18 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist
- Graciously listen to unsolicited advice, even if you’re not going to follow it
- Boost your circulation by resting while lying on your side or eating a piece of fruit
- Start collecting books to read to your baby
Your Baby’s Development
Ears move to their final position and they stand out from the head. And start brushing up on your lullabies — in the coming weeks, your baby will probably be able to hear! The bones of the middle ear and the nerve endings from the brain are developing so that your baby will hear sounds such as your heartbeat and blood moving through the umbilical cord. He or she may even be startled by loud noises!
Watch Your Baby GrowYour baby’s eyes are also developing — they’re now facing forward rather than to the sides, and the retinas may be able to detect the beam of a flashlight if you hold it to your abdomen.
Until now, your baby’s bones had been developing but were still soft. This week, they begin to harden, or ossify. Some of the first bones to ossify are those in the clavicles and the legs.
You’re probably beginning to prepare for life with baby. This is a good week to begin your search for a pediatrician or other health care provider for your child. Schedule visits to meet with potential doctors to discuss issues such as appointment availability and when to call in an emergency.
You’ll also want to learn as much as you can about their practices and procedures. Some good questions to ask: How many health care providers are in the practice? Who covers nights and weekends? What is their policy on phone calls? Which hospitals are they affiliated with? What insurance do they accept? What specialists do they work with? How are emergencies handled?
It’s important that you feel comfortable with your child’s doctor, so do your homework and make your decision carefully.
Pregnancy symptoms at 18 weeks
The uncomfortable feeling you sometimes get after eating is probably indigestion, a very common side-effect of pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones relax the muscles in your body, including your digestive system, making digestion slow and sluggish. As your baby grows bigger, your stomach is pushed up, making it easier for stomach acids to come up into your gullet, resulting in heartburn.
Try keeping indigestion and heartburn at bay by having smaller meals throughout the day, avoiding rich or fatty foods, and sitting upright after eating. If your symptoms are particularly bad at night, try cutting out evening snacks. Or you could give gravity a helping hand, and ask your partner or a friend to raise the head of your mattress with some cushions or rolled up towels. Try to find a position where you can still sleep on your side though. By the third trimester, side-sleeping reduces the risk of stillbirth.
What you need to know at 18 weeks pregnant
You may start to feel your baby moving any day now. If this is your first pregnancy, you may not realise what you’re feeling at first. Early movements may feel like tiny bubbles popping in your tummy, or a fluttering sensation. You may even mistake your baby’s first wriggles for a rumbling tummy! In a few weeks, there will be no mistaking your baby’s movements, as they become stronger and more defined.