18 Weeks Pregnant

18 Weeks Pregnant

Revathi V Gopal
By Revathi V Gopal
During this time of pregnancy, your little one would be growing and gaining weight. In this second trimester, you would be feeling much better than in the last weeks. However, you have to continue to take care of yourself as it is essential for your little one's growth. In this stage, your little one can yawn and even make facial expressions. You could even feel your baby moving as you place your hands on your bump. If you speak to your little one, your baby might make slight movements too. In this article, we will look at the changes happening during the eighteenth week of pregnancy. We will also consider some tips that can be beneficial for you while you are eighteen weeks pregnant.

What Happens During the Eighteenth Week of Pregnancy?

Changes continue to happen in this week of pregnancy. Your little one would be growing tremendously, and you would also be facing changes. Here are some of the things that can happen to you and your little one during this time of pregnancy.

Hormonal Changes and Other Symptoms

Due to the pregnancy symptoms that happen during this time, your pelvic joints would become loose. It is a way of preparing yourself for the delivery. Because of this, you might notice pain in your hips, which is also common. The presence of relaxin, a pregnancy hormone, would result in the relaxation of your ligaments. Here, it happens to the pelvic bones that attach to your spine, and there would be a loosening of the joints. Due to this, you might face back pain, which is yet another impact that you can have during the eighteenth week of pregnancy.

Other than these changes, the hormones can result in the swelling of the mucous membrane. You could also notice bleeding from gums, which means that you have to take care of dental hygiene. For that purpose, you have to continue flossing and have to brush twice a day. By doing this, you can prevent periodontal diseases during your pregnancy.

Another symptom that you can have is edema, which is the swelling up in the feet and ankles. It happens because of the accumulation of excess fluids in your body tissues. Besides, you would also have abdominal pain, which is due to constipation. It is something that happens while you are pregnant because of the stretching of the abdominal ligaments. These are the main changes happening to you because of the hormones and other pregnancy symptoms in this week of pregnancy.

Bodily Changes

Your belly would get bigger, and you would feel clumsy because of this change. Your baby bump would be visible, and your uterus would measure around 18 cm. For some of you, your bump might not be visible at this stage of pregnancy. It depends upon different factors such as weight gain, height, and build. Another component is the number of k

During this time, there would be a shift in the center of gravity as well. Hence, it is best to reduce the chances of falling as it can be dangerous for your little one.

Other than your uterus, your breast would also be increasing in size. It is in preparation for breastfeeding your little one. You would also notice that there is a decrease in your blood pressure when you are in the eighteenth week of pregnancy.

When you are in this stage, you can feel your little one making its movements. It can be a precious moment for you and your loved ones. There would be a line that moves down your stomach, which is known as linea nigra. However, it would vanish off within a few months after your delivery.

Fetal Development

During the eighteenth week of pregnancy, your little one would be five inches long. When it comes to the weight, your baby would be five ounces. Other than that, several changes are happening to your bundle of joy this week. Since your baby is receiving nourishment, your little one's first poop gets formed in the bowels. It is known as the meconium.

Besides, when it comes to boys, there would be the development of the prostate gland. For girls, the fallopian tubes and the uterus would have reached their final position. In the previous weeks, changes were happening to your little one's fingers and toes. During this time, your baby would develop finger and toe prints as well. Your baby's nervous system would be forming as well in this time of pregnancy.

Myelin, a substance coating nerves that enhances the speed of sending messages, would boost the functioning of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. It is also a factor that helps in creating complex connections among nerves. Even though your little one's ears have formed, it is in the eighteenth week that it would reach the correct position. All the tiny bones present in your little one's ears would have hardened. It would help your baby to listen to sounds at this time.

If you have an ultrasound scan this month, you will notice a glimpse of yawn and other movements. It is the time when you can choose if you want to know the sex of your little one. Here, you can notice that your little one's head is close to the chest, and the feet would be pointing downwards. These are the changes that happen to your little one during the eighteenth week of pregnancy.

Tips to Take Care of Yourself During the Eighteenth Week

While you are eighteen weeks pregnant, it is time for you take to consider your health closely. Here, we have brought together different tips that can help you enhance your and your little one's well-being.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet

When you are on a diet, you have to follow it to reap the benefits. Here, it is best to stick to healthy food items, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains products, etc. Ensure that you are receiving an ample amount of nutrients through your diet. It is essential for your well-being and also for your little one. While having your meals, you have to eat slowly and also chew them thoroughly. You can also take smaller meals and concentrate on healthy snacks. Through this, you can reduce the chances of feeling ill or sick when you have different food items.

Once you finish having your meals, it is best to sit upright for some time. It would help you in the digestion process. Besides that, you have to ensure that you are drinking plenty of water. It is best to maintain it between eight to ten ounces. You can also have other forms of fluids like juices, smoothies, soups, etc.

When you are on a diet, you have to ensure that you have calcium and iron-rich food items. Apart from that, it is best to have food items that are high in folic acid. You can also avoid having food products that are high in calories. It is best to reduce having fried food items in your diet.

Take Care of Your Physical Health

Exercises can be a great addition to boost your health and your overall well-being. They can assist you in staying fit during your pregnancy, which is pertinent for your baby's health.

Even though there are numerous workout options you can try, it is best to avoid some exercises. They include upside-down bicycles, shoulder stands or poses that focus on lying flat on the back. You can speak with your doctor and even join a class to get a clear picture.

Other than these workouts, it is helpful to avoid practicing exercises such as deep knee bends, backbends, bouncing, jumping, etc. Regardless of the exercises you follow, ensure that you are not pushing yourself a lot.

Enhance Your Mental Health

Even though most of you would be considerate about your physical health, you have to take care of your mental well-being. Here, you might feel an emotional strain due to the changes happening in you. It could also be due to the baby bulge that grows in you. Another factor could be thinking a lot about your little one and how you would take care of them. Even though you might feel stressed, remember that you can always seek assistance.

You might be having an increase in your anxiety levels and could even feel stressed out. Due to the mood swings happening with you, you might even have crying spells.

Other Tips

Here are a few other tips that can help you during the eighteenth week of pregnancy. They are:

  • It is best to avoid making sudden moves.
  • Your little one would make their first kicks during these weeks. Hence, it will be beneficial to stay prepared for them.
  • When you sleep, you can find comfort by sleeping with a pillow under the bottom. Through this, you can reduce any form of discomfort that might be there while lying down on the bed.
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