This is the time. When you lie down, you have to sleep on your side. Your baby and your uterus are now so big that it will start to press against your back. So, it is at best you sleep on your side, every time. Pregnant women at 18 weeks will see another host of changes in her body. Sounds scary sure, but it really isn’t. You just need some good rest or a nice massage.
Table of Content:
- Month and Trimester || What to Expect || Signs and Symptoms ||
- Baby Development || Activities || Diet and Exercises ||
- How to Overcome Stress || Medical Tests and Scan || Ultrasound ||
- Tips and Precautions || Risks to Face || Checklist ||
Which Month and Trimester are You in at Pregnancy Week 18?
You are in your fourth month of pregnancy, the second trimester. But believe us, you will have more energy and be more active than you were in your first trimester.
18 Weeks Pregnant: What to Expect?
The total months covered during pregnancy is nine months which is a good 40-week plan. Because of all frequent doctor visits and weekly monitoring, pregnancy is mostly counted in weeks. These 40 weeks are categorized into three parts. The first, second and third trimester; in this article, we are talking about the 18th week of pregnancy. This is the second trimester which is also known as the ‘golden era’. Week 13 to 27, the ideal time for the second trimester is finally when the mother has gotten used to all the new changes in and around her.
See More: 17 Weeks Pregnant Baby Movement
Her previous symptoms, like morning sickness and haphazard emotions, are now controlled, and she finally can enjoy a good night’s sleep. With the passing of time, the fetus develops slowly, and thus it is at this time when the development monitoring is required more than ever to ensure healthy growth. Week 18 sees a lot of developments in the fetus, some of which are enlisted below.
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18 Weeks Pregnant Signs and Symptoms:
Here is a look at what happens to the mother’s body.
1. Low Blood Pressure:
At around this time, certain pressure problems, including varicose veins, might occur. As the baby inside grows more and more, he starts putting more pressure into the body and with such pressure conditions in consideration and cardiovascular pressure, low blood pressure might be a common scenario. With these come issues like swollen feet, which is normal. To overcome this problem, drink a lot of tea and fibre. Cut off on salt, since that might be a major reason for the change in pressure. These steps should benefit you all the way in the long run.
2. Appetite Growth:
The main fetal developments occur at around this time, so by your 18th week, the mother can feel his baby bump grow a tad bit more with her appetite rising more than last week. It is advisable to stick to organic nutrition food at this time since the baby nourishes itself from the mother. However, do not hesitate to bite into that chocolate bar once in a while. To overcome your excess fat gain during pregnancy, improve child growth development; take snacks like salads, nuts regularly, while you are hungry. If you take a large-sized meal on an everyday basis, it will increase your weight.
3. Back Pains:
This week that weird back pain has been bothering you right? It is because of your sleeping position. With the baby inside growing sleeping on your back now can put a lot of pressure to not only the back but also cardiac pressure. This is why it is usually advisable for you to sleep on your side to equalize blood flow. This is why it is usually advisable for you to sleep on your side to equalize blood flow. Apart from that, support your back at all times and do not cross your legs when you sit anymore.
4. Gastrointestinal Issues:
Most of the digestive problems of pregnancy begin with constipation. Some women have gastrointestinal disorders that are unique to pregnancy. The high levels of certain hormones during pregnancy relax the muscles of the bowels and make it hard for them to work efficiently. The increasing uterus push on the bowel disrupts normal function, to overcome this issue, you should keep monitoring on your intake with minimal calories and full of nutrients.
More than half of the all pregnant women report symptoms of severe heartburn, chiefly during their second and third trimesters. Heartburn is an irritation or burning sensation of the oesophagus caused by stomach contents that reflux back. To reduce the problem, eat slowly, drink less while eating and do not lie down immediately after eating. Wear loose-fitting clothing; it will increase the pressure on your stomach and abdomen.
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18 Weeks Pregnant Baby Development:
Week 18 will see a lot of changes. It is not only the mother who undergoes physical and physiological changes but here are some things that happen to your baby too around this time.
1. Measurement and Baby Weight:
18 weeks pregnant bump is not small anymore! From a small little spec to a good five and a half inches can be seen in your little baby’s body, from top to bottom. By the 18th week, the baby seems to grow to an approximate 5-1/2 inches, which are when he or she should weigh around 5 ounces. However, this is an approximate measure for all, and every baby differs in height and weight, which is pretty all right if it is something on the edge of the given measurements. Some babies can be underweight while some may be over. Frequent doctoral supervision and monitoring is one way you can ensure healthy baby growth.
The highlight of this week is the yawn that your child inside learns. The baby inside belly has now learned to yawn and keep on changing position, which is clearly felt by the mother. This is one of the main highlighted fetal movements, and at times you may find no movement as well. The other fetal movements from before including slight kicks to the stomach. If the mother feels an awkward rumbling inside her stomach, it is probably the baby who is rolling down under in a playful manner which is completely normal and safe.
3. Nervous System Development:
In our 18th week of monitoring the doctor says that the baby’s nervous system is growing and expanding slowly as he puts his nerves to use around this time. Our body is a twisted knotted pattern of nerves connected to another in a mass-like mesh. The nerves that connect one to another is at this point growing and proliferating in number. This nerve connector is known as myelin which now can be seen working in your child’s body. This myelin is responsible for passing of quick impulses or messages from brain or spine to the other body parts. Now he can sense and smell and taste as his sensory organs start becoming active.
4. Physical Development:
Not all the internal working of the baby can be registered or seen, but the physical developments are prominent on the ultrasound. The baby’s skin is now no longer transparent but taken its original colour. His toenails and hair follicles are forming slowly. Lanugo, the soft hair that grows around his body to protect him is now seen. His heartbeat is now strong enough for the doctor to assess it using a stethoscope to your baby bump directly.
Now is the time when knowing if your baby is a boy or girl will get exciting for you and your partner, of course, cannot wait either. While some parents decide to wait to know, some do not mind spoiling the mystery beforehand to make advancements with the home and child planning. Now is just week 18, so it might not be clear yet, however, do not worry, by the end of the week or two, it will all become clear.
6. Sex Chromosomes:
Although the gender of your baby is not determined until he or she is born, it is fixed upright at the time of fertilization. Each egg contains two chromosomes, the X ones, and sperm has X and Y chromosomes. Depending on the pairing, if it is a pair of X, it will most certainly affect the gender of your baby, and it will be a girl, else it will be a boy if the pair is X and Y. In the end, this is the stage where you will get to know what happened back at the time of conception. Which is why this week is a major development.
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18 Weeks Pregnant Activities:
Now at the 18th week, your bump is still growing, and you need to find yourself new ways to adjust your walking position and your sleeping position. In this week, your baby’s nervous system is maturing rapidly, so you need to concentrate on your body posture, while you go to sleep. Ensure sleeping position, the spine should be as straight as possible, and while you get up in the morning, maintain your body balance and then get up from your place or bed. The baby’s brain feels the taste, smell and sight, and hearing, your baby is growing more actuate. Make your little one more aware of sounds that come from inside your body. Maintaining your sleeping and walking position this week, which will help to reduce your back pain.
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Pregnancy Diet and Exercises:
Not only your diet, but you also need to watch your exercise.
- Your diet this week needs all the vitamins and fruits that there out there. Your daily food must contain vegetables and fruits. The fruits and vegetables which is full of nutrients will help to grow your baby easy and healthy.
- Instead of eating raw veggies, you should make smoothies and fresh vegetables in your diet to boost your energy. Some of the smoothie fruits are pomegranate, strawberries, kiwis and oranges, apple, bananas
- The important and essential nutrient is iron, which is vital to develop and boost your red cells; you must add food like spinach, lean meat, bananas, and cherries to your diet.
- Calcium is one of the crucial nutrients, which helps in your baby’s development. Doctors suggest to take leafy vegetables, dairy products, bread, raisins and wholegrain, nuts on a regular basis will increase the calcium in your body.
- Vitamin C makes your body healthy. During the pregnancy, you can take it in the form of oranges and lemons, among the citrus fruits.
See More: 19 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Doing some exercise during the 18th week of pregnancy will help you to keep your body healthy and boost your child’s growth. Here are a few exercises recommended for you.
1. Belly Breathing:
Belly breathing yoga technique will help you and provide you with stress relief. For this exercise, sit and put your legs across. Support with your back and hands on the belly. Repeat it 5 times.
2. Pelvic Rest:
To give pelvic rest, you should keep doing this exercise on a regular basis. During this pose support with a cushion and rest your back, thighs to maintain the centre of gravity.
Walking during pregnancy will help to keep you more active, but also leave you stress-free and make you happier and at peace.
4. Inhale & Exhale:
Inhale through your nose and hold your breath and exhale your breathing will help you to improve your abdominal health and also will help you to strengthen the muscles to help with your contraction later.
Best and simple yoga will help to enhance your body elasticity and boost up your stamina. This will allow you to have a better mind and body when the time comes for your release.
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Sex During the 18thWeek of Pregnancy:
Pregnancy during 18th week, sex is very safe, and you can keep your thoughts of damage to your baby away. Do make sure with your doctor, having sex during pregnancy is safe or not for the baby. Your hormonal changes might often make you want sex, while some lose interest entirely. Apart from these things, if you have decided to have sex during pregnancy, then talking about the poses, going easy and slow would be a wise move.
How to Overcome Stress During 18th Week Of Pregnancy:
- This is just about time for you to start relaxing. Announce at work that you have reached your limit. People will understand and cooperate, and your baby will thank you later.
- Talk to your partner the whole time about all the changes and progress you experience. That will clear things up for you, and also make it easier for you to know where you are heading, while he feels more involved.
- While everyone’s symptoms vary, finding something common with other moms-to-be is not a bad feeling. Prenatal classes should be the right choice for the same.
- Food and sleep are important. Do not get carried away with cravings, but do entertain healthy choices more.
- Exercise well, since it might improve your mood. You can indulge in yoga and meditation as well if your stress is severe.
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Medical Tests and Scan While 18 Weeks of Pregnancy:
Come 18th week, and there would be some health checkup for you to keep in mind. Since it is the 18th week; blood tests should make things clear for you and occasional ultrasounds can also be expected during this time. Spinal and HCG fluids will be checked to determine the abnormalities in the fetus and few medicines are recommended for you to keep your body healthy
- Dull Pain and Troubles– Acetaminophen. Stay clear of ibuprofen and naproxen.
- Allergic Reaction– Antihistamines and loratadine. You should avoid the medicines pseudoephedrine and decongestants like phenylephrine.
- Cough– For heavy cough, Dextromethorphan and guaifenesin are prescribed.
- Gastrointestinal Problems– Metamucil and Colace. Avoid laxatives and mineral oil.
- Indigestion and Stomach Burning – Antacids and famotidine.
18 weeks pregnant belly will keep expanding and will keep stretching. You might also gain weight in this period.
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18 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound:
Another exciting part is ultrasound. Your ultrasound can show that your baby is now capable of swallowing, yawning and hiccupping. He/she can roll, twist and probably kick and punch too! This all is going to be big enough for you to feel it!
18 weeks pregnant with twins, you will see a membrane that will separate the two fetuses. They will wiggle around, and when they do so, they might push the fluid around, and the membrane might shift slightly. You will be able to see this on your ultrasound.
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What are the Tips and Precautions to Take at 18 Weeks Pregnant?
- Moisturize your skin more often now to get rid of or avoid the stretch marks. You are dreading.
- To prevent excessive weight gain, try to cut out on food items like sugar, coffee, and oil as much as possible.
- Drink more water than usual to keep yourself hydrated, even if it means more urination. This will also help cut down on your food cravings and help you lose weight.
- Exercise precautions on your overall oral hygiene system prevent from bad bouts and other infections on your gums that can overtake through food.
- There might be some itching owing to the stretching of your skin. Keep over the counter medicines and oil for quicker relief.
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What are the Risks to Face at 18 Weeks Pregnancy?
Nothing really, if you are strict on your pregnancy diet and regular with your exercise, there is nothing to worry at all. However, if you spot some bleeding, it is necessary that you immediately set up an appointment and consult your doctor.
See More: 20 Weeks Pregnant Development
Checklist for Pregnant Women at 18 Weeks:
- You can plan a good outing with your partner or friends. Remember you need to relax and stay stress-free very often.
- Start reading on baby care and parenting tips. This will really help you.
- The main thing is to switch your sleeping position, from back to the side.
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Your 18th week is not the hardest, but it sure is a significant period. Prep yourselves for another exciting 5 months talk to your baby. She/he will be in a position to listen to you. Follow your diet, and you will see how healthy and a memorable journey you will have. Manage through your symptoms and talk to someone every day. It sure will not be hard.