There will be rapid developments taking place in the body of the baby as well as the expectant mother at 18 weeks pregnant. You will soon be able to feel your baby move inside the womb. Most of the body organs are formed by this week. However, the organs will get functional and further developed throughout the 9 months of gestation.
Symptoms Of Pregnancy At 18 Weeks:
The symptoms of pregnancy will be more or less the same through the 2nd trimester. The several 18 weeks pregnant symptoms are as follows:
- Increase in the body weight
- A visible baby bump
- Cramping of legs
- Swelling of the feet, hands, and face
- Acne and skin problems
- Increase in the appetite
- Breast enlargement
- Food cravings
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Low blood pressure
- Nasal congestion or blocked nose
- Varicose veins
- Development of stretch marks on hips, abdomen, belly, etc.
Development Of Baby At Week 18:
The various developments taking place in the body of the baby at 18 weeks are as follows:
- The baby will be about 5 ½ inches long by the 18th
- The baby will weigh around 7 ounces or 200gms.
- The baby will be about 15cms long from head to toe.
- The baby will start getting more and more straightened during this stage.
- The size of the baby can be comparable to the size of a bell pepper during the 18th week of pregnancy.
- The skeleton of the baby will change from a soft cartilage to a hard bony structure.
- The active fetal movement takes place in the womb, but the expectant mother won’t feel the flexes until few more weeks.
- The baby can yawn and hiccup while in the womb at this week of gestation.
- The baby can actively move all the joints of the body, and can even grasp the umbilical cord.
- The toes and fingers will be well developed, with the formation of nails as well!
- The skin is still very fragile and underdeveloped, thereby making the veins and blood vessels visible.
- The nerves start getting surrounded by a protective covering called as “myelin.”
- The production of myelin will continue throughout the pregnancy and stop only after a year post the birth.
- The nerve cells will continue to form complex connections.
- The nerve connections of the brain will develop into the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing in the body of the baby.
- The external genitals are very much formed and visible by this stage of pregnancy.
- However, the determination of the baby’s gender will depend upon the positioning of the baby at the time of the 18 weeks pregnant ultrasound
- The internal development of the reproductive organs takes place during this week.
Body Changes at 18 Weeks Pregnant:
The various changes taking place in the body of the expectant mother at 18 weeks pregnant are as follows:
- An increase in the appetite, owing to the reduction in morning sickness and nausea.
- Food cravings for specific types of foods.
- An increase in the weight will be seen from this week onwards.
- The waistline will grow, and the 18 weeks pregnant belly will be growing. So, shopping for maternity wear will be a good option.
- A decrease in the blood pressure is observed in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy.
- A drop in the blood pressure levels might make you feel dizzy.
- As the uterus expands and the baby grows, finding a suitable sleeping position will get difficult.
- You can try and use pillows while sleeping and sleep on the sides rather than lying down flat on the back.
- Pain the lower back is a very common problem associated with pregnancy, especially at 18 weeks pregnant.
- The growing uterus will exert pressure on the back, owing to the shift in the center of gravity.
- The increase in the secretion of the pregnancy hormones, namely Relaxin, will relax the ligaments, thereby supporting the growing baby in the womb.
- It is another cause for the increase in the back pain as the pregnancy progresses.
- Indigestion and heartburn will continue to increase during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy.
- The increase in the size of the uterus will exert pressure on the stomach.
- Heartburn and indigestion are common problems associated throughout the entire duration of 9months for most women.
- Having small meals at regular time intervals is a wise option to reduce the digestion problems.
Tips At 18th Week Of Pregnancy:
There is absolutely nothing that can be overlooked during pregnancy. You need to stay healthy and very cautious, especially at 18 weeks pregnant. The various pregnancy tips are as follows:
- During the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, most of the women suffer from low blood pressure.
- The decrease in the blood pressure can make you prone to dizziness and fatigue.
- It is safest to move from a lying or sitting position to slowly standing upright, to ensure you don’t fall.
- The immune system of the body gets considerably suppressed during pregnancy owing to the secretion of the various hormones and allowing the 18 week pregnancy baby development.
- It is advisable to wear low-heeled and comfortable shoes. Staying cautious is of prime importance during pregnancy.
- It is best to avoid wearing contact lenses during pregnancy.
- As you progress towards the middle of the 2nd trimester, many women complain of dry eyes.
- You can use lubricating drops and wear glasses rather than lenses.
- Moving the legs and feet at regular time intervals will help in reducing the discomfort caused by varicose veins.
- Swelling of the feet, hands, and the face is common during pregnancy, especially after the 18th
- However, you must check with your gynecologist if there is too much and persistent swelling.
- You must wear comfortable and loose clothing during pregnancy. Clothes in a breathable material must be used so that the growing belly can be accommodated.
- Hot flashes are very common during pregnancy, especially during the 2nd trimester at 18 weeks pregnant.
- You must wear cotton clothing, with a loose fitting to keep yourself cool.
- Regular intake of curd and coconut water will help in keeping you cool.
- Concentrating on the 18 week pregnancy diet is essential.
- A slow and steady workout is advisable during pregnancy.
- You must strictly avoid lifting heavy weights, bending down, or any exercise which is strenuous.
- Walking and swimming tend to be the best exercises during pregnancy.
- You must wash your hands regularly or use a hand sanitizer to protect yourself against germs and infections.
- The increase in the blood flow to the breasts will enlarge the breast size.
- The breast can go up to twice the original cup size. Therefore, it is crucial to invest in a good maternity bra during pregnancy and while nursing.
- Heartburn can be reduced significantly by having small meals, by drinking water while eating, and also by avoiding fatty foods which are difficult to digest.
- Good dental hygiene will be very beneficial to safeguard you against the dental problems especially at 18 weeks pregnant.
- The pregnancy hormones increase the susceptibility to dental problems such as bleeding and sore gums, swelling of the gums, etc.
- Women who take the pregnancy medications, such as Multivitamins, Folic Acid, Calcium, and Iron, will tend to have healthy babies.
- You must keep a track on the posture of the body to keep body pains and aches at bay.
Pregnancy care is an essential aspect to be kept in mind. Understanding the week and the month of the pregnancy will be beneficial for both, you as well as the baby. You can identify the week of the pregnancy to the corresponding month, and the trimester by the pregnancy calendar, as follows:
|1st Trimester||Month 1||1 to 4 weeks|
|Month 2||5 to 8 weeks|
|Month 3||9 to 13 weeks|
|Month 4||14 to 17 weeks|
|Month 5||18 to 21 weeks|
|Month 6||22 to 26 weeks|
|Month 7||27 to 30 weeks|
|Month 8||31 to 35 weeks|
|Month 9||36 to 40 weeks|
Kegels During And After Pregnancy:
- Kegels are the exercises which strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
- The pelvic floor muscles support the urethra, urinary bladder, vagina, uterus, and the rectum.
- Kegels constitute the best exercise to prevent urine from leaking during and after pregnancy, by strengthening the muscles.
- Kegels also facilitate the circulation blood to the rectal and vaginal areas, thereby reducing the risk of developing hemorrhoids at 18 weeks pregnant.
- Kegels will accelerate the healing process after childbirth.
- The stitches will heal quickly by performing Kegels.
- Kegels can be performed by tightening the muscles around the vagina.
- The tightening is similar to the interrupting of the flow of urine while using the restroom.
- The squeezing and lifting of the vaginal muscles must be performed while keeping the abdomen and the leg muscles relaxed.
- The breath must not be held while performing kegels.
The most amazing baby development at 18 weeks pregnant is the formation of the fingerprints of the baby. The fingertips and the toes will start developing a unique pattern of creases and swirls at this stage. Each and every person will have their unique pattern of fingerprints, which is different from the other. No two people in the world can have the same fingerprints and toe prints. The prints will help in identification of the individual, but also assist in grasping objects post the birth of the baby.
Formation Of Stretch Marks During Pregnancy:
Stretch marks are the most common problems associated with pregnancy. Stretch marks are pinkish, and silver streaks formed on the surface of the skin.
- Stretch marks can develop on hips, thighs, buttocks, arms, abdomen, breasts, etc.
- The main reason for the development of stretch marks on the body is the difference in the elasticity of the skin.
- The differences on the surface of the skin can be caused due to sudden weight loss or weight gain.
- The human skin has the outstanding capability of stretching and getting loose due to the sudden changes in its structure.
- Stretch marks are inevitable during pregnancy.
- Stretch marks will fade away with time, about a year post the delivery.
- You will observe stretch marks in the 2nd trimester around 15th to 18 weeks pregnant.
- However, care for stretch marks needs to be taken from the 1st trimester for best results.
- Applications of skin creams and lotions will help in reducing the skin dryness and itching, thereby decreasing the stretch marks and lines.
- Many people prefer to apply natural ingredients such as Olive Oil and Aloe Vera to help in reducing the stretch marks and lines.
Snoring During Pregnancy:
- Many women feel that they have suddenly started to snore during sleep during pregnancy, especially at 18 weeks pregnant.
- The habit of snoring can be attributed to the increase in the secretion of the pregnancy hormones.
- You can use a humidifier in the room while sleeping to prevent snoring.
- Nasal strips are useful in the opening of the nasal passages. It turns out to be very beneficial for people who snore.
- Sleeping on a couple of pillows is advantageous so that the head can be slightly elevated. It is an excellent way to reduce snoring.
- Snoring is common and temporary, it will reduce post the delivery of the baby.
Weight Gain At 18th Week:
Gaining weight during pregnancy, especially during the 2nd trimester is paramount. You must concentrate well on your diet, and gain weight during pregnancy. At 18 weeks pregnant there should be a minimum weight gain of around 12 pounds.
Many women don’t gain much weight in the 1st trimester of pregnancy because of the increased frequency and intensity of nausea and morning sickness. As you progress into the 2nd trimester, morning sickness will get reduced. Adequate weight gain is of focal importance during pregnancy, to deliver a healthy baby.
You must concentrate on having a nutritious diet and have frequent meals to stay active and hydrated especially at 18 weeks pregnant. You must increase the body’s stamina to endure childbirth.
Determining The Sex Of The Baby:
Prenatal scanning can identify the gender of the baby at from about 15th week of pregnancy to the 18th week. Many people prefer to ascertain the gender of the baby during pregnancy and many others want it to be a surprise. There are both advantages and disadvantages involved with the determination of the sex of the baby before birth.
However, a crucial point to keep in mind before confirming the sex of your baby is to understand that there are limitations to technology. The ultrasound scan may not give you an accurate report as it will be based upon the position of the baby at the time of the scan. You can determine the baby’s sex through genetic testing or amniocentesis. The test is conducted during the 1st trimester to rule out any birth or genetic defects as well.
The non-medical and home ways of determining the gender of the baby can be tried for the sake of fun. There is no medical justification or proof to the non-medical ways for sex determination before birth.