Week-by-week guide to pregnancy

group of pregnant women
When you're pregnant, you have lots of questions. Our week-by-week pregnancy guide is packed with lots of useful information. From what's happening inside your body, to how your baby is developing, and tips and advice on having a healthy pregnancy – this is your one-stop pregnancy guide!

Second trimester

Our week-by-week pregnancy guide is full of essential information. From staying fit in pregnancy to advice on your maternity rights, you'll find it all here. Happy reading!

Week 19 – your second trimester

You're nearly at the halfway point so why not crack open a bottle of sparkling water to celebrate this achievement?

You're probably starting to feel less agile now and may be getting tired from lack of sleep or lugging around the extra weight. Tempting though it is to stay on the sofa, get out there and do some exercise, but try not to overdo it, as you're carrying precious cargo…

What's happening in my body?

Week by week, as your bump gets bigger, some of the things that you used to take for granted will become more challenging. By week 40, you'll be cheering if you can put on your socks!

It's great for you and baby to stay active, but some exercises, such as running, could become uncomfortable. That's because the hormone, relaxin, loosens up your ligaments, leaving your back, knees and ankles without their usual support. You should be able to talk when you exercise (it's called the 'talk test'), so make sure that you can chat away when you do your Couch to 5k.

Meanwhile, your baby's practising kung fu… at least that's how it will feel in a few weeks' time! You might think that bubbling is wind, but it could be your baby moving. You'll soon be able to pinpoint every kick, punch and somersault.

The big sleep

Not getting enough sleep in pregnancy can be very frustrating, try these tips for better sleep:

  1. Practise 'beditation' – a mixture of meditation and gentle stretches designed to help you drift off.
  2. Sleep on your side, and use pillows to support your bump and any aching muscles. Also try sleeping with a pillow between your knees.

Read more tips on getting a good night's sleep while pregnant.

Second trimester pregnancy symptoms (at 19 weeks)

Are you worried about anything? Trust your instincts and share any concerns with your health professional. The baby charity Tommy's has created a video to help you speak up with confidence.

Your signs of pregnancy this week could include:

Tommy's, the baby charity, has a further list of common symptoms.

What does my baby look like?

Your baby, or foetus, is around 15.3cm long from head to bottom, and weighs around 240g. That's approximately the size of a beef tomato and weight of two salmon fillets. Your baby's fattening up, ready for their big appearance in about 21 weeks' time.

The baby's adult teeth are starting to grow, and they're lining up behind the first set. You won't get to see any teeth at all until your baby's about six months old.

Action stations

You might still be thinking about where to give birth. There's plenty of time to mull it over. Find out your local options and go and have a look at them.

You are bound to have lots of questions – here are some that you could ask. It's important to find somewhere that meets your needs and makes you feel supported.

This week you could also…

You don't have to tell your employer for several more weeks, but as soon as you do, you will have maternity rights and can attend antenatal appointments during paid work time. You can also ask for a risk assessment of your work place. If you want to wait, the latest you can leave it is 15 weeks before the baby is due, which is around week 25. It will probably be rather obvious by then anyway!

It's a good time to tone up those muscles 'down under'. Gentle exercises can help to prevent leakage when you laugh, sneeze, cough or jump around on your baby's future trampoline. Get the muscles going by pretending that you're having a wee and then stop the 'urine' in midflow. Visit Tommy's for more ideas.

Ask your midwife or doctor about online antenatal classes – they may be able to recommend one. The charity Tommy's has lots of useful information on antenatal classes and preparing you for birth.

Ask your partner if they would like to take part in the antenatal classes. Even if you've had children before, they're still worth going to as you can meet other parents-to-be. The NCT offers online antenatal classes with small groups of people that live locally to you.

Do your best to stop smoking, give up alcohol and go easy on the cappuccinos. We know that's easy to say but hard to do. Ask your midwife or GP for support.

We can usually get enough vitamin D from sunlight, but between October and March it's best to take a vitamin D supplement every day. Just 10 micrograms is all you need (it's the same for grown-ups and kids). It's worth checking if you're entitled to free vitamins.

Get moving! It's recommended that pregnant women do 150 minutes of exercise throughout the week. You could start off with just 10 minutes of daily exercise - perhaps take a brisk walk outside. Check out Sport England's #StayInWorkOut online exercises (scroll to the pregnancy section). Listen to your body and do what feels right for you.

Don't eat for two! Eat for you. You don't need any extra calories until the third trimester, which starts in week 28. Try to eat healthily, with plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and avoid processed, fatty and salty foods. You may be able to get free milk, fruit and veg through the Healthy Start scheme.

This week's treat

Sign up for a free 'Fruit and veg boost' to get tasty, healthy recipes delivered to your inbox every week. You'll get easy tips to help you swap crisps and biscuits for a healthier lifestyle. Here's to a new, fruitier you!

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