18 weeks pregnant

You’re 18 Weeks Pregnant: What You Need to Know

Time to change things up for a little bit. If you sleep on your back, you need to do things differently now. It is important to start sleeping on your side since the baby pressing on your veins might weaken the flow of blood to your heart which will make you lightheaded.

How Big Is My Baby?

The baby's size is now close to that of an artichoke. It is 5.6 inches long on average with 6.7 ounces of weight. Expect your baby to grow rapidly around one to two ounces each week.

A photo of artichokes piled on top of one another as the size of the baby at 18 weeks pregnant
Your baby's about the size of an artichoke by this week. Have you gotten an ultrasound yet?

My Baby’s Development

You can say that at this stage, your baby has his or her own identity already. Your little one has already developed his or her unique fingerprints.

Consequently, your baby’s nervous system is now maturing rapidly as well. At this week, myelin starts to cover the nerves. Myelin is a substance which speeds up the sending of messages from nerve cell to nerve cell, thus forming more complex connections inside the brain.

The brain is also slowly developing which enables your little one to have a sense of touch, smell, hearing, sight, and smell.

What Is My Baby Doing?

At 18 weeks, your baby is now working and stretching his or her muscles. He or she is now capable of punching, rolling, twisting, and kicking! It is a surprise as well that they can now suck, swallow, yawn, and hiccup at this stage.

Belly Ultrasound

At this time, make sure you schedule your mid-pregnancy ultrasound for next week or at week 20. It entails a detailed examination of the whole body of the child. The doctor will check whether the growth of your baby is normal and whether the major organs are on track on their development.

If you are too busy in the following weeks, conducting your mid-pregnancy ultrasound may also happen this week so ready yourself.

My Changing Body—Week 18

Doctors recommend that the weight gain at this stage should range from one to two pounds on average. Also, expect your belly to expand at a rapid pace because of the fast growth of your baby.

Common Symptoms

Week 18 might bring you a little bit of discomfort. Here’s what you can expect this week:

  • Swollen Hands and Feet - Your baby disrupting some blood flow around your body causes swollen hands and feet. Yes, it can be annoying, but rest assured that it will go back to normal in no time.
  • Leg Cramps - Leg cramps usually result from dehydration. Hence, it is essential for you to drink a glass of water on an hourly basis.
  • Nosebleeds - You might not be expecting this kind of symptom, but the increased pressure on your nasal veins sometimes makes it bleed.
  • Stretch Marks – This symptom is pretty normal for 18 weeks pregnant women. To ease it a bit, try rubbing moisturizing lotion over your bum, upper thigh and stomach on a regular basis.
  • Sleeping Troubles - Because of the discomfort you feel from the body pains, there is a large chance that it might disrupt your sleep.

How Is My Life Changing

With your pregnancy almost halfway through, people will most likely notice the development. Hence, they might be giving too many unsolicited bits of advice. Do not be annoyed with them. Just nod and give them a simple thank you. You do not have to explain yourself to anyone if you don’t want to.

Just understand them. Remember: they are excited for you and your baby, too!

Week 18 Mommy Checklist

Here are some of the things you should consider doing this week:

  • Have a date night with your partner.
  • Schedule your mid-pregnancy ultrasound.
  • Switch your sleeping position from lying on your back to lying on your side.

Tips For The Partners

This week is a crucial time for your partner’s new sleeping position. Make sure to assist her whenever she needs help in bed so that it is easier for her to move.

The pregnancy’s midpoint can be tough and stressful for her. To give her some time out, try convincing her to go on a relaxing dinner date with you. It is helpful not only to her but also to you.

A Sneak Peek To Your Week 19

Week 19 might be a difficult week for you. It is the start of more body aches and pains all over your body. Prepare yourself with this as it might feel like you always have a boxing match with the Hulk.

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