- Women's Health
At 18 Weeks Pregnant - What To Expect
Now that you’ve reached 18 weeks pregnant, you’re not far from the half-way stage. As your baby increases in size and weight, you continue to grow with him. Some women struggle a little with the concept of the weight gain but generally, most view it as part and parcel of an exciting journey. Overall, you may now be starting to think ahead, to the eventual birth, and all the changes that your new baby will bring to your life.
At 18 weeks pregnant, your womb has now grown to a stage whereby you may be able to feel it, when you’re laid flat. Your womb will be similar in size to a large grapefruit or small melon. You may be starting to experience some discomfort at night, when sleeping, and perhaps you should consider buying a pregnancy pillow.
These are large, elongated pillows, sometimes quite banana like in shape and they allow you to lay supported on your left or right side. I didn’t use one during my first pregnancy but I did with my next three. It made a huge difference to my ability to sleep and allowed me to become more comfortable through the night. They are a bit cumbersome, more so if you have a partner but their discomfort is a small price to pay for your ability to sleep better!
As your womb and baby have grown, you will probably be wearing looser clothing now. Some women (even at 18 weeks pregnant) remain quite small but most will have given up trying to fit into their normal, everyday clothing by now. As you gain weight, try to remember to eat healthily as some women find that they put on unwanted ‘baby’ weight.
18 Weeks Pregnant
However, don’t err on the side of caution and leave yourself hungry. Listening to your body is a sensible way of knowing if you’re hungry – or not. I remember when I was approaching the halfway stage and I always found it harder to eat large meals. I naturally ate little and often due to heartburn and/or continued morning sickness, but I never left myself hungry.
You may have noticed that your breasts have become quite ‘veiny’ or that veins on various parts of your body appear more prominent. Again, this is quite normal for many pregnant women and although it can look a bit odd, it’s due to the increased blood supply. Your midwife will have lots of information regarding such aspects of your pregnancy so make sure you discuss any queries or concerns.
It’s their job to monitor your health and well being, as well as that of your baby and in my experience, they’re always happy to allay fears and discuss whatever’s on your mind.
18 Weeks Gestation
Now you’re 18 weeks pregnant, you may be finally feeling real little kicks and movements. He will continue to move, squirm and flex his way throughout the rest of your pregnancy – though how much he moves varies from baby to baby. Two of mine were incredibly active, whilst the other two were largely restful – only moving about from time to time.
His bones are now hardening therefore his skeleton is becoming stronger. His limbs and body are now better proportioned. However, his weight and length will slow down for a little while, as some fine tuning is underway, regarding other, smaller parts of his body. His digestive system is now beginning to develop and, dependant upon the sex, the genitals have formed enough to be seen on an ultra-sound machine.
If you’ve managed to avoid buying new clothes, perhaps now’s the time. And, if you haven’t considered it, perhaps some new shoes too. Some women suffer from swollen feet and may discover that not only are their clothes too small – but their shoes are too.
As ever, take things easy and only do what you feel you’re comfortable with. No one expects an 18 weeks pregnant woman to be running around putting out fires so if that’s you – relax!