19 weeks pregnant: Pregnancy tips and nutrition
At a glance
Talk to and pat your tummy – it helps to calm your baby
Try pelvic floor exercises to prepare for labour
Keep your diet balanced, with a good selection of fruit and vegetables
Ante-natal classes help you to connect with like-minded expectant parents
Baby's development at 19 weeks
There is a whole lot of growing going on in your tummy. So even though baby is very active, it sleeps for up to 20 hours a day. You two aren’t necessarily on the same time clock either, so you may be woken up at night by restless movements. Gently caress your tummy and talk to your little bump, and hopefully you’ll both be able to get back to sleep. Baby isn’t very big yet, so there is, lots of room to do acrobatics. Arms and legs are moving, and there’s a lot of kicking, pedaling, turning, and somersaulting going on. To change position, baby pushes its feet against the wall of your uterus. That's why you sometimes see an ‘alien’ bump on your tummy. Remember to pat the bump to show that you are there!
The pelvic floor muscles hold everything in place. And it’s a great idea to start doing pelvic floor exercises as soon as you become pregnant, as they’ll reduce your risk of experiencing incontinence after baby arrives.
It’s easy to identify your pelvic floor muscles by stopping the flow of urine when you go to the toilet. However, don’t do this regularly as it can be harmful.
To strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, sit comfortably and squeeze them 10 to 15 times in a row. Make sure you don’t hold your breath or tighten your stomach, buttock or thigh muscles at the same time though.
Once you get used to that, try holding each squeeze for a few seconds. And as you get stronger, try adding more squeezes. Just be careful not to overdo it, and always have a rest between sets.
Eating healthily during pregnancy will help your baby to develop and grow. If you get hungry between meals, try not to eat snacks that are high in fat and/or sugar, such as sweets, biscuits, crisps or chocolate.
Instead, choose something healthier, such as:
- sandwiches or pitta bread filled with grated cheese, lean ham, mashed tuna, salmon, or sardines, with salad, salad vegetables, such as carrot, celery or cucumber
- low-fat lower-sugar plain yoghurt or fromage frais with fruit, humus with wholemeal pitta bread or vegetable sticks
- ready-to-eat apricots, figs or prunes, vegetable and bean soups, unsweetened breakfast cereals, or porridge, with milk, milky drinks, fresh fruit, baked beans on toast or a baked potato
Hooray! You’re half way through your pregnancy. And you’re doing great, so give yourself a pat on the back.
But like all mums-to-be, you probably have lots of questions. What foods should and shouldn’t I eat during pregnancy? How much weight should I gain when I’m pregnant? That’s why it’s worth going to an antenatal class. You’ll be able to discuss any questions, worries or concerns you have. They’ll also be able to help you prepare for the birth, as well as teaching you how to look after and feed baby. Talking to other mothers and parents-to-be is always handy too.