Lanugo, or fine hair, has been growing on your baby’s skin since the 15th to 16th week. During week 19, vernix caseosa starts to develop. Vernix caseosa is a thin, white covering that protects the skin from the fluid environment of the amniotic sac.
The abdomen is continuing to expand and in addition to ligament pain, the skin may feel a bit itchy from time to time. Skin irritation is common as the skin stretches. Stretch marks may also begin to develop at this point. Stretch marks cannot be prevented, but rubbing lotion on the skin can prevent dryness and itchiness.
At the prenatal visit
Depending on the doctor, an ultrasound could have been performed as early as the 16th week, but most physicians choose to wait a bit longer because, after 19 weeks, your baby's body parts can be seen clearer on ultrasound. By the 19th week, your baby can measure between 6 and 7 inches long and weigh up to 11 ounces. This is the perfect size for measuring and photographing.
You have to deal with emotional ups and downs for 40 weeks, but Dad may not quite understand it all until they feel the baby move for the first time. Once movements are felt from outside the womb, dads tend to come to the realization that fatherhood is on the horizon. Am I going to be a good father? Can I financially provide for a baby? How am I going to help out at home and work as well? These are all common questions expectant fathers deal with.
Tips for this week
Increased blood volume, amniotic fluid, and stretching skin all require more water. Water intake is one of the most important parts of pregnancy. You should drink at least 64 ounces of fresh, clean water every day in addition to other drinks. Caffeine intake should be lessened or cut out altogether. Researchers have linked caffeine intake to problems with attention and behavioral disorders in children.