Most women find pregnancy easier and exciting when they are 18 weeks pregnant. This is because week 18 is marked by a bigger baby bump, increased appetite, renewed energy and most of all, increased fetal movements.
At 18 weeks pregnant, the mother is advised to make most of the time to interact and bond with her unborn baby. The father can also join in so the baby can become familiar with his or her parents’ voices. This interaction has been found to have a profound effect on the psychological and emotional needs of the child.
What to expect at 18 weeks pregnant
- Weight gain
Women who are 18 weeks pregnant should have gained anywhere between 10 and 15 pounds, although the amount of increase differs from one woman to another. This also depends on whether it is a single or multiple pregnancies. The additional weight may make sleeping quite uncomfortable, but many find that lying on the left side solves this issue.
- Pregnancy symptoms
Week 18 is a wonderful week for many pregnant women as pregnancy symptoms are not quite bothersome. Besides, the renewed energy allows them to engage in some fun-filled activities and exercises; while the increased libido is conducive for more intimate moments with their mates.
Ultrasound at this time is not mandatory but it has been proven useful not only in knowing the baby’s gender but also in the early detection of pregnancy problems. Some doctors ask for it to find out the existence of birth defects as well as to ensure that the fetus is in prime condition.
Fetal Development at the 18th week of pregnancy
The baby on week 18 is rapidly growing and weighs nearly 7 ounces and measures 6 inches long. Most of his or her senses are reaching maturity. The baby’s body also starts to produce myelin, a protective covering of the nerves. The lungs on week 18 may still be immature but the windpipe has divided into two main airways. Although the baby’s inner ear is still developing, the outer ear is already well-developed and reacts to sounds from the outside environment.
Week 18 is also the week when the prostate glands have matured for baby boys; and the vagina and uterus for baby girls. The baby’s skin likewise undergoes a remarkable development and is now comprised of two layers and becomes covered in vernix caseosa. This greasy substance serves as a protective barrier for the baby’s skin as well as a lubricant during delivery.
Symptoms of 18 weeks pregnant
- Back pain
This is common due to expanding uterus and coupled with the shifting of the body’s center gravity.
This could be due to low blood pressure or increased blood production.
- Increased appetite
It comes as no surprise for an 18-week pregnant woman to feel hungrier during this time. However, the mother needs to eat sensibly and healthily as her baby needs nutritious foods for optimum growth.
- Poor memory
This is relatively common among 18 weeks pregnant women, making it extremely imperative for them to write down important meetings, appointments or tasks.
At 18 weeks pregnant, the woman should enjoy her pregnancy by interacting and bonding with her baby and continue eating and living healthily so as to give the best to the growing being she is carrying.
18 weeks pregnant, how many months ?
If you are going by the calendar months, the period between 18 and 22 weeks is 5th month of pregnancy. So basically, you are beginning your 5th month in pregnancy.
18 weeks pregnant pictures