18 Weeks Pregnant
Pregnancy Body Changes
When you are 18 weeks pregnant your uterus is about the size of a cantaloupe. Your uterus can be felt just below your belly button. You may feel your baby move, and may even feel when he or she has hiccups!
Your body is working harder to pump the extra blood in your system, and nourishing your growing baby, causing you to feel dizzy, lightheaded, or faint. This is especially common when going from sitting or lying down to standing.
These symptoms are not harmful unless they occur frequently or severely. To help minimize these symptoms, dangle your legs over the side of the bed or chair for 20 seconds before standing up.
Your Baby's Growth and Development
During week 18 of your pregnancy, your baby measures about 5 to 5.6 inches from crown to rump and weighs about 5.25 ounces. The rapid growth spurt is slowing down during this time, but your baby's reflexes are still developing quickly. Your baby can now yawn, stretch, and make facial expressions.
Ears move to their final position and they stand out from the head. Your baby's eyes are also developing - they're now facing forward rather than to the sides. The skeleton can be clearly outlined in the ultrasound of the fetus, and the bones begin to harden. Make sure you are getting enough calcium!
Your baby's taste buds are beginning to develop and pads (the fatty, soft parts) are forming on the fingertips and toes. If your baby is a boy, his prostate gland is beginning to develop. The bones in the inner ear and the nerve endings from the brain are developed. This means that your baby will hear sounds such as your heartbeat and blood moving through the umbilical cord.