You’re getting closer and closer to the midpoint of your pregnancy! Here’s what’s going on with you and your baby this week!
Your Body at 18 Weeks Pregnant
The top of your uterus is just half an inch under your belly button. You’ve probably gained a little bit of weight by now, ranging from 8 to 14 pounds, however, you may or may not be showing at this point; either is normal.
If you’re not showing already, get a good last look at your tummy! You won’t see it this size again for quite a while! Some women are not showing at this point, but some are. Either is normal and you shouldn’t worry about your baby based on the size of your bump at this point!
If you haven’t started to wear them already, now is a good time to invest in some good maternity pants! You don’t need a lot, but a few good pairs will go a long way!
Sleeping is likely to be uncomfortable at this point, especially if you’re used to sleeping on your stomach or your back. Now might be a good time to change your sleeping position habits, before you get too terribly uncomfortable. Sleeping on your left side will promote optimal circulation. You may want to invest in a long body pillow, as wrapping yourself around one might help you to get more comfortable at night time.
You’re probably noticing that you’re hungrier than usual lately. Don’t be afraid to eat more frequently, but make sure that the things you’re eating are healthy for you and the baby! There’s no harm in indulging every so often, but don’t let the majority of your calorie intake come from junk!
Your blood pressure might be lower than normal this week, so when you change positions, do so slowly or you could end up dizzy, or even worse, on the floor! This is relatively normal, and shouldn’t be of concern unless the problem persists or is just as intense when changing positions slowly.
Your Baby at 18 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby now weighs between five and five and a half ounces and measures around five and a half inches long! At this point, your baby is about the size of a bell pepper!
Your baby is starting to produce a substance known as vernix. This vernix is a white, cheesy substance that protects your baby’s skin from the wet environment around it. Your baby’s skin is now in two very distinct layers; the epidermis and the dermis.
Your baby is working especially hard on developing strong heart muscles. By this week, any heart abnormalities would be able to be detected on an ultrasound.
Your baby is also producing a substance known as myelin. Myelin serves as a protective coating over your baby’s nerves. Your baby can kick, swallow, suck her thumb and sleep! Amazing feats for such a tiny baby!
If you’re having a girl, her uterus and vaginal canal will be present by the end of this week. If you’re having a boy, his prostate will begin to form this week.
Curtis, Glade B., and D. F. Hawkins. Your Pregnancy Week by Week. Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element, 1996. Print.
“Pregnancy Calendar Week 23.” Pregnancy: Week-by-week Calendar and Free Pregnancy Tickers. Web. 21 Oct. 2010.
“Pregnancy Week 23 – Weeks Pregnant.” Pregnancy Week by Week, a Guide for Mothers to Be! Web. 21 Oct. 2010.
“Pregnancy Week – 23 Weeks Pregnant – Pregnancy Week by Week.” Women’s Healthcare Topics Is Your Source for Women’s Health, Beauty and Nutrition,pregnancy Health and Pregnancy Week by Week Guide. Web. 21 Oct. 2010.
“Your Pregnancy: 23 Weeks | BabyCenter.” BabyCenter | Homepage – Pregnancy, Baby, Toddler, Kids. Web. 21 Oct. 2010.
“Pregnancy Week 23 – A Week By Week Pregnancy Calendar.” Babies Online – Baby, Pregnancy, & Parenting. Web. 21 Oct. 2010.