Baby Develops Fat For Warmth
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.
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.
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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.
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.
- 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
- Now is the time to increase the intake of calcium and vitamin D in your daily diet (milk, cheese, almonds, leafy green vegetables and fruits like apple). These nutrients are vital for fetal bone ossification and teeth development.
- Swelling of the feet can make your footwear tight. Discontinue wearing them and buy a larger rsize . Comfortable and breathe-easy footwear is important for smooth blood circulation. Tight footwear can constrict the blood vessels and lead to unecessary complications.