At 18 weeks you're just at the halfway point of your pregnancy. You're morning sickness will most likely have long subsided and you will most likely have a visual baby bump. You will be experiencing other symptoms but the worst of them are mostly over. There will be some key developmental changes in your baby as they begin to move more frequently and with more control. Be mindful of your diet as your body's and baby's nutritional needs may have changed.
Key Points of 18 Weeks of Pregnancy
- Your baby will slow down its growth around this time as more features develop.
- Watch your diet for calcium as your baby's skeleton is begin to harden. Speak with your doctor about nutrition tips and guides.
- Most of the more serious symptoms of pregnancy such as moodiness, morning sickness, and others will have mostly subsided but this will differ from person to person.
Pregnancy Body Changes at 18 Weeks Pregnant
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 nourish 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 at Week 18
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.
Overall you are at the halfway point and you should feel fairly settled into pregnant life. Now would be a good time to start discussing a birth plan and getting your home ready for the new addition to your family.