You have already formed a full perception of your current state and the responsibility for the life of the little man in the womb – a fairly impressive period has contributed to this. At this point, you have entered the 18th week of pregnancy, which will bring a lot of pleasant and exciting moments. But not to worry too much, we will try to reveal for you a little bit some of the secrets and features of this term.
The 18th week of pregnancy: how the baby develops
The fetus (which used to be called an embryo) at the 18th week of pregnancy already resembles a many times smaller copy of mom or dad. More and more of the traits that a newborn baby has are becoming apparent. And seriously, there are a lot of amazing processes going on inside your womb, among the most important are the following:
- An increase in the total mass of the brain due to the formation of a sheath called myelin. This sheath is responsible for speeding up nerve impulses, and consists mainly of fat;
- Now the perception of the surrounding stimuli becomes more developed – this is facilitated by the development of the middle ear. It is also worth noting that the external auditory organs (auricles) are spreading out. During this period the auditory apparatus is trained, and your baby hears mostly the sounds produced by your internal organs;
- The endocrine system is very active, “releasing” a huge number of different hormones into the fetus’ body and into the mother’s body.
Fetal size in the 18th week of pregnancy
The fetus in the 18th week of pregnancy weighs 250-300 grams, and its growth can reach 20 centimeters. However, weight gain in the future will be more rapid, so the mother should be very careful about her diet and physical activity.
Regarding the proportions of the body, the legs and arms visually remain relatively thin and long, but soon everything will change. Gradually the skeleton strengthens and straightens, but the body still keeps a slightly curved shape (looks like a banana).
The 18th week of pregnancy: feelings
At the term of 18 obstetric weeks of pregnancy, the sensations of the expectant mother can be varied – some “fly”, while others want to lie in peace and silence, because they feel very bad. Everything is explained by the individuality of the human body, the presence of exacerbated chronic diseases and a mass of other factors.
The most desirable thing that a pregnant woman wants to feel at this moment is the slight tremors and vibrations created by the baby. However, it is worth noting that at 18 weeks of pregnancy, the stirring is not at all a must. According to obstetricians, such manifestations of fetal vivacity may occur at 16-20 weeks. Therefore, if you do not feel tremors now, it is likely that the baby has so far considered that it is not yet time to dance inside the mother’s tummy.
In addition to the vibrations created during the baby’s movements (if there are any already), pregnant women may have such sensations:
- Back and abdominal pain – these are stretched ligaments and muscles that are triggered by the growing belly. As a rule, these pains are not prolonged or severe, but arise only because of certain prerequisites (for example, a woman may stand or sleep on a hard mattress for a long time);
- Swelling of the legs is a huge inconvenience, but the phenomenon is temporary. Somewhat reduce this manifestation can be achieved by maintaining the rule not to eat a lot of salt;
- Bleeding of the mucous membranes of the nose and gums – the culprits are estrogen and progesterone, which are very much in the body of the pregnant woman. In addition to these hormones, blood circulation during this period is very active, because it is necessary to provide good nutrition and breathing for the baby;
- Irritated sciatic nerve responds with painful sensations in the lower back, buttocks and hips. The pain will be worse if the pregnant woman lies in the wrong position, when the pressure of the uterus on the nerve will be particularly strong;
- Snoring may appear – this is a consequence of swelling of the mucous membranes, which significantly complicates breathing in the prone position. Many pregnant women are helped by adopting a half-sitting position;
- An enlarged uterus at 18 weeks of pregnancy – can be compared to a small melon – can create a feeling of some heaviness in the abdomen. This is especially felt in a sitting or standing position. By the way, you can palpate the uterus yourself, and you should palpate a little below the navel, where you will feel a rather elastic muscular protrusion – this is the bottom of the female organ.
Ultrasound at 18 weeks of pregnancy
If you have not yet conducted the second mandatory screening, it is a good time to have an ultrasound scan at 18 weeks of pregnancy. This examination is necessary so that a specialist can detect fetal malformations in a timely manner. Also, the doctor will be able to reliably determine the sex of the baby if he takes a good position.
The specialist pays special attention to the placenta. The fetal organ is studied by a number of parameters – for example, the position of the placental disc, its thickness and so on. Naturally, the specialist examines the overall condition of the baby’s body, how its organs work, and much more.
What happens to the body of the mother in the 18th week of pregnancy?
The most obvious change in the body of a pregnant woman is a growing belly at 18 weeks of pregnancy. However, there are a lot of changes going on with the body of the woman with the baby in the womb. First, the mammary glands continue to prepare for lactation. Due to active blood circulation, a distinct network of veins may appear on the breasts, and colostrum begins to flow from the nipples.
Secondly, the skin becomes more sensitive to irritants – this is normal, but may cause some discomfort. At this point it is very important to carefully consider what to wear and what hygiene products to use to avoid excessive irritation.
Thirdly, the expectant mother herself may notice a significant increase in weight. Weight gain is quite normal, but you should not try to put on as many pounds as possible – it’s not good for women and their baby. A weight gain of 5-7.5 kilograms is considered normal.
When a woman or her partner examines her body, she may notice pigmentation on her breasts, shoulders and abdomen. Such a phenomenon may have appeared before, but could make itself known only now, and this is quite normal. In most cases, pigmentation spots will disappear after childbirth, and perhaps even earlier.
Another mark that speaks of pregnancy – it’s stretch marks, or in plain language stretch marks. Especially a lot of these stripes on the chest and abdomen. At this term, striped stretch marks on a visibly rounded belly becomes more.
The 18th week of pregnancy: what to look out for
The baby in the 18th week of pregnancy enters a stage of active growth and development, so you need to pay special attention to your diet. But in addition to consuming quality and nutritious foods, you should definitely include a number of vitamins – these are Omega-3, calcium, iodine and others. In some cases, doctors recommend increasing the caloric content of food.
Also you should be sensitive to those around you who will congratulate you, try to give advice or anything like that. Do not be annoyed or worried, because everyone wants to be helpful and involved in your happiness. In this sense, you should treat their active manifestations in a philosophical way.
As a rule, the baby at 18 weeks of pregnancy is already beginning to show motor activity – these are the most cherished pushes and kicks inside the mother’s womb. You should concentrate on these sensations to help yourself 100% to accept your position as a pregnant woman and future happy mommy.
The 18th week of pregnancy: what to discuss with your doctor
Typically, the 18th week of pregnancy is marked by abundant and, according to women, atypical vaginal discharge. If you are worried about the fact that the discharge has taken on a yellowish hue, then ask your doctor, who will explain to you – it is leucorrhea. This phenomenon is caused by a rush of blood to the vagina and does not pose any threat to the body. It is worth worrying if you have noticed an unpleasant smell from this discharge.
It is also worth asking your doctor about the reasons for the increase in sexual desire – this is also observed in many pregnant women at this term. You should clarify whether there is a threat to the baby during sexual intercourse in your case.
If you feel pain in the abdomen and lower back, ask your doctor if you should wear a special bandage. In some cases, the practice is very positive for women and does not harm the baby. But sometimes there are quite obvious contraindications to wearing such belts or bodywear, so you should not refuse to consult a specialist on this issue.
The 18th week of pregnancy: tips
AN IMPORTANT TIP – IF YOU HAVE NOT YET DONE A SECOND SCREENING, THEN IT’S TIME TO DO AN ULTRASOUND AT 18 WEEKS OF PREGNANCY. THE RESULTS OF THE STUDY WILL ALLOW YOU TO KNOW HOW THE BABY IS DEVELOPING. ALSO, A SPECIALIST WILL TELL YOU ABOUT THE LIKELIHOOD OF ABNORMALITIES OR ANY ABNORMALITIES.
Usually at this term, a woman feels quite normal, and you can say good. There are no special fluctuations in physical and emotional terms, except for small episodes like absent-mindedness, occasional somnolence and the like. So it’s a good time to study information about your future role as the mother of the baby that is in the womb. Try to read and communicate more on this topic, gathering useful data for yourself for the future.
As a psychological training, build feel your baby’s movements and describe what you feel directly. In each case, women describe these sensations differently – in one case it feels like a whisper, in another it feels like a small bubble rolling over the bottom of their belly. Feel your baby in your own way, because you and your baby are special.
Be sure to pay attention to your body – we hint at your swelling, stretch marks and irritations. Chances are that you have abandoned the usual cosmetic products, which is 100% right. You should use only safe means, which will reduce the discomfort of pregnancy on the skin. And with swelling will help to cope with foot baths with cool water.
The 18th week of pregnancy: Questions and answers
A young mother and even a woman who has already given birth at 18 weeks of pregnancy may have a lot of questions that she wants to find answers to. You should not assume that there is no one to help you – there is reference and special (medical) literature, there is a doctor who observes the course of pregnancy from an early age. There are also more experienced acquaintances, as well as loved ones – for example, your own mother. But we are also ready to get involved in this circle of informational help for pregnant women.
What does the baby look like at 18 weeks of pregnancy?
Compared to last week, the baby’s appearance has not changed as dramatically. The skin has become a little less translucent, the body has begun to gain muscle mass, but some disproportionality remains.
What should be the movements at 18 weeks?
Many pregnant women can already feel fetal movements – they look like slight vibrations inside your belly. If there are no such sensations yet, there is no obvious reason to worry, because the baby still has time to spare (until the 20th week).
Where can I feel the baby’s movement at 18 weeks?
As a rule, the first tremors of the baby will be felt in the lower abdomen. A little later you will be able to feel tremors and vibrations in different parts of the abdomen.
What month of pregnancy is 18 weeks?
18 obstetric weeks of pregnancy is the fifth month of your interesting situation. Regarding the trimester, it is still the second trimester.
Where is the uterus at 18 weeks of pregnancy?
Your tummy is growing, indicating that your uterus is actively growing. The female organ (uterine fundus) is currently about 1.5 to 2 centimeters below the navel line, which allows you to feel its position independently.