One of the most awaited moments in pregnancy is to feel the baby move. Many women can feel the baby’s movements around the 16th and 20th week of pregnancy (end of the 4th and during the 5th month). Movements are usually light but noticeable. In a second pregnancy this can happen earlier.
Another important moment happens when the woman is 18 weeks pregnant. From now on, it will be easier to be able to see the genitals on the ultrasound exam.
If she is a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes will already be formed. If you are a boy, it will be even easier to see the genital organ on ultrasound.
18 weeks of gestation is how many months?
When the pregnant woman is at 18 weeks of gestation, it means that she is at the end of the 4th month of pregnancy. It is an important and long-awaited moment, when the mother begins to notice the baby’s gentle movements inside her belly.
Baby development: size and weight
At this stage, the baby has already grown a lot and is weighing about 150g and measuring around 12 cm, the approximate size of a sweet potato. Of course, this can vary depending on the parents’ stature.
The mother can already feel the baby’s movements, as the baby’s bones are getting stronger and the muscles begin to emerge. Therefore, it is usually natural for the baby’s movements to be more noticeable. This moment is important, as his fingerprints are already starting to form in the baby, a characteristic that will differentiate him from all others and show that he is unique.
The baby starts breathing movements, yawning and sobbing, as a practice for when he really needs to breathe. The placenta is still responsible for giving him the oxygen he needs.
Your little heart starts beating twice as fast as Mom’s. He also begins to hear internal sounds, such as his mother’s heartbeat and the noise of blood passing through the umbilical cord.
Within a short time, the baby can already hear external sounds such as the parents’ voice.
At this stage, the baby’s intestine is developing and begins to produce the first stool (meconium), which is formed by the amniotic fluid he swallows.
Symptoms of pregnant women at 18 weeks’ gestation
At this point, the baby is developing rapidly, which ends up demanding a lot from the mother’s body. Therefore, some symptoms can be noticed:
It is common at this stage, with so many changes happening quickly, that the mother eventually feels weaker.
In addition to her heart working around 40% to 50% more than before, the woman’s belly is already starting to grow and weigh. Also, the baby is developing at full speed. This all consumes a lot of energy.
Therefore, it is important that pregnant women try to rest a lot during this phase, in addition to eating well to replenish their energy. She should also avoid straining and be careful with her posture to avoid back pain.
During pregnancy, it is common for blood pressure to decrease due to the action of hormones and the increase in blood circulating in the body (an average of 1.5 liters more). This can cause dizziness and discomfort.
As the uterus grows, it begins to put pressure on the blood vessels, which can also cause discomfort.
To alleviate this symptom, it is important that the pregnant woman try to get up slowly to avoid possible accidents, in addition to eating at shorter intervals to control blood glucose levels.
Skin changes (blemishes and pimples)
This phase is marked by an increase in hormone levels. This can cause blemishes and pimples to appear, especially on the face. It’s not a rule, but it can happen depending on each woman’s body.
At this stage, heartburn usually gives a break. While this is good, on the other hand, the appetite may increase. Consequently, strange cravings to eat certain foods may appear.
In addition to increased appetite, pregnant women can gain weight quickly during this period. The desire to eat all the time and the baby growing quickly ends up accelerating weight gain.
Although weight gain is normal, it is important to consume healthy foods.
White, odorless vaginal discharge during pregnancy is usually normal. It may be related to the physiological changes that take place during this period.
However, the pregnant woman must be aware of any changes in secretion such as the presence of bad smell, itching or abdominal pain. In these cases, you should seek medical advice from her, as it may be a case of infection.
How big is the belly at 18 weeks’ gestation?
In general, at 18 weeks you can already tell that the woman is pregnant, as the belly starts to turn round.
It’s not big yet, but you can already see a bulge, which will grow faster and faster now.
Now that you probably know the sex of the baby, you can start thinking about the trousseau. What a wonderful stage!
If you still can’t find out, be calm and try to hold back the anxiety a little longer because you’ll soon know. Take advantage of this very special moment to enjoy the baby’s every move as a family.