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human fetus in amniotic sac at 19 weeks and 1 day

Your baby today

This image shows the entire baby lying within the amniotic sac. Every finger and toe, and even the lower ribs in the chest, can be seen. Although the head is still quite large, the limbs are much more in proportion with the body.

If you want to know whether you're having a boy or a girl, this is the week you might be able to find out.

You'll have a scan this week and may be given the opportunity to find out the sex of your baby. Identifying the gender is dependent on a number of factors, including the expertise of the sonographer, the quality of the equipment being used, the position of the baby and, specifically, of the legs, which could obstruct the genitals. Even if all of these factors are favorable and the genitals can be seen, there is an error factor, so the information given is never 100 percent accurate. You may be able to identify the genitals yourself as you're watching the screen, so if you don't want to know, it's advisable to look away.

If you have an amniocentesis test and want to know the sex of your baby, it can be identified with close to 100 percent accuracy.

19 week ultrasound of head

This 2D scan is a close-up of the baby's profile, showing the bright frontal bone of the forehead, the nose, lips, and chin. The nasal bone appears as a bright area at the top of the bridge of the nose.

Time To Think About

Finding out the sex of your baby

Is it a good idea to find out the sex of your baby before he (or she) is born?


  • Being able to call your baby "he" or "she" rather than "it" or "the baby" may help you and your partner to bond with him or her.
  • Knowing the sex means you can choose a name before the big day, although bear in mind that it's not guaranteed to suit him or her.
  • Decorating the nursery and buying baby clothes may be simpler.


  • Not knowing is a huge motivator during labor and birth for many women, and the excitement of finding out right at the end can help keep you focused through all the stages of labor and delivery.
  • Remember that unless you had an amniocentesis test or CVS test (see Amniocentesis), there's no way of knowing your baby's sex for certain. Sonographers can (and do) get it wrong, so don't get too attached just yet to the name you've chosen.

excerpted from:

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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