A week by week guide to pregnancy - week 19

In December, St James' Palace made one of the most eagerly anticipated announcements in years with the news that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant. And since then, all eyes have been on Kate as she embarks on an incredible nine-month journey into motherhood.

With that in mind, Teresa Walsh, Midwife Childbirth Educator at The Portland Hospital for Women & Children, shares a week-by-week guide to pregnancy with HELLO! Online.

Week 19

You are almost half way through your pregnancy! Your baby’s movements may now be noticeable at various times in the day, and while your partner is still be unable to feel your baby moving they will soon be able to see it at your routine ultrasound scan. You will notice your waistline continuing to change, and your baby bump becoming more prominent.

Your Baby is roughly 14cm long and his veins and arteries are clearly visible through his translucent skin. Brown fat, which is uniquely formed for newborns, is starting to be stored by your baby and a creamy white substance called vernix caeseosa covers most his skin. More hair is developing and your baby’s kidneys are also working, clearly visible on ultrasound.

Mum-to-be might not have as much stamina and will find herself tiring during walking or other exercise regimes. Listen to your body and slow down - as a guide, if you can still talk while exercising you are going at the right pace. Your internal heater may keep your temperature elevated and you might notice you sweat more easily.

You might consider swapping high heels for a flatter heel to counterbalance your changing centre of gravity. Natural fiber clothing will help you feel more comfortable.

Continue with your regular exercise. If you have not been able to partake in organised activities it is never too late to start incorporating some walking into your day. This not only helps with your aerobic fitness, but also helps increase your endorphin levels which make you feel fantastic and will provide pain relief during labour.

If heartburn returns or makes an appearance consider eating bland smaller portions and check with your midwife or consultant about over the counter antacids. If this is severe you might sleep easier with a couple of extra pillows.

Your research into your maternity leave entitlements should be complete as you consider your adjustments financially. Every woman’s circumstances are unique and forward planning is essential to alleviate the stresses involved.

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