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A summer squash
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Week 19: The Brain Begins Controlling Muscles
Thumb-sucking and other movements you can feel.
During the weeks before, of and after your 19th week of pregnancy, your baby’s brain develops at a phenomenal rate. In addition, other systems continue to grow.
- Your baby now measures about 6 inches, or the length of a summer squash.
- When you’re 19 weeks pregnant, your baby’s brain develops millions of motor neurons. These neurons are nerves that help muscles in the brain communicate. This new and ongoing development means your baby can make purposeful and involuntary movements.
- Your baby’s new movements might include sucking his thumb, moving his head, or making other moves that you might start to feel.
- Your baby’s hearing is even more developed when you’re 19 weeks pregnant. Baby can probably hear external sounds and conversation by this time, or will very soon. Your voice is the most pronounced. Your baby can hear you talk, hum and sing.
- Your baby’s skin is covered in a white, waxy protective coating called vernix.
- Under the vernix, the fine hair called lanugo continues to cover the baby’s skin.
- By your 19th week of pregnancy, your baby’s kidneys function. His urine is excreted into your amniotic sac, the bag of fluid in your uterus that contains your baby and amniotic fluid. Your placenta then removes the waste.
Focus on Good Fats
Discover the best sources of beneficial fats.
Fats are an essential part of your baby’s growth and development during the 19th week of pregnancy. But choosing the right fats is key.
In general, you want four full servings (14 grams) or eight half servings (7 grams) of total fat per day. Avoid saturated and trans fats, and look to these good-fat foods instead.
- Walnuts: Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a healthy omega-3 fatty acid. A serving is approximately 1/4 cup walnuts.
- Wild salmon: This type of fish contains high levels of DHA, another healthy omega-3 fatty acid, but it’s recommended that pregnant women limit their total amount of fish consumption to 12 ounces per week. A serving of salmon is about the size of a deck of cards.
- Eggs: Eggs are fine in moderation, and now you can find DHA-enriched eggs at the store.