18 Weeks Pregnant: What to Expect
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You are well into your second trimester and things are looking up for you! This is another week full of excitement and surprises. For starters, what you should also be looking out for is not to sleep too much on your back as it can make you feel light-headed or cause your blood pressure to drop.
Instead, this week onwards you should try and sleep on your side as much as possible. Your entire system should be going through quite a bit of strain, but there are ways to beat them in the form of some nice soothing massages.
Your Baby’s Growth During Pregnancy – Week 18
In the 18th week of pregnancy, your baby can now yawn. Your baby can also hiccup now and by the end of the 18th week, you can feel your baby kicking or simply flexing its body around your tummy.
By the 18th week, your baby’s nervous system is working fine and maturing. Your baby’s nerves are covered by myelin that is taking on more complex tasks such as the interconnection of the nerves. Your baby can now recognise and hear voices and is sensitive to certain noises. The nerves in the brain are rapidly forming the basics to develop into the 5 senses that your baby should have.
What Is the Baby’s Size?
To put it in a line, the 18 weeks baby size resembles that of a capsicum. Nevertheless, your baby packs some good organs that have matured and successfully looks more like a fully formed human being.
If expressed in numbers, your baby is around 185 to 187 grams heavy and is around 5-6 inches long. For most of you, you can now feel your baby moving around and if you schedule a scan you can see your baby’s sensitivity toward light and sound.
Common Body Changes
As your baby is rapidly growing, it is but obvious that you can expect body changes during pregnancy for week 18. For starters, you may see some remarkable changes in your waistline as it may expand quite a bit.
You should also be able to feel your uterus just below your belly as it starts jutting out a bit from your pelvis. You should already have put on around 6 kilos, but it may differ from mother to mother. At any rate, you should not be losing any weight at this stage of your pregnancy.
You can also expect some stretch marks around your belly as well as other areas in your body.
Symptoms of Pregnancy at Week 18
The saga of symptoms continues at the 18th week of pregnancy where you will probably add a few new symptoms while retaining some of your old symptoms.
- Sleep troubles: Since you should start practising sleeping on your side this week, it is possible that this may make you uncomfortable thereby interrupting your sleep.
- Cramps and aches: Now that your body is working hard to make room for your baby, you can expect some aches as your baby grows rapidly and gets heavy.
- Swelling: There might be some swelling in either your hands or your legs due to the increased production of fluids by your body.
- Nosebleeds: These are caused by increased pressure in your blood vessels
- Baby Movement: Baby kicks can be felt from this point on as your baby gets more active
- Pee troubles: You may have the urge to urinate frequently as the enlarged uterus may be applying pressure on the bladder.
Belly at 18 Weeks of Pregnancy
Though every pregnant mother reading this will have different signs attached to pregnancy, you will show a bit of a bump any which ways. Your belly is obviously expanding as your baby is quickly growing inside your system.
Sudden drops or gains in weight should, however, be consulted with your doctor. Besides that, your pelvis should look different and your belly should continue to grow.
18 Weeks Ultrasound
The biggest news that you will find in your ultrasound is that your baby has grown some muscles. There is a good chance you will also be able to feel your baby flexing, not to mention punch, twist, roll, kick as well.
Other activities that your baby is mastering inside your tummy are sucking, yawning and a few hiccups as well.
What to Eat
Food will probably continue to be a point of contention for quite a few of you throughout your pregnancy. The 18th week should not be any different. As a suggestion for 18th-week pregnancy food, it is probably best if you stick to healthy choices.
Split your meals throughout the day to not go hungry. Add a lot of proteins, vegetables, fruits, vitamins in your diet to strengthen yourself and in turn your baby. Fish that are rich in oils must be made a part of your diet as they are an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Folic acid foods must be added as well.
Tips & Care
By this time, you should have a hang of what to do with your pregnant body and your baby that needs nutrition care and a safe environment. The trick is to take care of yourself and not fret too much. But if you feel something is not right, by all means, contact your doctor and trust your instincts.
- Stay hydrated at all costs as this will help ease your cramps and aches.
- Stay safe and fill yourself with positive thoughts as that will go a long way in beating the pregnancy blues.
- Exercise because it will help relieve some of the aches that you are bound to be having.
- Keep your surroundings bright and cheerful as your mood swings may get the better of you.
- Invest time in some yoga sessions and book some massages that will help you relax and rejuvenate. However, consult with your doctor first if it’s safe for you to get a massage or do yoga.
- Eat proper meals at proper times in proper portions to maintain a good blood sugar level.
- Ask for help in case you are freaking out or feeling low.
- Indulge in alcohol as it could reduce the pace of development of the brain and spine cells.
- Starve yourself as you will end up starving your baby as well.
- Compromise on personal hygiene as you are susceptible to infections.
- Expose yourself to questionable conditions.
- Exhaust yourself, especially with heavy workouts.
- Stress yourself out in any manner.
- Take medications that are not approved by your doctor.
What You Need to Shop For
By this time, you should have already stocked up the basics that you will require for not only your 18th week of pregnancy but also for the coming weeks. If you are lagging, here are a few ideas. Comfortable shoes should be your priority now because your swollen feet need some time off and some padding will restore your centre of gravity. Maternity wear, preferably in cotton, should be another thing you would like to invest in. In casual wear, you can opt for free-flowing knee-length dresses or maternity jeans with tummy bands. When it comes to undergarments, Bella Mama has a good range of nursing bras and maternity panties. Get yourself a roomy handbag because you will need to carry a bit of stuff around for yourself. Buy some moisturisers as your skin might also crave some nourishment.
Week 18 is close to the halfway mark of your pregnancy. You may face some problems such as swollen feet and insomnia but irritants such as morning sickness should no longer be there. However, proper care by not overexerting yourself and buying comfortable shoes can go a long way in helping you feel better.
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