasound scan at this stage can check the baby for abnormalities and assess it's size. It can also determine the sex of the baby quite accurately. If you are concerned about your cervix becoming short or have other concerns about your cervix then an ultrasound scan of your cervix can be reassuring. This gives a better assessment when performed through the vagina.
If you are struggling with back pain a pregnancy safe massage may help.
' Professional and reassuring 'Helen Campbell
The sonographer was ready as soon as I arrived, and she was extremely calming, personable and professional. The scan and blood test where efficient without feeling rushed and all very easy. These appointments can feel uneasy and make you feel anxious but I felt reassured and in professional hands the whole time
I saw Kate throughout my first pregnancy and am now doing so again with my second. She is absolutely amazing, she explains everything really clearly, and has answered all sorts of bizarre questions and worries I have had. On top of being clinically excellent she is also just the loveliest person and always a pleasure to see.Sarah Elliott
We had the harmony test with the Birth Company and had a reassurance scan with sonographer Kirsty McGarry who was absolutely lovely and really put our minds at rest. We had been scared by our NHS dating scan and left feeling like there was something wrong. We explained the situation and was treated very professionally and with good care. Also speedy appointments also as I had phone in the morning and got an appointment by afternoon. So thankful.Ashley and Tom
Really friendly, efficient service. Great experience overall. Had the Panorama. My appointment was with Kate who was absolutely fantastic. The results came really quickly. Have a comparison with private healthcare elsewhere and must say that The Birth Company was just how I would like to be treated when I pay for medical services - attentively, calmly, friendly, in a pleasant environment that doesn't look like hospital. Top marks!Anna
' Efficient, friendly and always on hand to provide last minute appointments 'Hannah Murphy
The Birth Company has been excellent, providing timely scans and blood tests during my IVF treatment abroad. Staff are always friendly and extremely efficient. I would highly recommend coming here.
' Professional and friendly 'Lyndsey Dilla
When I first contacted the Birth Company I spoke to Danielle. She was fantastic. She went above & beyond to put me at easy & make the journey from Kent as stress free as possible. Every staff member that myself and my husband have come into contact with have been approachable, professional and friendly. Kate scanned me the first time and put me completely at easy. Lisa on reception is professional and very approachable. Highly recommended
' Highly recommended 'Emelie
Donald was so lovely! I was so nervous as I have a bad history and he was super quick and confirmed my baby's heartbeat as quickly as he could. He spent time showing me the baby and the anatomy and it was the best money I have ever spent! The reception girls were lovely too - considering they deal with babies day in day out they were super excited for me! Thank you so much one and all! If only I lived in London and could have all my scans with you!
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