Your baby at 18 weeks
Your baby is flexing their muscles, swallowing, chewing, yawning and hiccupping. With all the kicks, twists and moves, you will surely feel signs of your little acrobat moving around in there.
Their ears are now in place, but not quite flush against the head and your baby’s lungs are developing tiny bronchioles and alveoli (air sacs) for life outside the womb.
The male and female genitalia are fully developed, but your baby may hide these in an ultrasound.
Your body at 18 weeks pregnant
Here’s what you might be experiencing:
- Stretch marks
- More bodily fluids such as sweat and mucous owing to your increased blood flow
- A feeling of being a little off balance as your centre of gravity is changing while your belly develops
- Low blood pressure, which can lead to dizziness, feeling faint and fatigue
- Swollen hands and feet (chat to your doctor if you have a sudden onset of swelling)
Taking care of yourself during this time
- Start sleeping on your side rather than your back so that your uterus doesn’t press on the large blood vessels in your back.
- Try to maintain a healthy and balanced diet as much as possible, but don’t deprive yourself either.
- Drink plenty of water.
- If you’re struggling to fall asleep, use bed pillows or a pregnancy pillow to relieve pressure points.
- Get up slowly from a seated or lying position.
- Avoiding standing for long periods of time.
- Don’t lift anything heavy.
Having gone through the “having-a-baby-and-returning-to work stage”, not once but twice, has made me wiser and given me time to think about how I would …