Eighteenth week of pregnancy

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18 Weeks Pregnant – What To Expect?

This week maybe one of the happy and important weeks of your journey to motherhood, especially for those of you who are going to be mothers for the first time. This week, you can feel the movement of your baby for the first time. It’s a feeling you’ll cherish for a long time.  

Your physical changes this week  

 

The size of your uterus will be checked every time you go for your ante natal check-ups to gauge the growth of the baby and compare the size against your due date.

Most women develop stretch marks during pregnancy. Specially, if you have put on a reasonable amount of weight, then stretch marks start showing at this stage. You can rub some emollient cream on your tummy but it is advisable not to use many creams as they hardly help in curing the stretch marks.

Congested mucous membrane and nasal stuffiness cause snoring. If you have started snoring suddenly, then sleep on a couple of pillows and lie down on your side. Using saline nasal spray can work for some of you.

Choose low GI (Glycaemia Index) foods which takes a longer time to digest. This will help the stomach stay full for a longer time.

Your baby's changes this week

  • Baby could start to suck his/her thumb
  • Baby's bones are ossifying and are less like cartilage

Around this week, its visible in the ultrasound that the baby is sucking his/her thumb and refuses to let it go.

 

Now, your intake of calcium is important as the baby's bones are ossifying, in other words, getting stronger. Along with dairy foods, fish with edible bones and almonds are a rich source of calcium.

Until now the nerve endings in the wall of your uterus were not in direct contact with the baby. But as the baby has become bigger now, the movements of the baby touch the nerve endings and therefore you feel the baby's movements. However, every baby has its own pattern of movements just as every mother has her own unique experience of sensing these movements. It may seem strange but some of you may not want to share the news of feeling your baby move for the first time with anyone. It is as if you want to keep it just between you and your baby. But to be fair, you must share this with your partner at least. He is after all, an integral part of your pregnancy.

Make a list of things you need to do or questions you need to ask your doctor just in case you are not being able to remember things. Do not worry! It is pregnancy amnesia and is a common syndrome at this stage.

Blisters or erosions may also be found on baby’s forearm, hands, wrists or fingers. But don’t worry, they resolve in a few days.