18 Weeks Pregnant: What to expect

Are you experiencing a rumbling sensation in your abdomen? It might be attributed to either pregnancy-induced hunger pangs or the initial indications of fetal movement, which typically commence around the 18th week of pregnancy.

Your Baby's Development at Week 18

  • Your baby now possesses unique fingerprints on their tiny fingertips and toes.
  • Protective myelin is beginning to form around the baby's developing nerves, a process that continues until their first birthday.
  • For those expecting a girl, the fallopian tubes and uterus are now properly positioned, while for those expecting a boy, genital development may be visible during the next ultrasound.

How Many Months Is 18 Weeks Pregnant? If you are currently 18 weeks pregnant, you have entered the fifth month of your pregnancy, with four months remaining until your due date.

Baby's Size at 18 Weeks At this stage, your baby measures about 5½ inches in length from crown to rump and weighs approximately 5 to 6½ ounces, roughly the size of a boneless chicken breast. Some mothers may start feeling movements like twisting, rolling, kicking, and punching in the womb.

Baby's Development Highlights

  • Your baby can yawn and even hiccup, which you may feel soon.
  • The nervous system is rapidly maturing, with a network of nerves covered in myelin forming complex connections, particularly in the brain areas responsible for touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. Additionally, your baby's sense of hearing is becoming more acute, allowing them to hear sounds coming from inside your body.

Changes in Your Body at Week 18

  • Your belly is noticeably growing, resembling the size of a cucumber, and your uterus is about the size of a sweet potato.
  • Backaches are common due to the shifting of your center of gravity and the relaxing effect of the hormone relaxin on ligaments and joints.
  • Heartburn may occur more frequently during this period. Eating slowly, chewing thoroughly, and maintaining an upright posture after meals can help alleviate this discomfort.

Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 18

  • Experiencing fetal movement.
  • Bloating and gas.
  • Leg cramps.
  • Bleeding gums.
  • Edema, which is swelling in the feet and ankles.
  • Stretch marks may start to appear.

Tips for Week 18

  • Be cautious when changing positions to avoid dizziness due to lower blood pressure caused by increased blood flow to the baby.
  • Consider interviewing potential pediatricians, as you'll need one for your baby shortly after birth.
  • Understand the role of the hormone relaxin in loosening ligaments and joints.
  • Pay attention to your iron intake, especially if you follow a plant-based diet.
  • Consult your healthcare provider before taking herbal supplements.
  • Avoid certain exercises and workout moves during pregnancy.
  • Be prepared for your baby's first kicks, which can occur between weeks 18 and 22.

Please note that this information is not a substitute for medical advice, and it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance during pregnancy.