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19 WEEKS, 3 DAYS

144 days to go...

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toes of human fetus at 19 weeks and 3 days

Your baby today

The toes will wiggle and stretch just as much as the hands and fingers. Your baby is extremely flexible at this time and as likely to bring one or both feet up to her mouth as she is her hands in order to explore them with her sensitive mouth and lips.

Are you feeling your baby kicking? She's letting you know she's definitely in there-a wonderful pregnancy milestone.

At around this time, you're likely to feel that awe-inspiring first kick. While your baby has been moving in your uterus since around the sixth week of gestation, it's only at this stage that she'll make her movements so definitely felt (although some women do feel movements from around 15 to 16 weeks). When exactly you feel that movement can be affected by your body weight, your baby's position, the location of your placenta, and whether it's your first pregnancy.

Experiencing the first sensation of movement, whether it's a feeling of bubbles, butterflies, flipping goldfish, or even a resounding kick, is likely to be an emotionally charged moment. After all, this is the first time your baby has communicated with you, even though she's not aware of what she's doing.

Once you've felt your baby move, you may want her to do it again-just to make sure you didn't imagine it. You may, however, not feel another movement for a few days. Your partner may want to rest his hand on your belly when your baby is most active (usually when you're resting so that your baby isn't being rocked to sleep by movement) to experience those first thumps himself. It won't hurt your baby to play with her, so gently press on your abdomen when she kicks.

Maternity swimwear

Swimming is fantastic exercise during pregnancy, but you may need to invest in new swimwear as your breasts and abdomen grow.

  • Comfort and support: maternity swimsuits have additional support. These swimsuits are designed to be higher at the back and have more support in the cups. Maternity swimwear is made with stretchy fabric that is comfortable and will give as you grow.
  • Try a tankini: this is a two-piece swimsuit that has a tank-style, rather than bra, top. It will flash your belly without revealing too much.
  • If you're self-conscious about your belly, wear a sarong. If you prefer to bare your belly to females only, go to women's sessions at your local pool.

pregnant woman in maternity bathing suit

Maternity swimsuits are reinforced with extra fabric to accommodate your belly.

pregnant woman in bikini

Maternity bikinis are designed with a generous cup size, and the bottoms fit neatly under your belly.

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Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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