19 weeks pregnant: baby's development, pelvic pain and free prescriptions

Your baby is now around the length of a banana and you may be starting to feel them move. You might even start to feel them actually prodding or kicking you!

Your baby’s development this week

Your baby is starting to look a little plumper and less wrinkly now as thin layers of fat start to form.

They’re also covered with a fine layer of lanugo hair that keeps them warm as they continue to grow. Babies shed most of this hair during the last few weeks of pregnancy.

Your pregnancy symptoms in week 19

Overheating in pregnancy

You may feel warmer in pregnancy. This because of hormone changes and an increase of blood supply to the skin. Try wearing loose clothes and stay hydrated.

Find out how much water you should drink in pregnancy.

Are you getting pelvic pain?

You may develop pelvic pain in pregnancy (sometimes known as pelvic girdle pain). This is stiffness of your pelvic joints or the joints moving unevenly at either the back or front of your pelvis.

This won’t hurt your baby, but it can be painful.

“I suffered with pelvic pain (SPD) throughout both pregnancies. It was only after discovering a support group's webpage I realised I could get medical and other support. If you begin experiencing any of the symptoms take action early and insist on an assessment and referral for acupuncture and physio if necessary.”

Jess, mum of two

Find out more about pelvic pain and how it may be treated

Am I having a big baby?

Some people worry that their bump is too big. But in the same way that every woman’s body is different, every baby bump is different.

The size of your pregnancy bump does not necessarily mean your baby is too large or too small or that your baby is not healthy and well. Baby bumps come in all different shapes and sizes. 

Remember that your midwife is there to listen to any concerns you have about pregnancy.

There are no silly questions. So, if you have any concerns about how your baby is growing, tell your midwife how you feel.

What to do in week 19

Free prescriptions and NHS dental care

You can get free NHS dental treatment and free prescriptions during pregnancy and for one year after your baby is born with a maternity exemption certificate. Speak to your doctor or midwife if you haven’t applied for this yet.

Your GP or midwife can apply for this online and sent to you.  

Your antenatal care

If you haven’t had your second pregnancy ultrasound scan yet, you might have it during this or next week. This scan will look at how your baby is developing and growing, and the position of your placenta.

Low lying placenta

Some people discover that their placenta is low-lying during their ultrasound scan.

In most cases, the placenta moves upwards and out of the way as the uterus grows during pregnancy. But sometimes the placenta stays in the lower part of the uterus as the pregnancy continues. You may be offered a caesarean section if this happens. Find out more about a low-lying placenta.

Pregnancy and mental wellbeing

Wherever you are in your pregnancy, it's important to focus on your own wellbeing as well as your baby's. That's why we've created a free download to help you make a Wellbeing Plan, which will help you feel good now and be supported after the birth. 

Complete your pregnancy and post-birth wellbeing plan.

Pregnancy and work

You don’t actually need to tell your employer that you’re pregnant until you reach week 25. But if you tell them now, you can both start planning for your absence, which may make your maternity leave and return to work smoother.

You’ll need to give your MAT B1 form to your employer so you can claim maternity leave and pay. You can only get this form from 20 weeks of pregnancy.

They might guess anyway if your bump is showing!

Find out more about how to manage a working pregnancy.

1. Regan, Lesley (2019) Your pregnancy week by week, Penguin Random House, London

2. NHS. Common health problems in pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/common-health-problems/ (Page last reviewed: 8 March 2021. Next review due: 8  March 2024)

3. NHS. Whooping cough vaccination in pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/whooping-cough-vaccination/ (Page last reviewed: 17 October 2019. Next review due: 17 October 2022) Accessed: September 2021

4. Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (2018) Placenta Praevia and Placenta Accreta: Diagnosis and Management https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1471-0528.15306

Review dates
Reviewed: 11 July 2022
Next review: 11 July 2025