Are you now 18 weeks pregnant? Amazingly, your little angel is big enough that you’re quite able to feel him rolling, twisting, kicking and punching in the next few weeks. As your belly grows day by day, ensure that you sleep on your side. This helps to maximize blood flow to your baby and yourself. If you lie on your back, then the weight of your uterus and baby is likely to press on the large veins in the back of your abdomen, which can reduce blood flow to your heart.
Furthermore, moms-to-be could also find themselves suffering from low blood pressure through sleeping on their back or feeling a little lightheaded. At that time, it is better to put a pillow behind you or simply use a body pillow while sleeping. The following is what your body and baby is doing, as well as everything else you may expect this week.
18 Weeks Pregnant – Changes in your body
At 18 weeks pregnant development, you are really beginning to feel pregnant. Your belly is obvious to others. Some expectant mamas can also experience swollen feet, backaches, and varicose veins. Such symptoms are the result of the pressure your kid puts on your body. However, just remember that there is no need to worry about these signs, unless swelling gets very severe and rapidly.
The best way to relieve swelling is to put your feet up as often as possible. Spending time walking can also help to soothe backaches. Still have leg cramps? Then, make sure that you drink plenty of water since dehydration could be the main cause. What else? You can also recognize some shortness of breath this week, especially when you take an exercise. The reason is that your brain is more and more sensitive to the level of circulating carbon dioxide in the blood. Therefore, try to take things easy and you slow down whenever necessary.
This stage of pregnancy is also a time you begin having trouble sleeping. But, it is not unusual for mothers’ brains to start working overtime, especially at night. They can feel that their pregnancy is speeding by while they have too much to do. Although it is not sure whether or not hormones contribute to this feeling, this experience is very common.
To relax and have a deep sleep, relaxation techniques, meditation, or even a warm bath can help. Take time to visit a spa center or try other pampering methods at weekend as these are very ideal to unwind and calm your mind.
18 Weeks Pregnant – Symptoms of pregnancy
As long as your pregnancy well progresses without complications, your signs can be mild this week. Along with increased energy, you could also experience bouts of exhaustion. Once feeling tired, you should take a short power nap. Here are other symptoms that could take place at 18 weeks pregnant:
- Body aches
- Tingling or numbness in both hands and arm
- Stretch marks down abdomen
- Itchy hands, feet, or even stomach
- Gas and bloating
- Frequent urination
- Gum swelling
18 Weeks Pregnant – Your baby development
My baby at 18 weeks pregnant is 14 centimeters in length, weighs about 190 grams, and equal to the size of a bell pepper.
This week, your unborn kid has learned how to yawn and hiccup – very new skills! His/her toenails are developing, and ears have moved into right position, while the skin is not transparent anymore. His/her heartbeat is now so strong that there is no need for a doctor to hear it by using a special prenatal stethoscope. Your angel’s nervous system is rapidly maturing while his/her hearing becomes more acute. That means it is a perfect time to begin talking and signing to your growing bump!
Don’t panic if you may not feel any movement at 18 weeks because it is not a sign that anything is wrong. Normally, the position of the placenta may also affect how much movement you can feel at this stage. If the baby faces the front, such early movements may be muffled. Thus, you can have to wait a few more weeks to feel the bump.
Moreover, an ultrasound is also a wonderful way to know how your baby has developed. Based on your baby’s position, as well as how much he/she moves during the ultrasound, the doctor can reveal to you whether it is a boy or a girl.
What should you do?
If you have not seen a dentist from the beginning of pregnancy till now, then it is a good time to do that. Pregnancy hormones are able to cause irritated and bleeding gums. In addition, pregnancy also increases the high risk of periodontal disease that has been linked to preterm labor. During the second trimester, it is always safe to have routine dental care. However, try to avoid dental X-rays.
Start to think of researching pediatricians for your kid if you haven’t already. This is indeed an important decision. Therefore, it is an excellent idea to begin the search as early as possible. Calling the local hospital and asking for the physician referral department or simply getting advice from friends is a great starting point.
Besides, 18 weeks pregnant is also a wonderful moment to begin planning for your baby’s birth. Want to partake in one of the childbirth classes? Then, make sure to contact your healthcare provider or even the hospital where you plan to deliver so as to know what is available. In general, childbirth classes do help you to well prepare for labor and delivery. Furthermore, these also educate you how to relieve pain and what steps may occur in an emergency.
Finally, the best way to keep your weight gain at a balanced and healthy level is to continue eating a nutritious diet. At that time, mothers should consume a diet that includes calcium- and iron-rich foods, while the foods are high in folic acid, like citrus fruits and leafy greens. For those who crave sweets, the best choice is to eat fresh fruit, instead of processed sweets or cakes. Say No to high-calorie and fried foods. To be sure, overweight women with a BMI of 30 or even above might run a higher risk of gestational diabetes.