18 WEEKS PREGNANT
Your body as you know, is undergoing major changes as you’re carrying your little one.
During this period, your blood pressure will be lower than usual, so avoid standing up too quickly from a sitting or lying position to avoid the dizzy spells.
At this point, make it a habit to sleep or lie on your side as lying flat on your back might cause your uterus to press against the large veins in the back of your abdomen and this will reduce the amount of blood flowing to your heart.
In this “honeymoon” period of your pregnancy, remember to take time to enjoy the process with your hubby!
18 WEEKS BABY SIZE
How big is baby at 18 weeks? Your baby is the size of a strawberry, which is about 14cm (140mm).
The current weight of your baby is about 200grams (0.2kg).
18 WEEKS PREGNANT WEIGHT GAIN
This is the weight gain that you must achieve this week.
|Underweight||(BMI <18.5)||0.44kg to 0.58kg|
|Normal weight||(BMI 18.5 to 24.9)||0.39kg to 0.50kg|
|Overweight||(BMI 25 to 29.9)||0.23kg to 0.33kg|
|Obese||(BMI ≥ 30)||0.16kg to 0.25kg|
During the second trimester, you will need to eat an extra 340 calories a day.
18 WEEKS PREGNANT SYMPTOMS
While some argue that this is the ‘easiest’ part of the pregnancy, there are still some pregnancy symptoms that you simply can’t escape from.
Being 18 weeks pregnant, here are some signs and symptom that your body might be experiencing:
- Feeling faint. This might happen when standing up too abruptly from a sitting or lying position. During this period, your blood pressure is lower, so do avoid drastic and abrupt actions to avoid the dizziness.
- Food cravings. An increase in appetite and food cravings is pretty common at this stage. Ensure you eat food rich in nutrients for your baby and should you be a snacker, snack healthily.
- Swelling. Swelling, called edema, is common in pregnancy (on the hands, face, legs, ankles and feet) as the body produces about 50% more blood and body fluids to meet the needs the baby’s needs. This extra retention of fluids softens the body which enables the body to expand as the baby develops.
- Varicose Veins. These unusually swollen veins develop as your uterus puts pressure on the vein (inferior vena cava) and this results in an increase in pressure on your leg veins. The skin around the varicose vein might itch or have a burning sensation. But the good news is, they tend to improve after birth.
- Backaches. As your belly gets bigger and your baby grows, the increased weight might pose a strain on your back. Do rest when you can and try not to stand for long periods of time.
You will face food cravings. Ensure you eat food rich in nutrients for your baby and if you do snack, snack healthily.
18 WEEKS THE PREGNANT BELLY
Your baby bump is starting to get more obvious. However there are still pregnant mums that are not yet showing. Don’t worry since every pregnancy is unique. Yours will show in time to come.
This is also probably the period where you’ll be offered seats on public transports. Don’t be shy and accept the offer! After all, you’re pregnant and you would need to ensure the safety of you and your little one!
HOW IS MY BABY 18 WEEKS PREGNANT?
Your baby is now putting his or her newly formed muscles to use. He or she is busy flexing the arms and legs and when the little one does so, this is when you will feel the “kicks” on your belly.
Your baby is also honing his or her sucking and swallowing skills that are much needed for feeding after he or she is delivered. And guess what? Baby is now capable of having hiccups too.
The blood vessels are still visible through the thin skin, and the ears have now reached the correct place on the head.
In fact, your baby is able to hear sounds and may even be startled at loud sounds. Your baby is also changing positions frequently, from tossing and turning to turning somersaults.
Myelin (a pregnancy hormone) increases, which helps enhance signalling within the baby’s nervous system. If your baby is a boy, the genitals are now noticeable. If your baby is a girl, her uterus and fallopian tube are formed and are now in place in her little body.
During your upcoming prenatal appointment, you will finally be able to tell the gender of the baby, with great certainty (yay!).
WHAT TO DO AT 18 WEEKS PREGNANT
Reminders for the week:
- Remember to exercise and eat healthily
- Switch your sleeping position to sleep on your side instead of on your back