18 Weeks Pregnant

Baby Develops Fat For Warmth

Infant growth

This could turn out to be quite a momentous week for many pregnant moms. Why so? If you pay attention to your stomach, you could feel faint baby kicks.

18th week is normally the time when most first-time mothers begin to recognise the baby’s punches and kicks. If it’s your second or subsequent pregnancy, you would have probably felt the movements a little earlier.

Most mothers describe the kick to be similar to the fluttering of a butterfly. Some say it feels like bubbles popping. Others think it’s a weird ticklish feeling. You would probably be able to sense it better when you are resting and less distracted by other things.

Read: Signs Of A Twin Pregnancy

Baby’s Developments at week 18

The baby’s growing rapidly and the uterus is becoming a bit of a squeeze. But thankfully, your uterus is so designed that it can expand and grow to accommodate not only the growing baby, but also the amniotic fluid, the placenta and the amniotic fluid.

At this stage your baby weighs 198 grams and measures 5.6 inches. It’s about the size of a sweet potato.

Read: Understanding Stillbirth

How your baby is growing

  • Baby can yawn, swallow, hiccup and suck his thumb.
  • Baby’s movements are getting more intense, as baby begins to roll, turn, twist, kick and punch.
  • The nervous system is making rapid advancements. The nerves are now covered with a substance called myelin which helps in the rapid transfer of messages from one nerve cell to another.
  • Your baby is now covered with a white, waxy substance called vernix caseosa, which helps prevent delicate skin from becoming chapped or scratched.
  • Premature babies may be covered in this cheesy coating at delivery.
  • This week also brings the development of brown fat, which will help keep your baby warm after birth. During the last trimester, your baby will add more layers of fat for warmth and protection.
Read: Is it Safe to Fast During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 18

  • As you try to cope with the rapidly growing belly and baby, your circulatory system is undergoing dramatic changes. This could result in low-blood pressure and dizzy spells when there are jerky/sudden body movements. So do be sure to sit up or stand slowly from a lying position.
  • Your growing uterus is shifting your center of gravity and thrusting your back towards the abdomen. This can leave you with backaches – another common pregnancy symptom.
  • This also the time when those dreaded stretch marks can make their first appearance.
Read: Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
  • For some there could be no relief from heartburn and acidity.
  • You’ll notice your legs and ankles swelling up. This is an annoying pregnancy symptom that happens due to water retention. It’s nothing to worry about as long as it is not severe
  • You may be plagued by leg cramps which is nothing but a sign of dehydration.
  • All the extra pressure on your circulatory system can result in varicose veins.

Tip for Pregnancy Week 18

Will your baby be a boy or a girl? This ancient chart is supposed to predict your child's gender, based upon your age and the month of conception!
  • Calculate your week / month of pregnancy and track your baby development,

    Click here for a ready reckoner.