18 Weeks Pregnant
What’s happening this week?
You’re now 18 weeks pregnant. You may start to experience some strange symptoms… find out what to expect during the second trimester!
How is my baby developing?
At 18 weeks pregnant, your baby is busy building a strong heart and muscles, and at this stage, an ultrasound would pick up any heart malformations.
If your scan does detect a problem, you and your doctor can start planning now for any interventions needed after birth. Your baby is now able to secrete myelin, which protects the nerve cells.
This will continue until the end of the pregnancy. Also, your baby’s gender could be identified with an ultrasound, as the external genitals are fully formed. At 18 weeks pregnant, your baby measures about 15 cm and weighs 200 grams.
For the first time, the placenta is no longer bigger than your baby. The placenta will continue to grow, but not as fast as during early pregnancy.
How is my body changing?
At 18 week pregnant, you can feel your uterus just below your belly button and you are now definitely showing.
Most likely you’ll undergo another ultrasound sometime over the next two weeks, to detect any defects and make sure the baby is growing normally.
Also, you need to decide whether or not to find the gender of your baby, which can be detected at the scan.
Symptoms at 18 week pregnant are usually mild, and you’re probably feeling good right now and may even have an increased libido. You may also have noticed that your appetite is back, but be sure to go for a healthy and balanced diet.
Some strange symptoms during the second trimester include forgetfulness (called “pregnancy brain”), nails growing faster and crazy wild dreams.
You can also experience dizziness and back pain, as your uterus expands. You’ll have gained about 10-15 pounds so far, and your uterus is the size of a melon.
If this is your first pregnancy, you finally get to feel your baby kicking – this is called quickening. Initially it may feel like butterflies, but as your baby grows stronger, you’ll definitely feel him moving around.
How much does a baby cost?
A baby costs a lot! You may worry about how to pay for all extra expenses with your baby.
During the first year, most of your expenses will be from formula (if bottle feeding), nappies and clothing, as well as one-off expensive items your baby needs, such as a car seat and a cot.
Why not start a savings account now? By the time your baby comes, you already have a nice sum to start spending on your little one.