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Pregnancy at 18 weeks

Pregnancy at 18 weeks

Your baby is now about 14cm and weighing 190g, and the size of a sweet potato.

It’s an exciting stage as you might start feeling your baby’s movements for the first time.

pregnancy week by week 18 baby weight and length

Your baby at 18 weeks

Reflexes

Your baby is flexing their muscles, swallowing, chewing, yawning and hiccupping. With all the kicks, twists and moves, you will surely feel signs of your little acrobat moving around in there.

Development

Their ears are now in place, but not quite flush against the head and your baby’s lungs are developing tiny bronchioles and alveoli (air sacs) for life outside the womb.

The male and female genitalia are fully developed, but your baby may hide these in an ultrasound.

Nervous system

Your baby is also beginning to form myelin, a mix of fat and protein that protects nerve cells in the nervous system, including the spinal cord and brain.
Pregnancy at 18 weeks
3D image of fetus at 18 weeks

Your body at 18 weeks

Here’s what you might be experiencing:

  • Stretch marks
  • More bodily fluids such as sweat and mucus owing to your increased blood flow
  • A feeling of being a little off balance as your centre of gravity is changing while your belly develops
  • Backache
  • Low blood pressure, which can lead to dizziness, feeling faint and fatigue
  • Swollen hands and feet (chat to your doctor if you have a sudden onset of swelling)

Taking care of yourself during this time

pregnancy at 18 weeks: pregnant woman sleeping on her side

  • Start sleeping on your side rather than your back so that your uterus doesn’t press on the large blood vessels in your back.
  • Try to maintain a healthy and balanced diet as much as possible, but don’t deprive yourself either.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • If you’re struggling to fall asleep, use bed pillows or a pregnancy pillow to relieve pressure points.
  • Get up slowly from a seated or lying position.
  • Avoiding standing for long periods of time.
  • Don’t lift anything heavy.

Click here for pregnancy at 17 weeks

Click here for pregnancy at 19 weeks