How Your Baby Grows Inside You: Week 19
This week is all about sensory development and more growth! Your baby now weighs about 200 grams and her/his overall length from crown to rump (buttocks) is 15 cm. Between now and birth, your baby will increase her/his weight by more than 15 times! Needless to say, you are about to be heavily pregnant.
Your baby’s brain continues to grow at an amazing pace too. Over the next 20 weeks, the brain will make many connections between the developed neurons. This process is called synaptogenesis. About 17% of the synaptogenesis happens during pregnancy and about 83% takes place after birth.
You can actually enhance your baby’s sensory development. Just keep talking and singing to your baby or play soothing music.
Signs and Symptoms
If you notice any skin pigmentation on your face, palms, neck or underarms, don’t worry. This is fairly normal and is an effect of pregnancy hormones. Your skin will come back to its original glow once the hormones settle down.
You will now feel and look pregnant as both, your abdomen and buttocks show visible growth. The buttocks increase in size to ensure that there is comfortable space for the baby to grow in the womb.
You should now start two very important exercises – Kegels and deep breathing. Kegels will help tone your pelvic floor muscles and deep breathing will help build lung capacity and also tone your abdomen; both very important components in the labor and birth process.
Play your favourite soothing tunes every day, especially when you want to relax. Once your baby is born, you will be pleasantly surprised to see that s/he can recognize the same tunes, even as a newborn! So after delivery, if you and your baby need calming down, just play those tunes. Handy tip, that one!
Report to your doctor if your feel itchiness on your palms and the soles of your feet. This does not mean that you are going to be rich soon (we wish). It could signify a problem with the functioning of the liver and should be attended to by a doctor.
Old Wives’ Tales
A popular Indian old wives’ tale says that if a pregnant woman’s buttocks grow prominently during pregnancy, then she is carrying a baby girl and if it is her abdomen which grows more prominently, the baby is a boy.
Rest assured, this is a complete myth. Buttocks surely increase in size during pregnancy irrespective of the gender of the baby. The shape and size of the abdomen depends on how the baby is lying in the womb.
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