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19 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby is Developing the 5 Senses

19 weeks pregnant fetus

Your baby is continuing to mature and his brain is starting to develop specialized areas for the five senses.

Your baby

Your baby’s arms and legs are now proportionate to the rest of her body. His bones are continuing to develop from the existing cartilage and his skin is further developing. If you could see him, he’d appear red due to blood vessels that would be visible through his transparent skin.

His brain is beginning to designate the specialized areas for the five senses. Remember that he can hear you now, so play music and talk to him. Don’t worry—he’s well protected so occasional loud noises are okay.

Your body

Around this time, you might notice a dark line has started to run down your growing belly, typically from your belly button to your pubic bone. This is called the linea negra. Doctors are uncertain of the cause but one theory is that the placenta creates a melanocyte-stimulating hormone which causes darkening of skin.

You might also notice small red marks called spider nevi or spider veins. These may appear on your shoulders, arms, and even face, and are dilated blood vessels which are usually temporary.

Some women have temporary increases in pigment in the skin, causing darkened patches. These can occur anywhere, but most likely you will notice a darkening of inner thighs, vulva, underarms, freckles, and scars. You might also experience chloasma, also called the “mask of pregnancy”; darker patches will appear on your forehead, cheeks, and upper lip. Generally, all of this darkening will fade after pregnancy ends.

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Your mind

Now that you’re starting to see your belly grow and feel movement, you might feel more connected with your baby and confident that he’s growing and developing as he should.

Some women feel self-conscious about the many physical changes. Remember that most of these changes are typically temporary, and focus on the positives: great hair and nails, and that beautiful pregnancy glow!

What to do

  • Wear sunscreen or cover up to further protect you from darkening skin.
  • Buy a special pregnancy pillow to help you sleep more comfortably.
  • Schedule a prenatal massage if you’re dealing with aches and pains in your hips, back, and joints.

Lindsay Meisel

Lindsay Meisel is the Head of Content at Ava. She has over a decade of experience writing about science, technology, and health, with a focus on women's health and the menstrual cycle. Her work has been featured on The Fertility Hour, The Birth Hour, The Breakthrough Journal, and The Rumpus.

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