Pregnancy Week 18
How big is your baby?
This week your baby measures 14.2cm (5.59 inches) and weighs in at around 190g (6.70 ounces).
Your baby’s development
Your baby’s pads on his/her fingers and toes will begin to form the characteristic swirls and creases of finger and toe prints. By this week meconium – which is the early fecal waste matter – will start to accumulate in the baby’s bowels. Meconium is made up of a number of different materials such as; cell loss, digestive secretions, amniotic fluid, etc.
By the middle of the week your baby’s eyes will now look forward rather than to the sides and the ears will move to their final position. Most of your baby’s bones will also have begun to harden as ossification begins to take place.
At week 18 of your pregnancy your uterus is about the size of a cantaloupe and the top will be just below your bellybutton. At this stage you should have already gained between 10-13 pounds (4.5-5.8kg’s). By the end of this week your heart will need to work around 40% more than normal to support the demand your baby is placing on you. In most cases this is no real issue as a normal healthy person would easily cope with the increased requirements.
You may have already felt your baby move, and even if you haven’t then you will shortly. At this stage you shouldn’t be expecting any major movement as your baby is still quite small with lots of room to move around.
Vaginal discharge is common during pregnancy and is usually a whitish color, and this discharge may increase as your pregnancy continues. The increase in vaginal discharge is nothing to worry about, and is completely normal.
Nearly every women suffers from back ache during her pregnancy, you may have already felt it, but one thing is for sure, as you get bigger, so the pain will become more intense.
Below are some tips to try and lessen this pain:
- Watch your weight gain. Try and keep your weight gain steady
- Exercise regularly
- Sleep on your left side
- Use heat pads on the area which is sore to try and relieve the pain
- Speak to your healthcare provider about any medication which you can use to reduce the pain
- Green beans
- Canned corn