-Increased Belly, Increased Appetite and Complex Balancing Act!
When you are 18 weeks pregnant, it ensures that the most apparent of pregnancy symptoms become real. You love to eat a lot, your appetite goes beyond your control; and soon you observe an enlarged belly.
Most of the pregnant women gain weight anywhere between 10-15 pounds. Don’t worry about this, all these pregnancy side effects will disappear after 40th week of pregnancy. At present, eat and enjoy your pregnant life. By this time, it is better to sleep on your left side; otherwise it puts unnecessary pressure on your pelvic veins.
Your circulatory system goes through major changes this week so your blood pressure may be lower than usual. Make sure you don’t stand too fast after sitting or lying down because it is very likely to feel dizzy.
18th week of pregnancy symptoms and physical changes that occur in your body
In pregnancy 18 weeks, here are the changes you can expect to take place in you and your baby
You can enjoy a lot with your little one’s kicks inside your belly. If you have strong abdominal muscles, you are obese or your fetus is hiding, then you may fall on the late end of scale.
If this is the first pregnancy for you, then you cannot observe the fetal movements as early as in successive pregnancies.
You will feel that now your uterus is just below your belly button. Definitely, you should be showing a bit more by now
Uterus growth and sleeping position
By the 18th week of pregnancy, your uterus is about the size of a small melon; and you may feel uncomfortable while sleeping because of the increased size of your belly. So, it is better to lie on your left side, especially during the third trimester of your pregnancy.
With this, you can prevent the compression of a vein in your body called inferior vena cava. This is the vein which is needed to return your blood back to your heart.
The capillaries under the skin on your face will increase; thus causing you to look flushed. Also, your hair may look little thicker, may gain a curl, or may become thin. You will find that whatever the type of hair issue you normally have, it usually becomes worse i.e., dry hair becomes even drier.
The production of more melanin when you are in week 18 of pregnancy causes dark patches to appear on random parts of your body. They can be treated soon after the birth.
Remember one thing – as your weight increases, there is also an increased production of blood for both you and your baby. Finally, this condition leads to decreased blood pressure.
When you stand up quickly or when you step fast movements, you can feel slight dizziness or lightheadedness. This condition is completely normal during pregnancy, but it doesn’t mean that quick jumping is also acceptable.
Pregnancy exercises and rest
Pregnancy exercises are something you should consider when you are 18 weeks pregnant. If you had a sedentary pregnancy so far, it is better to start walking. If you are an active future mommy, you should modify your prenatal fitness routine so that it fits your increasing tummy.
If you have the possibility, you must consider afternoon napping and also focus on resting so your blood flow will save the energy and send the necessary nutrients to the baby.
Care you need to take when you are 18 weeks pregnant
With the blood pressure being low, it is better to try and relax more often. Listen to music and try prenatal meditation.
Stay away from fried foods no matter how seductive they may look to your taste buds. This will prevent heartburns and save you some stomach discomfort.
If you are a working future mommy, you should consider working brakes more often starting with this week. Also if you didn’t have an ultrasound so far, it is better to have one now.
Changes that occur in the fetus when you are in pregnancy week 18
In the 18th week of pregnancy, your baby is about the size of 6 inches in length and weighs about 7 ounces.
This is a big week for your baby’s skin development. Now there are two skin layers in your baby’s skin: one is epidermis and the other is dermis.
At present, the baby’s skin is totally covered with a waxy, greasy or cheese like substance known as vernix caseosa. This substance can greatly protect your baby’s skin from head to toe from abrasions, chapping and bruising due to the exposure to amniotic fluid. Also, it will be very difficult for the baby to come out from the birthing canal at the time of delivery without vernix caseosa.
Sex organs development
By the end of 18 weeks pregnancy, if the baby is a girl, she will have developed her uterus and vagina. If the baby is a boy, his prostate glands will be fully developed.
Interesting steps in baby’s evolution
- Most of the baby bones harden or ossify into the form of a bone instead of rubbery cartilage. The bones in the clavicles and the legs are the first to ossify.
- The 18 week fetus can react at loud noises and you can feel it kicking because it is scared.
- The baby’s heartbeats can be heard through a stethoscope placed on the mother’s belly.
- The baby starts assuming the position with legs crossed and thumb in its mouth (womb fetus pose), which can be observed with 18 weeks pregnant ultrasound.
18 weeks pregnancy facts
Earlier, there was 1 out of 100 women who had experienced multiple gestation. But now, the number becomes 1 in 50 because of the greater use of fertility drugs and also the procedures like in vitro fertilization.
Maternal age at the time of pregnancy is also a cause leading to multiple gestations. But, there is no need to worry. Twin pregnancies are also safe and there are no major complications. But twins may arrive few weeks earlier than a single baby does.
Get more information on what to expect when you are 19 weeks pregnant.