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Before Birth and Beyond
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Week 19
(counting from first day of last menstrual period)
Around 17 Weeks After Conception

Please keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. If you have any questions, please check with your care provider.

Fetal Development:
Five MonthsAlong with the lanugo, vernix caseosa forms on your baby's skin. Vernix is a white cheesy substance that protects your baby's skin from its aquatic environment ~ imagine how your skin would look if you sat in water for nine months! The placenta continues to grow and nourish the baby.

Multiples: If you're expecting twins, you're probably half-way there already! Check our Multiples Cubby for more information on the duration of multiples pregnancies.

Maternal Changes:
You may be noticing several skin changes. These are hormone-related and will disappear after delivery. You may have the "mask of pregnancy" - blotchy patches on your forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. Itchy skin is also very common. Your skin may be dry and flaky in certain areas and many pregnant women develop rashes, particularly on the stretched skin. You can't prevent stretch marks but lotions or oil can ease the dryness and itching. Drinking lots of water and eating a healthy diet will go a long way in reducing dryness.

Ideas for Dad:
You've felt your baby move within Mom's womb, and BLAM! It hits you like a ton of bricks - YOU'RE GOING TO BE A FATHER! You're excited and then terrified. You may be questioning yourself as to whether you're ready to be a father or whether you'll be a good dad. If you didn't have a good role model as a child, you may be even more concerned. You may be wondering if you can take care of a family or if you can provide for one. This one little kick can open a Pandora's Box that you weren't prepared to handle. If you find yourself preoccupied with such thoughts, don't worry. You're experiencing a normal reaction to impending fatherhood. Mom is probably having similar thoughts about herself in her role as mother. Go ahead and discuss these feelings with Mom. Read up on pregnancy, childbirth and parenting. And - give yourself a break when you need one. The fact that you're here reading this already says a lot about the kind of parent you'll be!

More books for dad . . .

  • The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-To-Be by Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash
  • The New Father's Panic Book by Gene B. Williams
  • Fathering Right from the Start: Straight Talk About Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond by Jack Heinowitz
Inspirational Thoughts:
Babies are such a nice way to start people. ~Don Herold

Reading:

Exercising Through Your Pregnancy by James F. Clapp III, published by Addicus Books, 2002.

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