By the 18th week of pregnancy, your unborn baby is beginning to look very much like a baby. Many expectant mothers begin to look pregnant at this stage and often experience the first exciting flutter of movement.
During the 18th week of pregnancy, an unborn baby is taking on the appearance that he or she will have at birth. Pads are forming on the fingers and toes and major brain development has taken place. Baby’s eyes have moved towards the front of the face for a more familiar look. At this point, baby is about 8 inches long and weighs about half a pound.
While some moms may feel fetal movement as early as 13 weeks, first time moms will likely not feel their baby move until between 18 to 20 weeks. Many first movements can be mistaken for gas but as the baby grows those movements will get stronger and more definite. Steady, rhythmic movement may be due to the baby having the hiccups.
Most gynecologists do a standard 20-week ultrasound, but some may opt to do it a few weeks early. By 18 weeks into the pregnancy, gender can be determined accurately by ultrasound. Drink plenty of fluids before going to your ultrasound if you want to improve your odds of seeing the gender. Eat something a bit sweet to encourage your baby to move around and give the ultrasound tech a clear view.
Changes in Mom
Maternity clothes may be a necessity by the 18th week of pregnancy. Many expectant moms begin to develop a clear baby bump by this point and many enjoy the feeling of being more obviously pregnant. While morning sickness has likely subsided now, hormones may still be causing mood swings and extreme emotions. Take some time out to take care of yourself and be sure to get enough sleep. Practicing healthy habits can help an expectant mom feel better both physically and emotionally.
Pregnancy Health Tips
Take advantage of the relative comfort of the second trimester by being sure to get enough sleep and eating nutritious food. By the 18th week of pregnancy, most women find they have more energy than they did during the first trimester and they are generally still comfortable moving around. Do some light exercises such as walking or prenatal yoga to prepare your body for the birth.