Weekly update: What’s happening when you are 18 weeks pregnant?

18 weeks pregnant

You are officially four whole months pregnant. Only five more months to go! The eighteenth week of pregnancy brings home a host of unique developments for your baby. If you didn’t feel any flutters or tiny movements by your baby within your womb, this week may be the start of it. You will also develop some new and not-so-pleasant habits around this week. Want to know all about pregnancy and the many developments happening in this week? Read on right away!

18 weeks pregnant - Signs and symptoms

Your belly is growing larger and larger, and now your pregnancy is easily visible to everyone. Avoid lying down on your back, as your growing uterus continues to press against the large veins in your back it can slow down the blood supply to your heart resulting in dizzy spells or a more serious issue like low blood pressure. This is a risk you cannot afford to take during pregnancy, when your baby relies entirely on you for its nutrition. A simple way to fix this is to simply sleep on your side.

You may have developed a snoring habit! It doesn’t matter if you’ve never snored before. Pregnancy makes the body do funny things. The nasal passages tend to swell and get blocked during this time, which in turn causes snoring during sleep. It’ll go away eventually.

Leg cramps and backaches are a common symptom during this week of pregnancy due to the expanding uterus, growing baby and your weight gain. Swollen hands and feet are common and not worrisome as such. However, if the swelling is sudden and too much, call your gynaecologist immediately.

Varicose veins i.e. swollen and easily visible veins will be a common feature by now, especially on your feet. Increased blood flow and pressure may also cause sudden nosebleeds.

The hormonal changes will also affect your quality of sleep and give you some very weird dreams. Rest assured, every pregnant mommy experiences this!

18 weeks pregnant - What’s happening to the baby?

Your sweet little miracle has grown to about 14 centimetres long and weighs about 200 grams, on an average.
You may not feel it but your baby is keeping itself busy and active inside your belly! The most amazing development this week is that your baby is developing its own unique set of fingerprints! The fat padding is slowly transforming into a complex and one of a kind set of lines and curves that will set your baby apart from the rest of the world for life!

Aside from rolling, tumbling, fluttering, hiccupping and yawning around in your belly, the baby is also developing its own grip and practicing it by holding on to the umbilical cord! The genital organs are fully formed by now.
The baby’s ears are now sticking out prominently, as opposed to being pressed flat against the head all this while.A protective layer called Myelin is beginning to form around your ba

by’s nerves. This layer helps ensure that the nervous system develops and functions properly once the baby is born.

18 weeks pregnant - What should I be doing during this time?

Make sure you’re sleeping on your side – you can also keep a pillow between your knees or under your hips to relieve some of that pressure and sleep more comfortably.

Leg cramps can be a sign that you’re not drinking enough water, so make sure you always carry a bottle of water along with you wherever you go. Ideally, you should get approximately 2 litres of water per day.

To ease the varicose veins, switch your sitting and sleeping positions more frequently. You can also prop your legs up using many pillows. Get enough of exercise or yoga and avoid wearing tight clothes and footwear.

In case of nosebleeds, don’t panic. It’ll subside in a matter of seconds. To stop nosebleeds, simply pinch your nose for about 5 minutes (make sure your breathing is not obstructed), or just use an ice pack on the area.

Sleep may be an issue during this time, so don’t feel too shy to get some sleep even if it’s in the middle of the day. Whatever works for you is good enough!

Make sure you’re gaining weight slowly and steadily, week by week under the watchful eye of a nutritionist or a qualified physical trainer. Sudden weight gain or weight loss can cause harm to you as well as your baby.

Your day should be a good balance of moderate exercise, healthy meals and snacks and restful sleep. Don’t over-exert yourself!

18 weeks pregnant - What should the partner be doing during this time?

You may be required to be more active around the house if you aren’t already. This means more kitchen duties, making sure the pantry is stocked, the laundry is done and the expecting mother has everything she needs.

Offer her a nice leg massage to ease her cramps and aching muscles. Join her in exercises so she doesn’t feel alone or overwhelmed.

Make sure you’re both eating a balanced, healthy diet and getting enough of sleep. You need to be in great shape too, to be able to take care of her and the baby!

Have any doubts or questions regarding your pregnancy? Comment below  !

Know more about the 19th week of pregnancy here.


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