At 18 weeks pregnant you might be feeling your baby move for the first time. Along with that, you are prepping for your ultrasound and your baby is continuing to grow! Check out all the things happening this week!
18 Weeks Pregnant
Congrats! You have made it to 18 weeks pregnant! You are moving right along in the 2nd trimester of your pregnancy.
This might be the week when you start to feel your sweet little baby moving for the first time. It’s not going to be an earth-shattering kick, but more like a flutter.
Don’t worry those big kicks will be coming in the coming weeks when your baby continues to get stronger and bigger.
How Big Is Baby at 18 Weeks Pregnant?
At 18 weeks pregnant your baby is as big as a cucumber weighing in at 6.5 ounces and is about 5.5 inches long.
How Is My 18 Week Fetus Developing?
Your baby is certainly becoming unique this week! They are getting pads of fat on their fingers which are getting unique swirls and lines which will become their fingerprints.
Your baby is also developing its digestive system.
Your body is beginning to swallow the amniotic fluid which then passes through the stomach and the intestines. After that, the fluid combines with dead cells which then forms meconium.
Meconium is the tar-like poop that your baby will poop out before you leave the hospital.
Around 18 weeks your baby’s ears will begin to stand out from the sides of their head and look like their ears when they are born. They can hear you as you talk to them as well as others.
So now is a great time to start talking with your baby.
At 18 weeks your baby’s gall bladder also begins to work.
So lots of things are happening with your 18 week fetus.
How Many Months Is 18 Weeks Pregnant?
18 Weeks Pregnant Belly
Your 18 week pregnant belly is continuing to expand and if you are lucky you might be acquiring some stretch marks along the way.
At this point in your pregnancy, you can expect to gain about 1 to 2 pounds per week. Some gain more and some gain less.
If you find yourself gaining a lot of weight one week or suddenly losing a bunch of weight contact your doctor because this could be a sign that there is a problem.
18 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Leg cramps are a common pregnancy symptom. I call these Charlie Horses and boy are they painful.
Be aware of your calcium intake. You should be getting 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day no matter if you are or aren’t pregnant.
Your levels of calcium in your blood while pregnant contribute to leg cramps.
Eating more cheese, bananas, and yogurt can help with your calcium intake. If you continue to get them then try eating a banana before bed to see if it helps with your leg cramps.
Sleepless nights are a real thing when you are pregnant. You spend most nights trying to get comfortable and then once you do you have to get up and use the bathroom.
To help with those sleepless nights try to limit your screen time while in bed.
Also, avoid foods that will give you heartburn or don’t lay down till after an hour of eating any spicy or greasy food.
Make sure you limit caffeine intake as well.
It’s common to have dry eyes during the second trimester of pregnancy. This is caused by an increase of hormones your eyes aren’t as moist as you are used to.
If you are suffering from dry eyes you can moisten your eyes with artificial tear drops to help with the constant feeling of dry scratchy eyes.
Deciding on If you Are Going to Find Out the Gender
With your upcoming ultrasound, you are probably getting asked a million times if you are finding out if you are going to find out if you are having a boy or a girl.
Choosing to find out at the ultrasound is a decision you and your spouse should make together.
Don’t feel pressured to find out the gender if you want to be surprised in the delivery room.
So if you are on the fence about deciding, think about these questions:
Do I want the nursery to be totally decorated in a boy or girl theme prior to the baby being born?
Do I want to buy gender-neutral clothes for the first little bit of my baby’s life?
Will my hopes be up if I swear it is a girl/boy and then in the delivery room find out it is not what I was thinking?
Do I want a specific name picked out prior to our baby being born?
Based on your answers then you might be able to make a better decision on whether you want to find out if you are having a boy or girl at your ultrasound.
I know several people who have waited to find out if it is a boy or a girl and they all say it is the most exciting thing in the world to hear their husbands announce that “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl!”
What to Do at 18 Weeks Pregnant?
Now is the time when you get to change up the way you sleep.
It is time to start side sleeping.
The reason for this is because your baby is getting so big that it is pressing against your large veins in the back of your abdomen which reduce the blood that goes to your heart.
This will make you lightheaded and lower your blood pressure.
Date Your Spouse
Now is a great time to date your spouse. Take the time to spend time with your spouse because it might get a little crazy when your baby is born.
At 18 weeks pregnant you are probably feeling great and full of energy. But with that being said, you need to make sure that you are taking enough breaks.
Make a list of your daily priorities and do the most important thing first and then move down your list. Don’t get overtired.
Are you going to find if you are having a boy or girl at your ultrasound? Tell us in the comments!
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Our pregnancy calendar is researched & written by our Pregnancy Editor, Dara Duff-Bergeron. Although she rocks, she is not a health care professional. It’s just for entertainment purposes and any recommendations or information provided should not be used as a substitute for the real deal – a trained medical professional.