You’re having a Bigger Baby Bump at 18 Weeks Pregnant
While you are 18 weeks pregnant, your baby is now about similar to a size of a bell pepper, typically measures 5 1/2 inches long and weighs almost 7 ounces. Your baby is quickly growing as usual and continues making more developments at 18 weeks pregnant!
Your Baby’s Development this Week
This time, your baby’s arms and legs are flexing more. You will also continue to notice his movements more in the coming weeks as he is now big enough. You will feel that he is twisting, rolling, kicking and punching inside your womb.Your baby’s skin is still thin as blood vessels are visible. The ears have now settled to where it’s supposed to be, however, they are still standing out.
Your baby can now also hear sounds from the outside while you’re 18 weeks pregnant and even get startled on loud noises.
Your baby is also developing a significant and unique feature, his fingerprints. Pads of fat added on the fingertips and toes will then turn into distinguishing swirls.
His nerves are now enveloped with a protective covering called myelin. The covering process continues after your baby is born. If your baby is a girl, her fallopian tubes and uterus are formed and already in place. If it is a boy, his genitals are obvious now, but he may hide them during an ultrasound.
The nervous system is also becoming more mature and developing fast starting this week and is also covered with myelin, making complex connections. With the help of this substance, it is possible to pass signals from nerve cell to nerve cell. More nerves cells are developing in the brain including the sense of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing.
Other developments include fats continuing to build up in his body and looking inside his small mouth, teeth have begun to form. While there’s big space inside your uterus, your baby is constantly doing different positions such as crossing legs, reclining, sucking his thumb, and turning somersaults. Though his eyelids are shut fuse, his eyes can still sense light.
Details in general
Your baby has learned many skills why he’s still inside your womb. He is capable to yawn and hiccup in which you will all see when you go for an ultrasound. However, you won’t still hear or feel anything when he hiccups. He has been also practicing his gripping skills by playing his umbilical cord.
Your Body Changes at 18 Weeks Pregnant
Your womb is already showing now and it will grow more during this week. When you put your two fingers on below your belly, you will be able to feel your uterus. Though it is still about a cantaloupe-fruit size, it is becoming more noticeable. Your waistline has thickened and gained weight as well.
Some women are still experiencing early pregnancy symptoms such as feeling dizzy or light-headed during this week. You will also notice that stretch marks are becoming more visible as your belly stretches and itchy.
Other pregnancy discomforts you will still experience are indigestion, constipation and heartburn. You may have aches and pains in your legs, tailbone and other muscles. You will experience low blood flow as your pregnancy hormones are affecting your cardiovascular system, leading to dizziness.
As your bump grows, pregnancy hormones are at work making your muscles and ligaments relax, which is not good for your back resulting to backache. Because your center of gravity is being shifted, back aches also occur. Your lower back is pulled frontward while your tummy is thrust out.
What to Think and Do this Week
Tests for you
This week, if you still don’t know the gender of your baby, now is the time for you to check it out through ultrasound. Doctors do a detailed ultrasound from week 16 to 20 as gender often can be determined on the said weeks. Your health care provider may also recommend you to go on regular sonogram or a level II sonogram which is used to look at your baby’s growth and development inside you. It is also used to get more details and visual of your baby’s heart. Other test you may take is the Maternal Serum Alpha-Fetoprotein Screening. This test can determine the level of alpha-fetoprotein in your blood.
Things to do
While waiting for your little one to come out (which is still way too long from now), take time to enter Antenatal classes. These classes can help you prepare for your upcoming baby delivery and, through these classes, you can also meet other expectant moms.
Your baby bump is noticeable now and anyone can tell that you are really pregnant. With your growing womb, you might feel like you need to buy new clothes and this is now the time for you to shop for maternity dresses. Trousers or skirts that are elasticated or loose around your tummy will be the most comfortable.
Another thing you should do this period is to get enough rest and sleep. Pregnancy can also make you restless, reason why sleep and rest is important. If you want to stay active and have body relief, you can do light exercises but be careful. Don’t do abdominal stretches as they are not safe for pregnant women. You may consult prenatal exercise experts regarding this.
You may be excited to feel your baby’s first fetal movements inside you and if you still don’t feel anything, you might be feeling down (yes, some women do). It is because of anxiety. Relaxation can help you ease the anxiety. Relax yourself by doing soft yoga, reading or even having a warm bath. Don’t worry if you still do not feel your baby’s movements. You may go a few days without feeling a thing and you can wait until the baby gets little bit bigger.
While you are 18 weeks pregnant, some women say they are beginning to have bigger appetites. Make sure that you try to eat healthy foods that are rich in fiber. Strictly, only eat foods that are healthy and remember that everything you eat is also your baby’s food and this is needed to your baby’s development. If you are a smoker, drinker or taking illegal drugs, you should quit it. If you are having a hard time quitting your bad habits, consult your health care provider for a better solution.