At week 19 the baby is about 6 inches long and about 8 ounces, that is ½ pound. The baby continues to move more and more and the feelings of movement called quickening are becoming more pronounced. If you are not feeling the baby move yet, don’t be worried. Some women are not able to feel movement until 20 weeks or sometimes even later. If this is your first pregnancy it often takes longer before you feel the baby move than women that have had children before.
At week 19 the baby is starting to form vernix. Vernix is an oily thick cheesy substance that helps protects the baby’s skin from the amniotic fluid. The baby spends all its time in a liquid environment; the vernix is a barrier for the skin. The vernix will mostly disappear in the final weeks of pregnancy. Many babies still have some vernix on their skin when they are born, especially if they are a few weeks early. In the old days, labor and delivery nurses would clean the vernix of the newborn baby and use it as hand moisturizer. This is no longer considered sanitary and is not done in modern obstetrics.
19 weeks is an excellent time for an anatomy screening ultrasound. This is a detailed 2D ultrasound looking at many different anatomical structures in the baby. 19 week babies are big enough to get a good view of the anatomy but not so big as to have other structures get in the way of the structure that is being looked at. This is also a very good time to see the gender of the baby.
Week 19 is also the last chance to do second trimester blood screening for genetic abnormalities. This is an optional blood test and many women prefer not to do this test, We generally prefer to do this test at 16 weeks but if you have not had it done and you want to do it, 19 weeks is the last chance. The test cannot be run at 20 weeks or later.