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19 Weeks Pregnant

All About Baby

In your 19th week of pregnancy, your unborn baby’s organs continue to grow. His body is covered with lanugo—soft hairs and a sticky protective coating that keeps his skin from drying out in the amniotic fluid. Your baby is moving frequently, and by now you should be able to feel those movements. Your physician can hear your baby-to-be’s heartbeat with a stethoscope placed on your abdomen.

Baby is covered in vernix, a white, cheesy “cream” that protects her skin from the long bath in amniotic fluid. Preemies are covered in vernix at birth—”posties” have almost none.

All About You

Your belly is getting rounder by the day. You may find that you need to rest more to keep your energy up. Your back and abdomen may be achy with the added weight. Expect to have some uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms fade and others get worse—your nausea has probably ended while heartburn and indigestion have taken its place. Continue to plan on plenty of bathroom breaks.

Celebrity Baby Bumps

Quick—name three pregnant celebrities. Chances are you can name more than that! You can probably even name a handful of celebrities who’ve given birth over the past year. Why are we so obsessed with celebrity baby bumps? “I think a big part of the fascination with celebrities’ pregnancies is it humanizes them in our eyes,” explains Dr. Joanne Motino Bailey, a certified nurse midwife and a woman’s studies professor at the University of Michigan. Seeing a star go through pregnancy—by means of candid pictures—makes them seem more like the rest of us. After all, what could make your favorite round-bellied starlet more endearing than seeing snapshots of her downing a Big Mac in a track suit? But as with all things Hollywood, some effects of the celebrity baby boom may leave you with unrealistic expectations for your own pregnancy.

Maternity Fashions

Pregnancy clothing options used to be little more than raiding your partner’s closet for shirts. Yet the celebrity baby boom has brought designers running to make pregnant women look their best. Gone are the days of ugly elastic-waist jeans and tent-like dress jumpers. You can now find maternity fashions on any budget.

The downside: We can’t all afford a completely new wardrobe for a few months of use. But if you’re sensible with your selection of maternity clothes, you can dress up simple shirts with stylish accessories.

Baby Bump Behavior

Back in the 1950s, pregnancy seemed almost indecent. Women wore bulky clothes to hide their bumps and spent a fair amount of time at home. This is no longer the case. Many women are often just as active and outgoing during their pregnancies as they were before conception. You can find pictures of celebrities still going to the gym, enjoying (many) a night out, and working until delivery day.

The downside: You never see the pictures of the celebrities taking naps or passing off daily tasks to their assistants. Expect to slow down and simplify your schedule during your pregnancy. Your body needs extra energy to fuel your growing baby-to-be.

Celebrity’s Birth Options

Water birth, at-home birth, doula, midwife … pregnant women have many options for how they’re going to deliver their babies. Celebrities made public the very private topic of pregnancy. As a result, some birth options—like home births—that were once taboo, aren’t anymore.

The downside: Celebrities have an entourage of medical help to make some of their more far-flung birth requests possible. Delivering a baby in a third-world country may not be the safest option for you. And elective C-sections carry real risks.

Post-Pregnancy Body

How many times have you seen magazine covers boasting titles such as, “How [insert a celebrity’s name] got her body back”? Losing post-pregnancy pounds can be extremely difficult. Some celebrities openly discuss their battles with the bulge. Knowing it’s not easy for them might help you stick to your own post-pregnancy diet plan.

The downside: Many celebrities go to extremes when it comes to losing weight fast. Some even get surgical help to lose a few pounds. Others are just blessed with forever slender shapes. Watching a celebrity walk the red carpet a week after delivery can give you false sense of how quickly you’ll realistically be back into your pre-pregnancy jeans.

Celebrity baby bump watching can be fun. You may feel some kinship to a once svelte siren who’s now packed on the pounds, but don’t compare your own experience—or your body—to your favorite celebrities’.

Q & A

Got questions about Week 19? Other women have asked this…

Q: I’m pregnant. How do I know if I’m gaining the right amount of weight?

“An important consideration when determining how much weight is appropriate for you is your pre pregnancy weight and your body mass index or BMI. BMI is a measurement of body fat based on your height and weight. There are some general guidelines to follow…” Read More

Q: I’ve heard about 3D ultrasounds—is it safe for my unborn baby?

“It can be tempting to get a sneak peek at your baby before delivery day, but you may want to just be patient. The verdict is still out on whether 3D ultrasounds are safe or not for your developing baby. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) all discourage pregnant women from getting 3D ultrasounds. Their stand: while routine medical ultrasounds are safe—and even necessary—to make sure that your baby is healthy, repeated ultrasounds may not be be….” Read More

Q: I am 13 weeks pregnant, is there anything I can take for car sickness?

“It’s not surprising the your body is more susceptible car sickness while you’re pregnant. Contrary to popular belief, morning sickness can last past your first trimester. Many of the cures you’d use for morning sickness—like snacking on bland crackers, sucking on lemons, and other home remedies—may offer some relief…” Read More

Your Partner

Famous Dads

Many women find themselves scoping out pregnant celebrities while they are also expecting. The unique sense of connection with these Hollywood figures stems from them experiencing the same things at the same time. Famous dads-to-be are harder to spot, but more and more celebrity men are “coming out” to extol the exciting, life-altering, and amazing nature of fatherhood.

Our society is changing, giving men more of a voice to be honest and open about how fatherhood feels and how it is changing their lives. And as a result, dads in the spotlight are sharing their stories.

In a society where motherhood is revered and fatherhood is seen more as a supporting actor’s role, it is fun to see male stars come out and freely state how fatherhood is affecting them. Brad Pitt has been quoted several times stating fatherhood is the greatest role in his life so far. Tiger Woods talks about changing diapers and getting less sleep. “It’s an awakening,” says Philip Seymour Hoffman, who reports that when you become a parent everything changes; you look at your own parents differently, and at your own childhood differently. “When you have a child, as anyone knows who has them, that’s basically all you want to talk about,” he adds.

Take a note from these Hollywood dads and make a point to share with your spouse how you feel and what you think about your impending fatherhood. She’ll appreciate the insight! The more involved you become in the lives of your children, the more likely they are also to experience benefits from being involved.

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