18 Weeks Pregnant – What Happens When You’re 18 Weeks Pregnant

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18 Weeks Pregnant – What Happens When You’re 18 Weeks Pregnant

18 weeks pregnant

Welcome to your 18th week of pregnancy! Baby is growing quickly and moving around a lot. As your belly grows, it’s time to ensure that you’re sleeping on your side to help maximise blood flow. As baby grows, he presses on the large veins in the back of your abdomen, reducing blood flow to your heart when you lay on your back. You might find yourself feeling a little lightheaded or suffering from low blood pressure from sleeping on your back. See our article on sleeping during pregnancy.

18 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body

You’re really starting to feel pregnant, now, and you’re really starting to look it, too. You may start to experience backaches, swollen feet and varicose veins. All of these are the result of the pressure baby puts on your body, but they are nothing to be alarmed about, unless swelling becomes very severe very rapidly.

Use natural methods to remedy your ailments. Put your feet up as often as possible to relieve swelling. Walking may relieve backaches, as will getting enough rest. You may also be having leg cramps. Sometimes these are the result of dehydration, so be sure you’re drinking enough liquids. Your body uses a lot of fluid during pregnancy, so you need to drink more.

You may notice some shortness of breath now, especially when you exercise. It’s nothing to be alarmed about, just slow down appropriately. Your brain is more sensitive to the level of circulating carbon dioxide in your blood, which is why you feel short of breath.

You may also begin to have trouble sleeping now. It’s not unusual for women’s brains to begin to work overtime, especially at night, during this stage of pregnancy. You may begin to feel that your pregnancy is speeding by and you have too much to do. Doctors aren’t sure if hormones contribute to this feeling, but it is quite common.

Meditation, relaxation techniques, or a warm bath may help you to relax enough to sleep better. A weekend massage or some other pampering is a great way to unwind and help calm your mind, too.

18 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby

Your baby is growing rapidly each week, and you’re noticing it in your hunger level. This week, he weighs about 190 grams, and is about 14 cm long.

He is constantly moving, along with swallowing, hiccupping and yawning. His toenails are developing and his skin is no longer transparent. He is starting to develop fine, soft hair all over his body, called lanugo. In addition, he’s getting some hair on his head. His heartbeat is now strong enough that the doctor no longer needs to use a special prenatal stethoscope to hear it.

If you haven’t had an ultrasound in the last couple of weeks, you’ll probably be offered one now. You’ll be amazed at how your baby has developed. Depending upon his position, and how much he (or she) moves during the ultrasound, you may also be able to find out your baby’s gender.

Kelly Winder is a birth attendant (aka doula), the creator of BellyBelly and mum to three beautiful children. Follow Kelly on Google+ and become a fan of BellyBelly on Facebook. BellyBelly is also on Twitter. Please note that all of my suggestions and advice are of a generalised nature only and are not intended to replace advice from a qualified professional. BellyBelly.com.au – The Thinking Woman’s Website For Conception, Pregnancy, Birth and Baby.


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