18 Weeks Pregnant - Baby Development, Pregnancy Symptoms & Tips

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18 Weeks Pregnant - Baby Development, Pregnancy Symptoms & Tips

18 Weeks Pregnant
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How Big Is My Baby At 18 Weeks Pregnant?

Your baby is busy trying to move the arms and legs and is about the size of a bell pepper. The baby is about 5.59 inches and weighs about 6.7 ounces

Baby Development

  • Ears move to their final position and stand out from the head.
  • The Baby’s hearing has gotten more acute and can hear and respond to sounds.
  • The bones of clavicles and the legs begin to harden or ossify.
  • The baby can yawn, stretch, frown, and make facial expressions.
  • Taste buds begin to form and can distinguish sweet from bitter.
  • The retinas developed and respond to a beam of light.
  • Baby starts producing myelin, a protective covering, to protect the nerves.

18 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

Weight Gain:  By this week you would have gained 6-11 pounds. Gaining 1-2 pounds per week is normal in the second semester.

Headaches:  Headaches are common during pregnancy. Headaches are caused by surge of pregnancy hormones. Hunger, dehydration, lack of sleep, and stress can also cause headaches. Practicing some relaxing techniques will help you deal with common headaches. Headaches can be a sign of preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy).Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) and take rest to get relief. If your headache doesn’t go away or gets worse even after taking the medicine and rest, call your doctor.

Itching:  About 20 percent of pregnant women feel itchy during pregnancy, usually in the abdomen. Some pregnant women also experience red, itchy palms and soles of the feet. It is believed that itching is mostly caused by pregnancy hormones and stretching skin. Usually the itchy feeling goes away after giving birth.

Nasal Congestion:  Most of the pregnant women experience nosebleeds and nasal stuffiness during pregnancy. They are caused by the increased amount of blood in your body and hormones acting on the tissues of your nose. It is normal at this stage of pregnancy.

Bleeding Gums:  If you have you noticed your gums bleedingwhile brushing, it could be pregnancy gingivitis. Pregnancy hormones can make your teeth more vulnerable to plaque, leaving you with swollen, bleeding gums.

Heartburn & Indigestion:  Heartburn occurs when stomach acids move upwards to the esophagus. This happens due to relaxation of the valve between the stomach and esophagus. Indigestion occurs due to relaxed digestive system caused by pregnancy hormones.

Increased Appetite:  Your appetite increases a lot in this week. You will feel a lot hungrier because your baby is growing and demands more nourishment. Eat whenever you are hungry.

Increased Bodily Fluids: Increased blood flow results in increased vaginal discharge, sweat, mucus, and other fluids.

Stretch Marks:  Getting some stretch marks on your stomach, hips, thighs, and legs starting this week is common. This happens because of expanding uterus and your increased weight.

Varicose Veins:  You might notice visible veins crisscrossing your breasts, abdominal area, and legs. This is a symptom of varicose veins and is common during pregnancy. Varicose veins are swelling and enlarged veins mostly in the lower legs and feet.  Increased blood volume during pregnancy causes veins to swell and enlarge. Pressure exerted by the uterus on the large veins behind it causes the blood to slow in its return to the heart. These things cause varicose veins. Changing positions often, propping your legs, getting plenty of exercise, and avoiding tight clothes and shoes can help.

Backache:  Hormonal changes, growing size of the breasts, and the pressure exerted by the baby can cause backache. Doing low-impact exercise and stretching your body regularly can help.

Frequent Urination:  You may need to pee frequently because of hormones and extra pressure exerted by the uterus on the bladder.

Leg Cramps:  Cramping occurs in legs when you are lying in the bed during night. They can deprive you of your sleep. Straightening your leg and gently stretching your ankle and toes will help.

Edema:  Your ankles, hands and feet may swell. This happens because your body tissues accumulate fluids to support your baby. The accumulated fluids can move towards the lower parts of your body. Avoiding standing or sitting for long periods of time and popping your feet up higher can help.

18 Weeks Pregnant: Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy

  • Enroll in a prenatal class to help you prepare well for labor and birth.
  • Think about making a birth plan.
  • Continue to follow good prenatal habits like eating healthy food and taking folic acid and prenatal vitamins daily.
  • Wear breathable loose clothes and a supportive bra to feel comfortable.
  • Include healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, lean meat, cereals, and dairy products in your diet.
  • Eat small meals or snacks at regular intervals for better digestion and to prevent heartburn.
  • Keep yourself adequately hydrated by drinking a lot of water.
  • Take plenty of rest and sleep at least 8 hours a day.
  • Engage in moderate exercise, such as walking, stretching, and swimming.
  • Avoid long and strenuous physical activity and exercises involving jerky or sudden movements.
  • Don’t take any medication or herb without your doctor’s clearance.
  • Spend time with family, friends, and other loved ones and share your feelings. This will help you to cope with stress and anxiety and stay calm and relaxed.
  • Read and find out about baby care.

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