Now you are 18 weeks pregnant, your child has a complete appearance of a baby and continues to develop actively. The weight of the fruit is about 200 grams, the length is about 20-22 cm.
Size of belly at 18 weeks pregnant
Now you feel the baby’s presence and activity every day, and the uterus, increasing in size, continues to change the work of the gastrointestinal tract, causing heartburn and constipation1. Physical activity and fractional rational nutrition, which we discussed at 15 weeks will help you overcome these problems.
The size of your belly at 18 weeks pregnant can vary. If you have an asthenic body type and have put on a little weight over the previous weeks, it is not surprising if you have a small stomach.
The abdomen size is not the most important thing; however, feeling more than ten movements per day is extremely important, as it signals that the baby is forming its own rhythm of movements around 18-19 weeks of pregnancy. Within the following month, your baby will find its own day-night schedule and be less active during the night.
You should consult a doctor if you suddenly do not have any movements during this period. If the fetus does not show physical activity during the last four to six hours, then an urgent need to contact a specialist doctor.
It is noteworthy that during a first pregnancy, fetal movements can be felt after 20 weeks, whereas during a subsequent pregnancy, these movements can be experienced earlier.
What happens to body when 18 weeks pregnant?
Monitor urine tests as pyelonephritis may begin in the second trimester 1 . Pay attention to your fasting blood sugar levels. Pregnant women are prone to developing gestational diabetes mellitus and other disorders of carbohydrate metabolism. Monitor your blood pressure. If you have swelling in your legs, see your doctor. Look for protein in urine tests.
Pay attention to the level of platelets in the general blood test since gestational thrombocytopenia often develops against the background of pregnancy.
Suppose you experience an increase in the amount of vaginal discharge, along with a change in color and odor. In that case, it’s important to see a doctor, as this could be a sign of bacterial vaginosis, a fairly common condition. During pregnancy, the microbial makeup of the vagina can be even more likely to be disrupted.
In recent years, bacterial vaginosis has been considered a process that triggers many pathological conditions and complications during pregnancy, so this problem cannot be ignored. Remember that if any pathological symptoms appear, you should consult a doctor.
Fetus Development at 18 weeks pregnant
By this point, all of your baby’s organs and systems have been established and are in operation, yet their work varies from how it will be after birth.
The baby breathes with the glottis closed and the amniotic fluid does not enter the lungs. Such a breathing mechanism contributes to normal blood flow and oxygen supply to all organs and systems.
As the fetus continues to develop, from 18 weeks your baby can make blinking and more coordinated and clear movements such as sucking their finger or crossing their legs. Your baby’s auditory analyzer is already fully formed and they can hear sounds very well. Their visual analyzer is also forming and they have begun to respond to light.
Your baby’s skin has now taken shape. However, it is still very delicate with visible blood vessels. Brown fat starts to build up underneath this thin skin, which has many advantageous qualities; it provides energy and protection. Moreover, the brain’s growth continues rapidly.
You should note that you feel the baby’s movements well as they become more and more diverse.
Fetal movements at 18 weeks of gestation are still unconscious in nature and are spontaneous muscle activity due to the work of the extensor muscles mainly and are felt by you as separate short and frequent jolts.
If you still have a small belly, do not worry because the bottom of the uterus is located 17-18 cm above the level of the pubic articulation. And new sensations in the abdomen are due to the active movements of the child. It may affect the bladder, and you will feel frequent urination urges.
18th week of pregnancy and the location of the fetus in the uterus
At this time, the location of the fetus in the uterus can be quite variable. Your baby is still actively changing the position of his body. For example, he can turn his head down or up.
Medical examination for 18 weeks pregnant.
You continue to visit your doctor at the antenatal clinic, depending on your age and state of health. After 2-3 weeks, you take general blood and urine tests. Very soon, the time will come for the second ultrasound screening, and you will be able to see your grown-up baby, who already looks just like a real newborn.
- General urinalysis – helps to identify diseases of the kidneys and bladder. Often at this time, a woman’s urine may contain acetone, which indicates poor liver function. It is also necessary to exclude diabetes mellitus and preeclampsia.
- A clinical blood test – is needed to identify various diseases that can complicate the ordinary course of pregnancy. Reduced hemoglobin in a pregnant woman’s body leads to a lack of oxygen necessary for the baby, which may cause anemia in the child after birth.
- “Triple test,” if it is not done at 16 or 17 weeks, it must be done now.
Checklist for the 18 weeks pregnant
- Undergo a routine ultrasound, usually between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. In this period, the sex is already determined, and the umbilical cord and placenta condition is assessed.
- “Triple test” or examination for the presence of chromosomal disorders.
- Pass the tests prescribed by the doctor for medical reasons: a general urinalysis, biochemical studies, and a general blood test.
- A visit to the doctor to assess the condition of the mother and child.
Useful tips for 18 weeks pregnant
Remember to take vitamins and microelements during pregnancy. In addition to iodine, folic acid, and calcium, one of the important vitamins is vitamin D, which must be taken during pregnancy.
The presence of frequent urination is also the norm for a period of 18 weeks of pregnancy. You should have regular urinalysis because the longer the time, the more likely you will develop an ascending bacterial infection of the urinary system.
It has been stated that certain hormonal levels and blood circulation during pregnancy can cause uncomfortable nasal breathing and snoring (referred to as rhinitis in pregnant women). To prevent this, it is advised to spend more time outdoors and ensure the bedroom is kept at a comfortable level of humidity.
And, of course, enjoy this period of life, try on new hobbies and hobbies, think about what activities you can keep after the birth of your baby, how to change your usual lifestyle and what moments you will especially enjoy.