At week 19, your baby clocks in at 8 ounces. If you are having a girl, her ovaries now contain primitive egg cells. Lanugo appears all over the baby’s body. This fine hair will remain until birth draws nearer. Sometimes a baby will be born with a full head of lanugo hair. Permanent teeth buds are forming behind the already formed milk teeth buds.
Your baby is now covered with a waxy substance called vernix caseosa, which helps prevent delicate skin from becoming chapped or scratched. Premature babies may be covered in this creamy coating at delivery.
In the brain, your baby is developing millions of motor neurons, which are nerves that connect the muscles to the brain. As a result, your baby is now able to make conscious muscle movements, such as sucking his or her thumb as well as certain involuntary movements.
Many women wonder around this time whether having sex will hurt their developing baby, and the answer is no. Sex is considered safe at all stages of pregnancy, as long as your pregnancy is normal. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to want to have it. Many expectant women find that their desire for sex fluctuates during the various stages of pregnancy, depending on their fatigue, growing size, anxiousness over the birth and a host of other body changes. Keep the lines of communication with your partner open as these issues come up. Even though you two may be preoccupied with the baby, it’s important to have some “together time”. Now may be a good time to start looking at childbirth classes.
Revision date: July 8, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD