Pregnancy week 18

Pregnancy Week 18

Your baby is developing in 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.

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How Big is Baby?

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

Baby's Length: 5.59in.
Baby's Weight: 6.70oz.

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.

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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.

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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.

Week 18
American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine -

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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What Week 18 of Your Pregnancy Is Really Like

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.

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This Week's To-Do List

  • Consider signing up for infant CPR, prenatal breastfeeding, or newborn-care classes.

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  • Check your desk chair to see if a more supportive one or a footstool could help with back pain.

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  • Is it a boy or is it a girl? Find out if desired at your mid-pregnancy ultrasound.

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This Week's FAQs


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