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Cheers to your graduation to the 5th month of gestation. In the 18th week of pregnancy, your belly bump becomes more obvious by the day.
Changes in the 18th Week of Pregnancy
When you are 18 weeks pregnant, you will expand into a huge person. And while you grow, particularly from the middle, your baby will be busy becoming a mature baby.
In the 18th week of pregnancy, you should expect to gain weight rapidly. Your baby is growing at a very fast rate so your body will make the necessary adjustments. These adjustments include a forward pulled lower back and a prolonged abdomen.
The centre of your gravity shifts as you become 18 weeks pregnant. All this extra effort makes your organ work harder. Your heart would, for instance, be functioning 40-50% harder than before gestation. Your extended uterus will put pressure on your blood vessels. While all of these changes are extremely important, they may make you feel dizzy. So rest as much as you can.
In the mid-trimester, and specifically around the 18th week of pregnancy, your body relaxes a hormone known as relaxin. This hormone loosens the ligaments resulting in achy joints and swollen feet. But don’t worry, all of these are the hallmarks of pregnancy.
This week you would also be showered with love from your little one. You will finally be able to feel and notice some fetal movements in the form of gas bubbles or butterflies in the stomach.
At 18 weeks pregnant, your baby size will be similar to that of bell pepper. It would also familiarise the size of a sweet potato. The biggest achievements your baby will gain at 18 weeks pregnant are the skills of yawning and hiccuping. Don’t worry if it yawns, your baby is definitely not bored.
Moreover, your baby’s nervous system is developing and maturing faster than ever. The baby’s nerves by the 18th week of pregnancy are covered by a substance called the myelin. With the help of this substance, one nerve cell transmits messages to the other cell. Myelin continues growing till your baby is one year old.
Your sweetest potato is becoming increasingly active by the day. It is becoming more acute so now is the time to talk and sing to your little one. The senses of your fetus are getting better now. Even the baby’s eyes (which are now popping out of its head) can detect lights.
Another vital organ is setting its final development in the 18th week of pregnancy. The small tubes in the lungs known as the bronchioles have initiated to pop out from the branches. The end of these tubes is where the respiratory sacs will appear.
If your sweet potato is a girl, its fallopian tubes and uterus would be in position by now. If it is a boy, its genitals will already have fully developed.
Also, read about: Tuboplasty for Obstructed Fallopian Tubes
18 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Your waistline will practically disappear this week. Additionally, you will experience the following 18 weeks pregnant symptoms:
- Heightened energy
- Bloating and gas
- Cramping in leg
- Bleeding gums
- Swelling of feet, legs, and ankles
- Stretch marks
- Pain in groin, thigh, and back
- Itching on the skin
- Increased hunger
- Bouts of dizziness
Advice for the 18th Week of Pregnancy
You have to be cautious of what you do, what you eat, how you lie and everything else. This is a week of all kinds of advice. Here are some valuable suggestions:
- Do not lift heavyweight
- Use a firm mattress
- Moderately exercise, if possible do it in water
- Stay clear of secondhand smoke
When to call the doctor
Call your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Vaginal discharge with a foul smell
- Fever and/or chills
- Pain while urinating
- Severe cramping or pain in the abdomen region
- Quick weight gain
Also, read about: Vaginal Discharge: What’s not normal?