Your Pregnancy

What To Expect When You’re 18 Weeks Pregnant

Your baby is the size of an artichoke!
Dyanne Harvey

At week 18, your baby looks like a very thin, little human.

Soon, he or she will start to pack on the pounds, but not before a little more development happens first.

Here’s what’s going on this week!

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How Big is Baby at 18 Weeks?

Coming in at about the size of a green pepper or an artichoke, your baby’s crown-to-rump length is 5 to 5 1/2 inches (12.5 to 14 cm). He/she weighs about 5 1/4 ounces (150 g).

Looking like a very tiny human, your baby has let up on the gas pedal in terms of growing.

He/she is still continuing to grow and develop, but the pace has started to slow down just a bit.

3d rendered medically accurate illustration of a fetus week 18

Tips for A Healthy Pregnancy at 18 Weeks

Birth Class – Even though you have several more weeks to go before you should be giving birth, it’s never a bad idea to start exploring birthing options early.

Birth classes fill up fast, so you want to reserve your spot as soon as you can.

Also, there are many different ways to approach birth. Most women tend to be open to a few different approaches before they adopt one of their own.

Read – If you’re anything like most expecting moms, especially first-time moms, then you’re probably devouring educational reading material.

Right now, your mind might be wandering to the big adventure that is giving birth. According to many mothers, reading about the experience of others brought them the most enlightenment and comfort.

You never know how birth will be until you’re in the moment. But, hearing about the many directions birth stories take seems to bring a level of peace that educational articles don’t always offer.

Start Exercising – If you’ve never been a gym goer or fitness guru in the past, now is not the time to start. But, many moms feel the need and actually have the energy to give exercising a go during the second trimester.

So, go for it and start exercising now. What you need to remember is simply to take it slow.

Start with gentle exercises for about 15 minutes a few times per week. Walking is a great option. Prenatal yoga classes are another great option.

Plus, in a class, you’ll be under the supervision of a professional yogi.

How Many Months is 18 Weeks?

You are officially four months pregnant, mama!

As you head into your fifth months of pregnancy, you’ve probably adopted that “motherly” look.

It’s the one that looks both terrified and calm all at the same time. It seems like moms have the epic power to be everything and anything at the drop of a hat.

You might not feel it, but most likely your instincts are at the driver’s wheel by now.

Ultrasound at 18 Weeks

This week, your baby’s heart is the primary focus on an ultrasound. Starting at week 3, the heart began its epic journey of development.

On an 18-week ultrasound, any abnormalities can be detected. So, if your baby’s heart faced developmental problems over the last few months, then your doctor will know it.

18 weeks pregnant ultrasound #1 18 weeks pregnant ultrasound #2 18 weeks pregnant ultrasound #3 18 weeks pregnant ultrasound #4

18 Weeks Pregnant: Your Belly

Sitting just below your bellybutton, your uterus is continually expanding.

In fact, it’s about the size of a cantaloupe or even a little bigger. If you put two fingers sideways and held it under your bellybutton, you’ll probably feel the edge of your uterus.

As your belly grows, other parts of you are likely to follow its lead. Some ways to care for all your growing parts are simply to stick to a healthy diet, use lotion on the skin that’s expanding, and stretch your ligaments and muscles to keep comfortable.

18 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms & Changes in Your Body

Dizziness – Because your cardiovascular system has and is undergoing dramatic changes, your blood pressure is much lower than it was pre-pregnancy.

This might cause you to feel dizzy or lightheaded when you stand up quickly. For many reasons in addition to coping with the cardiovascular changes, avoid any sudden movements.

Also, to keep a steady blood flow throughout your body and to your baby, lie on your side when you are napping, resting, or sleeping.

Dry Eyes – The dramatic hormonal changes that happen in your body during pregnancy can cause tear production to decrease.

This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to cry. What it does mean is that you might experience dry eyes. You might have altered vision, as well.

Sometimes it might seem that your contact lenses or glasses don’t work as well as they used to. Be comforted in knowing that your eyes will likely return to normal after you give birth.

For now, give your eyes more breaks from things like the computer screen, direct airflow (sitting in front of an A/C), and being outside.

Bodily Fluids – Although your eyes might be experiencing dryness, other parts of your body are probably making up for it. It’s common for you to have increased vaginal discharge, sweat more, and to experience leaky breasts at some point.

These are simply the product of the intense concoction of hormones rushing through your pregnant body. Once the hormones have leveled off after birth, the bodily fluids will return to normal.

18 Weeks Pregnant: With Twins

Now that you’ve likely lost sight of your feet and toes, you might not have visually noticed the swelling going on down there.

Even so, you can probably feel the swelling throughout your body.

Swelling is fairly normal. The extra bodily fluid and blood flow are the culprits for your swollen hands and feet.

Unless it’s extreme and painful, there’s nothing to worry about.

18 Weeks Pregnant: A Checklist

  • Buy or download birthing books to read.
  • Reserve your spot in a birth class.
  • Narrow down your baby name list.
  • Start writing down your most impacting dreams.

Need to save money on baby?

Get our free cheat sheet and learn over 50+ smart ways to save money as new parents. You'll be glad you did!

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