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Pregnancy at week 19

4-minute read

Your baby

Your baby's rapid growth is continuing.

By 19 weeks, your baby's skin is becoming covered in a white sticky substance called vernix. This provides a barrier over their skin to protect against infection and from the amniotic fluid they are surrounded by. It is very common for vernix to be covering your baby right up until birth, although if you go past your due date it's likely that it will be much less. A layer of fat is also developing underneath their skin and their head may be covered with hair.

At 19 weeks, your baby has clear waking and sleep cycles, like a newborn baby. They will sleep for about 18 hours a day and move around for about 6 hours a day.

Your body

Most women look obviously pregnant by 19 weeks, although baby 'bumps' come in all different shapes and sizes, so don't worry if yours looks bigger or smaller than others. Your doctor or midwife will feel and measure your tummy at your regular antenatal visits to make sure your baby is growing as it should.

Not only will your abdomen be large and round, you may find your feet grow too. This is because your ligaments are stretching to help you carry the extra weight and support your pregnancy. Your breasts will be larger too and you will likely be curvier overall.

Things to remember

Some women find their changing shape affects how they feel about themselves and their relationships. Open communication is key to negotiating any changes that pregnancy might bring.

Some women develop anxiety or depression during their pregnancy. You are more at risk if you have had a mental health problem in the past. Symptoms might include:

  • having a panic attack
  • worrying all the time
  • having mood swings
  • feeling sad and low all the time
  • feeling nervous and 'on edge'
  • losing interest in your friends and family
  • feeling constantly exhausted
  • having thoughts of hurting yourself
  • sleeping too much or not at all

If you feel like this for more than 2 weeks while you're pregnant, it's important to tell your doctor or midwife. Prenatal depression and anxiety are common and they are treatable.

For more information and help on prenatal depression and anxiety, visit the Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) website, or call the PANDA hotline on 1300 726 306.

Resources and support

Speak to your doctor, midwife or obstetrician if you have questions about your pregnancy.

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby also has more information on:

Speak to a maternal child health nurse

Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.

NEXT WEEK...YOUR PREGNANCY AT WEEK 20 — Learn about your pregnancy journey and what is happening to you and your baby.

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Last reviewed: August 2023

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Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

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