18 Weeks Pregnant
— Pregnancy week 18 means that you are fast approaching the half way
Still you are feeling pretty much good when you are 18 weeks pregnant. The second trimester for most mothers-to-be seems like a breeze when compared to the first.
With the increasing belly size, most women at 18 weeks pregnant think that continuing exercise routine may harm the baby inside. As long as your healthcare provider doesn’t make any objection, you can continue with moderate workout activity.
Are you feeling extra hungry? With the increased belly size and with the growing baby inside, it is completely normal to feel hungry many times in a day. Just ensure that you are having foods rich in nutrients. Avoid excessive consumption of sweets, chips and any other junk foods that add extra calories. Don’t worry about these excess hungry feelings, all these pregnancy side effects will disappear after pregnancy week 40. Just eat and enjoy your pregnant life.
As your belly increases in size, it is normal to feel difficulty while sleeping. During pregnancy most doctors recommend to sleep on left side. Sleeping with back or right side will cause unnecessary pressure on the pelvic veins. The pressure causes the compression of vein called inferior vena cava, which plays an important role in bringing the blood back to the heart.
This week, your circulatory system will go through various changes, so the blood pressure levels might be little low than the usual. Don’t make the movements fast such as sitting, standing and stepping because you may feel dizziness or lightheadedness. This is completely a normal condition during pregnancy but it doesn’t indicate that jumping and running are also acceptable.
Symptoms experienced by an 18 weeks pregnant woman:
When you are 18 weeks pregnant, you may experience mild swelling of feet and ankles. Fluid accumulation in body tissues can cause swelling of the ankles and feet. So, to decrease water retention, avoid standing or sitting for much time and also keep your legs elevated whenever it is possible.
Leg cramps is also a condition that most women experience during pregnancy. This condition make you suddenly woke up during the nights by causing sharp spasm in the calves. Though there is no specified reason for this condition, you can reduce this by practicing calf stretches prior hitting the sack.
Another pregnancy symptom that you experience during these days is flatulence. Feeling very much annoyed with the gas bubbles? Don’t worry! Just try to relax as much as you can because tension makes you to swallow more air inside and makes the condition even worse.
Physical changes that occur in an 18 weeks pregnant woman:
You are enjoying a lot with your baby’s kicks inside the belly. If you are obese, have stronger abdominal muscles or the fetus is hiding, then you may drop on the late end of scale. First time mothers may not experience the fetal moves as soon as in succeeding pregnancies.
Increase in number of capillaries under the facial skin can make you look flushed. During pregnancy week 18 or even in the upcoming weeks, the production of melanin will increase in your body. Higher levels of melanin can lead to the appearance of dark patches at several areas of the skin. This condition can be treated after the child birth.
Your uterus is now just below the belly button. Certainly, you are showing a bit more by now. The size of the uterus when you are 18 weeks pregnant is almost similar to the size of a small melon.
You may also experience several skin, nail and hair changes during pregnancy. Though you may get the pregnancy glow, there is a great chance to develop acne, redness and eczema on your face. These conditions are normal during pregnancy. If you want to consult a dermatologist, make sure to mention that you are expecting.
During pregnancy, hair growth will increase and you may feel the hair more thick. This is because of the diet you are consuming and the prenatal vitamins you are taking, especially iron that plays a major role in hair growth.
Fetal changes that occur in an 18 weeks pregnant woman:
When you are in pregnancy week 18, your baby is about the size of 6 inches in length and weighs about 7 ounces.
Week 18 mainly concentrates on the development of baby’s skin. So far, there are two layers on the baby’s skin, such as dermis and epidermis. By now, your baby’s skin is completely covered by a greasy, cheese or wax like substance called as vernix caseosa. This substance totally covers the baby from head to toe and protects from the dangers of exposing to amniotic fluid, such as bruising, abrasions and chapping. This substance also helps the baby to come out easily from the birth canal.
For baby girls, pregnancy week 18 is the period for the development uterus and vagina. For baby boys, prostate glands are completely developed by this week.
Baby bones will become hard or ossify into the shape of a bone rather than a rubbery cartilage. Clavicle and leg bones are the primary ones that will be ossified initially.
Your baby can react to any loud noises and you may feel the kicks as the baby is scared. You can also hear the baby’s heartbeat by placing stethoscope on your belly. Your baby can now attain a position of crossed legs with the thumb in his/her mouth. You can clearly observe this with the 18 weeks pregnant ultrasound scar.
When you are 18 weeks pregnant, one thing you should be very careful about is pregnancy exercises. If you had a sedentary pregnancy until now, better to start little walking from this week. If you feel that you are an active mother-to-be, plan to modify your prenatal fitness program that fits with the needs your increasing belly.
Take enough rest and few afternoon naps, so the blood flow saves the energy and supplies the essential nutrients to your little one.
Whenever you observe lower blood pressure, try to relax more often. Listening to music and practicing prenatal meditation will decrease the stress levels and also help to stay relax and calm.
For working mothers-to-be, taking work breaks is very important, otherwise unnecessary stress will be put on you and your baby. Till now, if you haven’t undergone ultrasound scan, it is better to consider now.
Have a wonderful journey of the pregnancy!! Go on to know more about the exciting things during pregnancy week 19…