Pregnancy Weeks 17 to 19

Pregnancy weeks 17 to 19 is into the second trimester of pregnancy and big changes are happening. Pregnancy weeks 17 to 19 sees the end of nosebleeds for mum and the development of facial expressions for the foetus. This pregnancy weeks 17 to 19 guide has been part of the weekly pregnancy calendar developed to bring you an insight as to what is happening with your pregnancy. Every detail of the foetal development between weeks 17 and 19 of your pregnancy is included.

Pregnancy Week 17

Week 17

Pregnancy Week 17 is now a few weeks into the second trimester of the pregnancy. This is the middle three-monthly phase of being pregnant. The expectant mum should have plenty of energy now and hormones are adding a glow to the skin, making you look and feel much healthier.

The hormonal changes in the placenta should have levelled out by now, but they may still cause one or two minor nosebleeds and bleeding gums at week 17 of pregnancy. However they should have stopped by now and if they do persist should be very minor and a lot less frequent.

The expectant mums tummy will have grown a little more during week 17 of the pregnancy and will be starting to round more. This can make tighter clothing feel a little tighter and slightly uncomfortable. Maybe now might be the time to opt for looser fitting clothing or maternity wear. Do not be alarmed if people can notice the bump at this stage of the pregnancy, you are not fat you are expecting a baby, wear your bump with pride.

The fluttering sensations may become more frequent and noticeable now because the baby will be changing positions more often, stretching, yawning and just trying to get comfortable. This is one of the best parts of the pregnancy and the bond that you will share with your child develops from feeling these flutters. Some women still insist that fluttering cannot be noticed at week 17 of pregnancy, but I disagree. When my baby moved, I felt it from week 15.

Foetal Development at 105 Days Pregnant

The weight of the baby will be around 160 grams at this stage of pregnancy and the length measures roughly 15cm long. The foetal growth starts developing more quickly rapidly the second trimester of the pregnancy due to the on going foetal organ developments.

The baby will continue to form and grow during week 17 and this is more noticeable with the development and tweaking of the head. The shape of the head is really starting to take form, but still remains almost two thirds the size of the rest of the body. However the head is beginning to round down slightly. The eyes are moving into a position that is more central on the head and light sensitivity has been observed in some pregnancies at this stage. An experienced midwife should have no problems locating the fundus (uterus top) which remains in the same position in position between the pelvis and navel area.

Facial expressions are developing all of the time now and the vocal chords are almost fully formed. The gag reflexes, umbilical cord and nasal passages are now fully formed. The amniotic fluid is continuing to be reproduced constantly now as the foetus  is swallowing the fluid in large amounts, up to almost a litre a day of amniotic fluid is being consumed by the foetus. Whilst the amniotic fluid is being consumed, the baby is starting to produce a substance called meconium which is filtering into the bowel. Meconium is the waste product from undigested amniotic fluid and cells that are no longer needed.

The foetus is reaching out and stretching more now and is able to span the fingers and feel the surroundings of the womb. Regular movement and thumb suckling is happening freely and more often. The most delicate of finger and toe pads are being formed ready for prints to grow.

The skin of the foetus, although reddy-purple in colour is still slightly transparent, but developing well. The skin is  wrinkled and stretchy  and the tiny hairs are starting to form on the skin which gives the foetus a downy like protection.

The baby is able to hear at this stage as the hearing system is developing well. This means that communication between the mother and child is already starting. In fact the baby can react to stimulation and noises.

Ultrasound at 17 Weeks Pregnant

12.5 to 14cm is the crown to rump length of the foetus when you are 17 weeks pregnant.

The heartbeat can be heard through the Doppler device and the beats of the heart can be recorded.  The heart will beat around 140 to 150 times per minute.

Pregnancy Week 18

Week 18
Week 18

Pregnancy week 18 is an exciting time, you are into the second trimester and getting further away from the possibility of anything going wrong with the pregnancy. The hormones should be balancing out nicely and you should be feeling great at this stage and any bleeding gums or nosebleeds should have stopped now.

Your tummy should be rounding nicely and that feeling of being pregnant has replaced any fears of weight gain. Maternity or unrestrictive clothing is now advised as you want your baby to feel free to wriggle and squirm. The more comfortable and relaxed that you feel, the easier the pregnancy will be.

All good health care workers will advise you to rest regularly now and sit in relaxed positions to avoid any discomfort. The uterus has been reported to press against major veins when you lay out flat. This can lead to dizzy spells and nausea.

The baby moving around and exploring inside the womb should increase the fluttering sensations that you are feeling. These are wonderful feelings and a clue that everything is developing nicely within the womb.

Foetal Development at 112 Days Pregnant

The foetus will now weigh around 200 grams and measure about 16cm in length, so growing and developing nicely at 18 weeks into the pregnancy. Major organs are forming and developing so rapid growth of the foetus is to be expected.

The head of the developing baby remains at two thirds of the body size as the eyes are still moving around to the front of the skull. Some sensitivity to light is evident during scans at this stage.  All midwives should now be able to feel and locate the fundus in the abdomen now without any difficulty.

The newly forming vocal chords are doing well and are nearing completion.  The amniotic fluid is being mass produced now and the foetus remains swallowing the fluid for nutrition. The meconium substance is still being produced and remains to fill the bowel in small amounts.

Stretching those tiny fingers and toes more regularly, the foetus is continually flexing and moving around. The baby will continue thumb sucking in between wriggling. The finger and toe pads are forming better and the toe and fingerprints are becoming clearer.

The skin of the baby is still transparent, with a reddy-purple colouring and is just beginning to go through changes as the foetus is starting to develop a small layer of fat underneath the skin. The downy like appearance of the hair follicles forming is still offering a layer of protection to the skin.

The genital region of the foetus has also began developing and the sex of the baby can usually be seen on the ultrasound scan at this stage. The female foetus has already started developing the vagina and the uterus, even the fallopian tubes are growing. The male foetus will have started to develop the prostatic urethra and penis.

Hearing is developing all of the time now as the ear mechanics are growing, enabling the communication between family members and the foetus to strengthen.

Ultrasound at 18 Weeks Pregnant

At 18 weeks of pregnancy the crown to rump length of the foetus should measure around 13.5 to 15cm.

The heartbeat of the baby remains constant at around 140 to 150 beats per minute and can be traced and monitored through the Doppler device.

Pregnancy Week 19

Week 19
Week 19

Week 19 of pregnancy brings minor changes for mum and baby. You are now comfortably past the risks of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, which must be a massive relief. The feelings of wellbeing are strong and energy levels for mum are rising due to the on going increases in hormone levels.

Your bump will have grown another centimetre or two this week and the round shape is a definite sign to others of your pregnancy, some women start to suffer with mild lower back pains at this stage of pregnancy, simply due to the amount of growth happening inside and out of the womb.

It’s all about comfort and relaxation now as you sit back with a cup of tea and enjoy the pregnancy. Maternity clothing or comfy attire is strongly recommended now as baby needs to grow in a relaxed state. Tight clothing increases mums stress levels as it’s plain uncomfortable to feel squeezed into badly fitting clothes.

Relaxation and keeping good posture will be beneficial for mum as it should alleviate the symptoms of nausea and dizzy spells caused by the possibility of the uterus compressing veins. This coupled with the baby constantly wriggling, stretching and flexing can become tiresome for some women. Recoup that energy now, whenever possible.

Foetal Development at 126 Days Pregnant

The once tiny bean sized foetus has now grown to around the size of a large mango fruit. The foetus will measure roughly 18cm and will weigh around 230grams. The consistent growth and development of all major organs is contributing to these growth spurts on a weekly basis.

The head of the foetus has started reducing in size dramatically and although it remains larger than the rest of the body it is now around half of that in comparison. The eyes are nor in place at the front of the skull and light sensitivity is still evident to see.

The fundus is now moving slightly as the womb is enlarging on a daily basis. On examination the midwife should be able to feel the fundus in a higher position to the navel than it previously was.

Fully formed vocal chords are present and production has reallocated to the major organ development.  The kidneys are forming well and are now starting to produce urine. The meconium is still being produced and filtering through the developing bowel.

The brain is having a rapid growth spurt as the nerve endings are growing and providing stimulation to the sensory glands. As a result the hearing, smell, taste, touch and sight are beginning to develop within the brain.

The layer of fat that has started to develop is flowing freely beneath the skin and as a result is altering the transparent appearance of the skin. The reddish-purple colour of the skin is changing shades to a pinky-red colour. The silky downy like hair covering the skin is doing it’s job of protecting the foetus in the womb, but changes are happening here too. A greasy substance called vernix caseosa has been produced and is starting to cover the skin for added protection. The vernix caseosa is an oil based substance which has been produced by the developing glands and topped up with dying skin cells that are no longer necessary. Hairs on the scalp are also starting to grow during this stage of pregnancy, which will offer some form of protection against the amniotic fluid filled womb.

The arms and legs have become proportionate to the rest of the body and these limbs are almost equal in length. The toe and fingerprints are now more defined, but still developing. Moving and flexing of the fingers and toes is an on going thing now and mum should be able to feel the fluttering sensation without any doubts.

The sexual organs are continuing to develop nicely and will continue to do so over the next month or two.

Ultrasound at 19 Weeks Pregnant

Ultrasound Scan at 19 Weeks
Ultrasound Scan at 19 Weeks

The clear image of the baby on the ultrasound scans at 19 weeks of pregnancy is a reassurance of the healthy foetus.

On an ultrasound scan at 19 weeks of pregnancy the crown to rump length will measure around 14 to 16cm in length.

The Doppler device should have no problems picking up the baby’s heartbeat allowing you to hear the approximate 150 heart beats per minute.