So… it’s basically a raincoat?
Around this time, your baby’s cells are making something called Vernix Caseosa, or just vernix, which is a thick, white substance that will cover your baby’s entire body in the womb and shortly after birth. It’s thought that vernix acts as a sort of water-repellent layer meant to protect your baby’s skin from the amniotic fluid.
By the end of week 19 of your pregnancy, your baby is the size of a mango. 🥭
If you haven’t already started getting it, you probably will soon: The unsolicited “good advice” on everything related to pregnancy, babies and children from family members and even total strangers. Some women want all the advice and knowledge they can get, others find it absolutely awful and invasive.
All feelings are valid, and if you do not want unsolicited advice, you are not ungrateful or unappreciative. Listen to yourself and your needs; after all, it’s your pregnancy and your baby. There are a couple of ways to handle unsolicited advice from family members:
- Keep it short. Say “thanks for the advice!” and try to remove yourself from the situation.
- Deflect by changing the subject into something more neutral.
- If you have a partner, ask them to help you with these conversations. As a bonus, partners can sometimes feel a bit left out, so they actually might enjoy being the focus for once.
- Set boundaries. If unsolicited advice becomes an ongoing issue with a close family member, you must set clear boundaries for yourself.
Now, complete strangers are another ball game entirely; you can handle that any way YOU want to! Want to tell them to mind their own uterus? You do you, mama.
Around week 19-20 of your pregnancy, your belly will start to grow more, and your skin will find itself under a lot of pressure. Other parts of your body, like your breasts and thighs, will also get bigger.
This is why pregnant women often experience stretch marks, to a larger or smaller degree. Stretch marks happen when our skin stretches (or shrinks) very quickly, causing the collagen and elastin in our skin’s structure to rupture. Some women only experience a few marks on their belly, while others will soon find them on larger areas of their body. There are many, many products out there that claim to be able to help you with your stretch marks but be skeptical; most research shows that stretch marks are linked to genetics, and scientists have yet to find a miracle cure.
While lotions, oils and cremes might not actually work on preventing stretch marks, they can feel soothing; as your skin stretches, it will most likely start to itch. If you want to try to treat or prevent stretch marks with one of the many lotions and cremes out there, make sure to check the ingredients list; an ingredient such as retinol, which is popular in cremes against stretch marks, can hurt your baby.
Read more about the next week of your pregnancy in week 20 of our week-by-week pregnancy calendar.