Pregnancy Week 18

Your baby is developing in many significant ways this week. Learn what is going on with baby as well as how to boost your own energy and travel safely while pregnant.

Week by week baby size image. Week by week baby size image.

How big is baby?

Your baby is now about the size of a small artichoke—and her tiny fingers now have unique fingerprints!

Baby's Length: 5.59in.
Baby's Weight: 6.70oz.
Fetus at Week 18 What the baby looks like at week 18 of fetal development. Med ART Studios Explore More

Baby's Development

Do you and your partner talk to your baby? Well, with the bones and nerves in her ears now developed enough to function, she can hear all sorts of sounds -- including blood coursing through the umbilical cord, your growling tummy, and your heartbeat. In fact, sudden or loud noises may startle her. Go ahead and sing, tell stories or play music for your baby now. Even though your baby doesn't understand what these sounds are now, eventually she'll recognize your voice better than any other.

Baby Week 18

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Reflexes are more fully developed. The fetus hiccups, yawns and moves around inside the womb.Now about the size of a pear, the developing fetus weighs roughly 6 ounces.Soft cartilage-like bones are starting to harden, making calcium and Vitamin-D an important part of your diet.As the fetus begins to twist and turn these movements may begin to be more noticeable to the mother.
Week by week baby ultrasound image. Week by week baby ultrasound image. American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine - AIUM.org

Week 18 Ultrasound

Halfway through your pregnancy (18-20 weeks) your health care provider may request an ultrasound to evaluate your baby's size and anatomy. This image shows a cross sectional view of baby's head. The sonographer will measure baby-to-be's head circumference or biparietal diameter (BPD).

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Watch Baby's Growth

Feeling Baby Move: Weeks 18 to 21 of Pregnancy

Mom's changing body

You might be feeling your baby really kick now! These kicks will be bigger and more defined than the popcorn popping, butterfly feeling of quickening that you've previously felt. Some moms see the first kicks as a confirmation that there really is a baby growing in there. Since many of your baby's movements aren't strong enough for you to feel yet, you might go a day without noticing any kicks and then feel several the next day.

Weekly Tip

Unfortunately, hemorrhoids are a common occurrence during pregnancy. The varicose veins in your rectum can swell up and cause discomfort. If you have them, talk to your doctor about over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams that might bring relief. And to keep them at bay, be sure to drink plenty of fluids, combat constipation with added fiber, and avoid straining when you go to the bathroom.

Pregnancy Confidential Podcast

Planning a gender reveal: Boy? Girl? Who Cares?

Most parents find out their baby's sex (if they choose to find out) during their mid-­pregnancy ultrasound, usually around 18 to 20 weeks—that is if your technician can tell (sometimes it's still not that easy). That makes now a great time to start planning your gender reveal—if you believe in such a thing. And if you have no idea what we're talking about, you're off the hook: It's a fairly new trend that's been picking up speed lately and, like a pregnancy reveal, there are about gazillion ways to do it.

This Week's To-Do List

Must-Reads

New Moms Describe What Labor Is Really Like

If you want to know what labor is really like, listen to what these new moms have to say about childbirth.

Your Developing Baby: Week 18

What's going on with your baby in pregnancy week 18? Find out all about important pregnancy milestones and exciting fetal development specific to this week of pregnancy!

The Modern Baby Shower: 6 Things You Need to Know

Good news for mamas-to-be: Today's baby showers are less traditional and more focused on fun -- for you and your guests.

Feeling Baby Move: Weeks 18 to 21 of Pregnancy

You'll start feel your baby's fluttering movements (called quickening) between now and 22 weeks. Get ready, mama: Feeling him kick is one of the most magical parts of being pregnant.

Working While Pregnant: How to Handle It

Doing the 9-to-5 thing can be tough when you're pregnant, but the right planning can help you meet the challenges.

How to Get a Better Night's Sleep While Pregnant

You need sleep, but your burgeoning belly didn't get the memo. Snooze comfortably with these bedtime solutions.