Pregnancy Week 18: Inside Your Belly, Your Baby Is Kicking Away!

4 min read

18 weeks pregnant
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Look at you, a true champion, getting almost halfway there already! 18 weeks pregnant and still going just as strong as before. Can you believe that you are the same person who was so nervous once upon a time? You have grown so much in just these last months, having learnt so much about yourself with each day, each week, discovering new strength and a sign of new courage. Soon, you’ll be at the midway point of your journey. 

Just how did you do this so well?

At 18 weeks pregnant, there will be certain changes in your lifestyle, such as your sleeping habits, dressing habits, etc. As your 18 week baby bump continues growing, you can truly feel this new body that you now inhabit and how you will have to try newer ways to make it comfortable.

Along with this pregnancy look, your baby will also begin to move around more, to the extent that you can properly feel it! There are other exciting things awaiting you too, such as them possibly hearing your voice! Every time you think you have gotten used to this, pregnancy brings to you a new magical experience that you can hold and tuck in between the pages of your pregnancy journal

Size of the baby at 18 weeks pregnant

The size of the baby at 18 weeks pregnant is around 5.5 inches, weighing between 6.7 to 7 ounces. This means that the size of the baby at 18 weeks pregnant is approximately as big as a bell pepper! Your baby has grown a lot these last few weeks, now yawning, hiccupping, sucking, swallowing, twisting, rolling, kicking and punching too!

Yes, they are doing a lot now, bursting with all the life that is held inside their tiny body. Your baby swallows amniotic fluid now, which makes its way through stomach and intestines. The gall bladder may soon begin to work. The ears are starting to protrude from the sides of the head and may soon register sounds if they have not started to already!

Your 18 week baby bump is as obvious as ever and now may even have the occasional sensation of movement as your baby moves around inside. What felt like a small fluttering at first may feel like a stronger sensation now. Your 18 week baby bump is coming to life as your baby makes their presence known and you truly start realising that you have never been alone in this journey, right from the very beginning. As you dress in the prettiest maternity outfits, find peace and excitement in the knowledge that the more days pass, the closer you get to that perfect time for a maternity shoot

18 weeks pregnant symptoms

Your 18 weeks pregnant symptoms may consist of previous weeks’ symptoms such as dizziness, congestion, etc. along with certain newer signs. Remember to add to your self-care routine in accordance with the severity of each symptom and keep an eye on them. In case of any concern, never hesitate to call your OB, because it is their job to help you through this journey in every way possible. 

18 weeks pregnant

Here the 18 weeks pregnant symptoms that you may experience:

1. Edema

Edema in pregnancy usually occurs when there is an increase in body fluids which accumulate in your tissues, due to extra blood flow and pressure of the uterus on pelvic veins. This leads to swelling of hands and feet, which can be extremely annoying. Remember to take it easy and look up ways of relieving the feeling, consulting your doctor if it is necessary.

2. Backaches

The pressure of your evergrowing uterus can cause the backaches to continue into this week, as well.

3. Leg cramps

These pregnancy leg cramps may because of dehydration, fatigue, compression blood vessels, diet, shortage of calcium and magnesium, etc. Painful spasms may radiate up your calf and leg, causing you a lot of discomforts. 

4. Varicose veins

These are prominent, swollen veins which are visible due to the extra pressure on the circulatory system. Exercising, changing positions often, avoiding tight clothes, etc can be a way to ease this effect.

5. Trouble sleeping

The stress may be put your mind on the overdrive. Also, the doctor’s advice to change your sleeping position to your side may make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Your baby may take time to adjust to sleeping in this new way, as well as to get used to the new worries.

6. Carpal tunnel syndrome

Around 62% of pregnant women report symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, which is usually caused by a compressed nerve in wrist which results in pain, tingling and numbness. These can be eased by lifestyle changes such as using an ergonomic workspace and avoiding prolonged exposure to vibrations such as those from power tools. Inform your doctor about this so they can recommend you certain relieving methods. 

This usually goes away after delivery, but still, proper care must be taken beforehand to avoid unwanted consequences.

7. Itchy Skin and Linea Nigra

Even though you may have the pregnancy glow, certain skin troubles may start, such as itching of the abdomen, feet and hands. You may also develop a dark line running down your abdomen, called linea nigra. While most of these problems are probably normal pregnancy symptoms, it is still good to keep in touch with your OB and dermatologist, to give them updates about all the changes.

18 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

If you would have an 18 weeks pregnant ultrasound, you would see the baby moving around much more than they did before. Now, their kicks are probably strong enough for you to feel, which means that they are rolling around even more. 

If you have the 18 weeks pregnant ultrasound while being pregnant with twins, you will notice the membrane between the two fetuses shifting. This is because when the fetuses move, they push fluid, which in turn moves this membrane.

You’ll soon have the big mid-pregnancy ultrasound, either now or in a couple of weeks, where your baby’s body and organs will be examined in detail to check whether the development is normal. If you choose to find out the baby’s sex, you will be informed about it at a 95% certainty rate.

Self-care Tips For Being 18 Weeks Pregnant 

As you are about to reach the half-way goal, you should brush up on certain old reminders, while writing down newer self-care tips:

Get Comfortable

It is important to get comfortable now, more than ever. Understand that your body is different now and needs different care. Avoid tighter clothes, stockings, socks that irritate your already swollen feet. Don’t stand up or sit for too long and prop your legs when you can to ease the swollen veins.

Eat Well and Healthy

This week too, keep your diet well-balanced and full of nutrients, opting for healthier choices whenever you can. Tell your doctor any concerns about weight gain that you might have, so that they can check if you are on track. Ask them about any necessary supplements if you have frequent leg cramps. Drink sufficient water and make sure to get enough exercise while also knowing the limits of your changing body.

Change Sleeping Position

Now that your uterus is growing more and more each day, it puts pressure on the veins at the back of the abdomen, which can reduce amount of blood flow to heart and make you feel lightheaded. This can be solved by sleeping on your side, as your doctor will advice you to do. Ask them about what positions are safest. Also consider using pregnancy pillows for supporting yourself comfortably.

Read Up On Baby Care

It is never to soon to start preparin yourself for what is about to come in the near future and so, reading up about baby care is essential. The next few months will go by in a blur and so, it is important to read up now that you are more settled in your new body. Also start researching pediatricians so you can choose the correct one for your baby. Also consider joining childbirth classes and browse through those options as well.

Wherever you are right now as you read this, pause and take a deep breathe. Acknowledge that you have worked hard in almost reaching the halfway point. Then, thank yourself and get ready to continue walking ahead even stronger.