What Is Happening With Your Baby
A protective covering called myelin is beginning to form around your babys nerves. This covering will continue to form up until your babys first birthday. If you are having a little girl, her fallopian tubes and uterus have positioned themselves in the correct place. If you are having a little boy, his genitals may be noticed on your next ultrasound. However, it is oftentimes difficult to see the genitals, so dont be surprised if you cant see them yet.
What Changes Are Occurring With Your Body At 18 Weeks Pregnant
Your figure is continuing to change, and most people can recognize that you are pregnant, especially if you are wearing maternity clothes. However, there are many other changes that are occurring that no one can see. Your cardiovascular system is affected by your pregnancy, and you may experience low blood pressure. This is why it is important to make sure you go from a lying/sitting position to a standing position slowly. This decreases the amount of dizziness that you may experience.
Dealing With Low Blood Pressure
You may not feel any different, even if your blood pressure does drop a bit. But, if you feel a little dizzy or lightheaded, you can try:
- Getting up slowly from a seated or lying position
- Avoiding standing for long periods
- Making sure your showers and baths are not overly warm
- Drinking plenty of water
Dizziness could also be a sign of low blood sugar or anemia, so be sure to mention it to your doctor.
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What To Ask Your Doctor
Even during these first days of pregnancy, your doctor can provide lots of information. They are the best person to explain how to count your pregnancy weeks, and how to determine your fertile window. If you suffer from fertility issues, they can also keep track of your uterine lining growth and the maturation of your eggs. You should also go to your doctor if you experience any abnormal symptoms, such as excessive abdominal pain or bleeding.
Your body is in full preparation mode for pregnancy during the second week of pregnancy. If youre trying to conceive, keep track of any ovulation symptoms to boost your chances of conceiving and then, wait for that positive pregnancy test
Whats On Your Mind This Week
The baby gender-reveal party trend is out of controlShould I find out the sex?Between now and week 20, youll do an ultrasound called an anatomy scan. Most people think of the bonus part of this scan first: Its the one that will let you know the sex of your baby. Whether you choose to find out is up to you, and theres a wide spectrum on this, from couples who excitedly plan big gender-reveal parties with a pink or blue cake to parents who point out that gender is a social construct entirely different from an infants biological sex. But dont forget that the scan is actually about looking for developmental and anatomical issues: The sonographer is looking at everything from the size of your babys head and body to the heartbeat, the amount of amniotic fluid and the location of your placenta. Many problems they find in utero can be treated during your pregnancy or after delivery. Theyll also check that your dates are right and that the babys growth is on track.
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Your Baby’s Development At 18 Weeks
At 18 weeks, baby measures a little over 5 3/4 inches from the top of their head to the bottom of the buttocks .
The average height for a baby at 18 weeks from the top of their head to their heels is approximately 8 1/3 inches . This week the baby weighs almost 8 ounces .
Pregnancy Checklist At 18 Weeks Pregnant
Reminders for the week:
- Read up on baby care
- Plan a date night with your partner
- Switch your sleep position from back to side
Medical content was reviewed November 2020 by Patricia Pollio, MD, a New York-based ob-gyn and director of the department of obstetrics & gynecology at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York.
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Pregnancy Week 18 Tips
If this is your first pregnancy and your anxiety levels are high because you are waiting for movements or signals from your baby, try to relax. Most women do not feel their babys movements until the baby has gotten a bit bigger.
By strict definition, fetal movement is not expected until 23 weeks, but many women feel it sooner. As the following weeks come and go, you will start to feel little kicks and turns as your baby becomes bigger and more active. Next is pregnancy at 19 weeks.
Sex At Week 18 Of Pregnancy
Unless your doctor has told you otherwise, your sex life can continue as normal throughout pregnancy.
Some couples enjoy regular sex throughout pregnancy, while others dont feel that they want to. During this phase of your relationship, you may want to explore alternative ways to make love or be loving towards one another. The important thing is to discuss your feelings with each other and communicate openly.
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Baby’s Nervous System Is Maturing Quickly
Something you won’t see on the ultrasound but you’ll learn is in working order is your baby’s nervous system, which is maturing rapidly when you’re 18 weeks pregnant.
A network of nerves, now covered with a substance called myelin that helps speed messages from nerve cell to nerve cell, are forming more complex connections.
And those in the brain are further developing into the ones that serve the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing.
Speaking of hearing, your baby’s is growing more acute and baby can finally fully hear you this week, making your little one more conscious of sounds that come from inside your body. Meaning you could both be listening to each other hiccup!
Nd Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms
Hopefully you are feeling more energetic and able to manage your pregnancy symptoms now. If you are struggling with day-to-day life, talk to your midwife or doctor, they are there to support you.
Your signs of pregnancy could include:
- pains on the side of your belly, caused by your expanding womb
- darkened skin on your face or brown patches â this is known as chloasma or the “mask of pregnancy”
- greasier, spotty skin
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Weeks Pregnant Baby Position
When youre at the beginning of your fifth month of pregnancy, you might feel the very first movements of your baby. While hes trying out his muscles, you also develop intense food cravings. During this time, your baby weighs almost 7 ounces and is 5 and a half inches long putting him at the size of a cucumber.
Theres still plenty of time to go before the baby can think of coming out the uterine confines. It is, therefore, positioned in a way that the head is still close to the chest and the feet are pointing downwards.
Free Prescriptions And Dental Care
Did you know that prescriptions are free during pregnancy? NHS dental treatment is also free. You just need a Maternity Exemption Certificate or card .
Ask your midwife, GP or health visitor for the application form FW8. Your certificate will be valid for up to a year after your baby’s due date or date of birth.
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Planning A Gender Reveal: Boy Girl Who Cares
Most parents find out their baby’s sex during their mid-pregnancy ultrasound, usually around 18 to 20 weeksthat is if your technician can tell . That makes now a great time to start planning your gender revealif you believe in such a thing. And if you have no idea what we’re talking about, you’re off the hook: It’s a fairly new trend that’s been picking up speed lately and, like a pregnancy reveal, there are about gazillion ways to do it.
What Should I Be Feeling At 18 Weeks Pregnant
- You might start feeling movements, with your baby not just twisting and turning, but even yawning.
- With all the growth of your uterus and its precious contents, you may start feeling backaches and muscle pains. The hormone relaxin is to blame. It relaxes your ligaments and loosens joints, which can change your posture. Coupled with the added weight, your back may begin to hurt more than usual.
- When you’re 18 weeks pregnant, your baby’s bones start changing from a soft substance to a strong, hard structure. This process, called ossification, usually begins in the collarbones and legs. Take a prenatal vitamin with brain-nourishing docosahexaenoic acid and eat calcium-rich foods, which will help those bones become strong.
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How Big Is Your Baby At 2 Weeks Pregnant
During the early days of pregnancy, theres still no baby. It can be confusing, but doctors calculate pregnancy weeks this way because its very difficult to pinpoint conception. Conception might not even happen on the same day of your ovulation, and intercourse on different days can still lead to pregnancy. That is why doctors use this method to count your pregnancy weeks. So by the time you find out youre pregnant, you could be around 4 to 6 weeks pregnant – even if there was no baby during the first two weeks!
On week 2 of your pregnancy, one egg has become dominant. It releases estrogen, which stimulates the thickening of your uterine lining. Once your estrogen levels are high enough, they trigger a surge of LH, or luteinizing hormone. This hormone causes the mature egg to burst from its follicle and into the Fallopian tube. The egg lives for 12-24 hours.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 2
Its unlikely that youll experience any pregnancy symptoms from day 1. Some symptoms of ovulation, like breast tenderness, are identical to early pregnancy symptoms and can occur during the first days of pregnancy.
Some women, however, have reported experiencing 1 to 2-week pregnancy symptoms. After conception, these symptoms happen due to the hormonal changes that your body goes through.
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Pregnancy Symptoms At Week 18
Not only are you super busy preparing for baby, but you might be having some not-so-fun 18 weeks pregnant symptoms, like swollen feet or hands, backaches, leg cramps and nosebleeds. And the stress and discomfort can keep you up at night around week 18 of pregnancy. Heres the scoop on the 18 weeks pregnant symptoms you may be feeling:
What’s Happening In My Body
You might be starting to feel a bit clumsier as your belly gets bigger. Your breasts may have gone up a size, too, particularly if it’s your first pregnancy. Your blood pressure is probably a bit lower than it was, so do not leap up from the sofa, or it could make you feel dizzy.
Your baby has been moving around for the past couple of months, but you might not have noticed. You may start feeling some movement now though â it feels like a bubbling or fluttering inside your belly.
You may also notice a line down your stomach, called the linea nigra . This is normal skin pigmentation and nothing to worry about. It will probably vanish a few months after the birth.
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Symptoms And Body Changes At 18 Weeks
Your waistline is probably expanding greatly during this week. If you take two fingers and place them just below your belly, you can feel your uterus.
Its still the size of a cantaloupe, and at this point youre starting to show. Some women have gained up to thirteen pounds by the eighteenth week, but every mom-to-be is different.
If youve gained more or less, talk with your doctor to make sure you are on a healthy track.
You may notice increasingly frequent trips to the restroom, so you may want to make it a habit to use the restroom before you lie down or get comfortable.
Some women may experience a dizzy or light-headed feeling during this stage in their pregnancy. You can minimize this dizziness by changing positions while standing or sitting, and by not moving too quickly.
Stretch marks may become more prominent as your belly stretches, and itching may increase if rashes form. Indigestion, constipation, and heartburn are also problems some expectant mothers face during this stage of the pregnancy. Talk with your doctor to find ways to relieve these symptoms.
Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms
At 18 weeks pregnant, here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing:
Dizzy spells. Your heart is working 40 to 50 percent harder than it did before you were pregnant. This effort, combined with the pressure of your growing uterus on blood vessels, can occasionally leave you feeling faint, particularly when you get up quickly. Be sure to rest frequently. Lie down on your side when you feel faint or dizzy. Low blood sugar can also lead to wooziness. Resting, lying down on your side, or eating a piece of fruit will help boost blood sugar levels and settle dizzy spells.
Mini moves. Most women first feel their little one’s movements between 16 and 20 weeks. Your baby is still small, so at around 18 weeks pregnant, it’ll be more of a gentle flutter than a forceful kick in your belly.
Leg cramps. You may find that leg cramps strike at 18 weeks pregnant, usually at night. Try to stretch your calf muscles before bed and stay hydrated. A warm bath, hot shower, or a massage may help, too.
Nasal problems. Thank s to a surge in hormones and increased blood volume during pregnancy, which causes mucous membranes to swell up, you might experience nosebleeds and congestion.
Aches and pains in the back. Your growing belly and hormonal changes can lead to aches and pains in your lower back area.
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Skin Changes And Itching
An itchy abdomen is common during pregnancy. You may also have itchy hands or feet. Avoid hot showers and itchy or tight fabric. A gentle moisturizing cream may also help.
You may also begin to develop a linea nigra, or a dark line down your abdomen. This is a benign condition, and usually resolves after birth.
Stretch marks are perhaps the most well-known and common skin change during pregnancy, affecting up to 90 percent of women. Stretch marks usually begin appearing during your second trimester. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to prevent them.
A recent of topical prevention methods found that cocoa butter and olive oil, commonly used topical treatments, are not effective for preventing or reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Most stretch marks begin to slowly fade over time after pregnancy.
What Does My Baby Look Like
Your baby, or foetus, is around 14.2cm long from head to bottom, and weighs around 190g. That’s approximately the size and weight of a sweet red pepper.
Your baby’s hearing, feeling, swallowing and sucking reflexes are developing this week. They will also be doing a lot of wriggling around and moving their arms and legs.
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What Does Baby Look Like At 18 Weeks In The Womb
Babys face and head are taking shape. The facial features and ears are moving into placebut you need to wait a while to see if they have your eyes or your partners nose! Also, an 18-week fetus now has a working digestive system, as well as a light coating of hair all over their body thats called lanugo.
Tips For You This Week
Breast growth are both normal
Hormones and milk-producing glands are developing to prepare for nursing. All this activity, plus an increase in blood flow, can cause your breasts to grow up to three cup sizes.
Of course, every pregnant woman’s symptoms are different. While breast growth is common and for some women quite a lot you might not notice any changes at all in your breast size, especially if you’re busty to begin with. Even if you have no breast growth, its not cause for concern.
Stretch to prevent sciatica
The sciatic nerve, the largest in the body, starts in the lower back, runs down the buttocks, and branches down the back of the legs to the ankles and feet.
In most cases, sciatica sharp, shooting pain, tingling or numbness that starts in the back or buttocks and radiates all the way down the legs happens when this nerve gets compressed by bulging, slipped or ruptured discs.
Arthritis and a narrowing of the spinal canal, also called spinal stenosis, can also be culprits. Try a heating pad or back stretches to ease the pain.
Time for the Tooth Fairy again?
Have you noticed a mildly looser tooth that suddenly makes you feel like youre back in elementary school?
Hormones can affect the gums, ligaments and bones in your mouth, which in turn can slightly loosen the teeth, especially if you have more serious untreated conditions like gingivitis or periodontis.
Ease round ligament painStay out of the sunCheck your handsTry non-dairy, calcium foods
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Pregnancy Nutrition At 18 Weeks Pregnant
Constipation in pregnancy. Ugh! Its a common complaint especially in the second and third trimesters. There are a few ways you can combat constipation and fibre is your best weapon. Eating lots of it as part of your pregnancy diet can make a big difference. Choose wholegrain and wholewheat bread, pasta and cereals fibrous veg like broccoli, cauliflower, celery, and greens fibrous fruit like plums, peaches, nectarines, apples and pears. Just keep an eye on your bran or wholemeal bread if youre not used to it, as it can irritate the intestines.
Drinking enough? Try to down at least two litres of water a day. It helps get things moving. And talking of moving, exercise helps keep you regular too. If nothing is working, it may be tempting to go for an easy fix but its best not to turn to over-the-counter laxatives. Talk to your midwife or GP instead.
Many women will also be feeling the burn around now, pregnancy heartburn that is, which can be a real pain. Eating little and often is better than larger meals with long gaps. Also, its a good idea to cut down on very rich, spicy or fatty foods, as hard as that may be when cravings are calling you.