18th Week Pregnancy - Symptoms, Baby Development, Tips And Body Changes


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Completed your 17 weeks? You are now in 18th week of pregnancy. Congratulations! Your baby is exercising and growing in the safety of your warm cosy womb, as you cope to adjust with the changes your body is making at a pace you find difficult to keep up with. The aching back is bothering you once again. Blame it on your uterus, which is shifting the centre of gravity of your body by pulling your lower back down and pushing your belly out. Though it is troublesome, this is much needed for the baby to grow and develop adequately. This is the time where your growing uterus will also start to interfere with your blood circulation. If you lay down on your back, the uterus may press against the veins at the back of your abdomen, hindering the free flow of blood. This could bring down your blood pressure, leading to other problems. So, get used to sleeping on your side until the D-Day, as this becomes the only option.

18 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms and Changes In Your Body:

When you are 18 weeks pregnant, there is not much of a dramatic change in your body. The belly is slowly showing up, conveying and obvious message to the world around that you are pregnant. You may appear fuller overall than you were before the pregnancy and must have gained 3 -6 kg in weight, depending on your build. If for any reason you feel you are gaining more weight than you should, do not resort to measures of going on a crash diet or any other weight loss program without consulting your healthcare provider first. Most of the symptoms of 18 week pregnancy are related to your circulatory system. You may notice the following changes

  • Swollen feet
  • Swelling in hands
  • Cramps in legs
  • Low blood pressure
  • Back ache
  • Varicose veins
  • Nose bleeds

The above changes during 18 weeks pregnancy are all connected to hindered blood circulation in your body. You may begin to see those first stretch marks appearing on your belly as your skin stretches to accommodate the growing uterus.

[ Read: 19 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms ]

Since you are in the coolest period of your pregnancy at the moment, you may feel more energetic and enthusiastic to do things. Shopping and planning a nursery may get tough when your bump grows bigger; hence do all the running around now before you enter your third trimester.

Anomaly Scan:

You may be scheduled for an anomaly scan during this week or sometime soon. This scan allows you to have a closer and clearer look at your baby and the inside of your warm womb she has made her home. The sonographer or gynaecologist will show you the baby, placenta and other details which may pleasantly surprise you. Do not miss to share this very special experience with your partner, for whom it will be a special bonding moment with the baby. Remember, he cannot feel those movements like you do and hence, this will be one of the biggest events of your pregnancy for him so far.

  • At this stage, you will see your baby in the scan clearly than before. You should bear in mind that this is not a gender scan and there is no sure way of telling the gender with anomaly scan. Many things can misguide you.
  • Through the routine anomaly scan, the healthcare provider will be able to find out how well your baby is growing. The practitioner will check if your baby’s weight gain, growth and other things are normal in your womb or not. They will also check if the placenta and umbilical cord are in their proper positions, via the scan.
  • Your bladder needs to be full for the scan to appear clearly on the screen. Drink enough water and other fluids and refrain from visiting the toilet even if you have the urge. The scan will also reveal if you are carrying twins.

If in case the scan detects any abnormality in the baby, it will be left to you and your partner to decide what you are going to do about it. Consult your gynaecologist to understand all the options that are possible with such a situation. Changes In Your Baby: Your baby will take a more human form than before. Get prepared to see the facial expressions she will be making from now on. There are old grandma tales told that these expressions will come back in the baby’s teen years, though this myth has no scientific backing to it. Her closed eyes are quite sensitive to the light that falls on your abdomen. You can see her react to it when you go for your scan. Here are some of the changes you will see in your baby

  • Her face is lively with eyebrows and eyelashes.
  • Her limbs are growing and now look appropriate with the rest of her body.
  • The bones of your baby are hardened (ossified).
  • The bones of her inner ear are hardened and her hearing has improved. She will respond to sounds more than before now.
  • She can form fists with those tiny fingers and also clasp her hands together.
  • The connection between the nerves and muscles is taking place, making her movements more prominent.
  • A fatty layer known as myelin will coat the nerves, so that they will be able to pass messages to her body from the brain and vice versa.
  • Her lungs are quite developed, but the oxygen still comes from her placenta.
  • Her growth spurt is slowing down.
  • She is doing her somersaults from time to time.
  • She can cross her legs, bend her limbs and moves around a lot.

If it is a baby girl growing in your womb, then her fallopian tubes and uterus will get themselves in right position now.