18 weeks pregnant
Light exercise, such as yoga, helps to prepare your body for labour.
Your baby at 18 weeks
You’re now inside your fifth month of pregnancy, almost at the halfway point!
Along with the lanugo (slight hair that will shed before your baby is born), your baby’s skin will be coated with vernix, a wax-like substance that helps protect your baby while he or she is in the amniotic fluid. Your baby’s ears are further developed at this stage, so your little one might get startled around loud noises.
Your baby’s ears will have moved into position now, or will do soon. The genitals will settle into position too, though it might be difficult to tell your baby’s gender at this stage.
Your baby is roughly 5.3 – 5.6 inches long, and similar in size to a sweet potato.
Your body at 18 weeks
Your appetite will continue to increase as your baby grows, so be sure to eat sensibly, as you and your baby will need a wide range of nutrients in the weeks to come.
Your uterus, which you will be able to find just beneath your belly button, will cause your centre of gravity to shift, which will probably result in some back pain. A relaxing bath or using a foot rest when sitting can help offset this, though be sure to tell your doctor if it persists.
It’s possible for your baby to recognise your voice now!
How you’re feeling at 18 weeks
You may find it difficult to sleep as your bump gets bigger, which could cause you to be a little moody and irritable. At this stage, it’s recommended that you sleep on your left side, as lying on your back may cause your uterus to lean against a major blood vessel, which could restrict blood flow. Try placing a pillow under a leg to help make yourself cosy.
Your body has been working extra-hard recently, pumping a lot of extra blood to help nurture your baby. This might bring on bouts of dizziness, or leave you feeling faint. Though these feelings aren’t harmful in themselves, make sure to watch your step if you feel them coming on! You should tell your doctor if they get worse.
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