In week 18 of pregnancy, the baby measures about 7 cm and has gained a little weight, too: he weighs about 200 grams, so more than the placenta. The retina is more sensitive and perceives more intense light: for example, if you sit in the sun, the baby perceives a strong red light and covers his eyes! He swallows, sucks his thumb and has a very expressive mimic!
Do not forget the hearing: he already got used to certain familiar sounds, so avoid loud noises and high and try to talk and sing to him often. He still has much room to move, so he moves, bends and rotates his arms vigorously – you’re likely to start to feel his movements.
… and the future mother:
In week 18 of pregnancy, the uterus continues to grow and is now round and beautiful as a small melon! You might have problems with the joints, which are somewhat weakened by the release of a certain hormone (relaxin). Many expectant mothers are facing sudden drops in blood pressure and because of them, they have dizziness, the vertigo states when they suddenly stand up or make too much effort.
Indigestion and constipation are frequent, which can give you a feeling of burning, including at the chest level and headache. Often states of constipation increase the risk of developing hemorrhoids, so pay attention to water consumption (fully hydrate yourself), consumption of fiber and avoid heavy foods.
What to do in the 18th week of pregnancy:
- Take a nap. At lunch time, you are likely to feel the need to take a nap! If possible, try not to deny this need, because it’s important to feel rested and strong. You can talk to your bosses and ask for a prolonged pause to use it for your much needed rest. You can find even in the headquarters a more secluded place where to sit half an hour – an hour and to fall asleep or you can go quickly home (avoid bus congestion and accept the extra expense of a taxi).
- Stress and worry. Although you passed the most risky period of your pregnancy – first trimester, when the baby’s vital organs grow – this does not mean that you are now fully calm and quiet. Are you still dealing with changing mood states and do you still wonder: “Am I really ready?”, “Will I be a good mother?”, “What if I cannot handle it?” and more like this.
Every mother has doubts about her ability to meet the future tasks, but that does not mean you have to constantly worry! When worries corner you, read a book about pregnancy or, better yet, talk to another expectant mothers or a new mother and you’ll calm down, knowing that all women worry…
- Methods of relaxation. It is important not to let yourself shot down by stress: it does not only affect your mental state (vulnerable as it is), but it has negative effects on your physical strength, energy and health. Therefore, pessimistic people have poor health. Re-read your favorite books, so long forgotten, listen to relaxing music as often as you can (in this way, the baby hears it too), go out with friends, make a list of your movies and series that you must see!
On the other hand, yoga courses, if you can afford them, can be a very good solution, because you learn to disconnect, to meditate and relax. If not, look for information about relaxation techniques based on tensing and relaxing each muscle in the body at a time, and breathing techniques (at prenatal courses, you will be shown how to do them).
- Do not lay on your back! If this was your favorite position when you slept, when you rest, when you read, when you watched a movie, now avoid to lay on your back and get used to sit and sleep on one side (also sitting is not recommended for a longer period of time). When you lay on your back, the uterus presses that vein that handles the blood flow from the heart to the baby!
- Mini-vacation. Remember that after 35-36 weeks, you’re not allowed to go anywhere, not even in close areas and you will be advised to stay indoors as much as possible. So take advantage of this period and get rid of your stress by going on a trip, no matter how short, to relatives in villages, in the mountains …
The fresh air, the escape from the city will relax and cheer you up, and this short period will improve communication between you and your husband (do not forget that he is fearful and nervous too, and that soon after birth, your relationship may be challenged by the presence of your little baby).
- The heartbeat of the baby. What could be more cheerful, when you start to have worries and fears, than to hear the baby’s heartbeat? Buy a stethoscope and since the 18th week of pregnancy, you can hear his little beatings of the heart!