Welcome To Week 18 Of Your Pregnancy.
What’s Happening This Week?
Week 18 is a very exciting time as your Baby begins a very active phase of her life. There is still plenty of room in the womb as baby turns and stretches, kicks and punches. Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the size of a mango) and he weighs almost 6 ounces.
Your Baby’s brain is developing more neural pathways which will allow her to begin to sense other parts of the body as she is busy flexing her arms and legs — movements that you may not be able to feel yet but will start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead.
Blood vessels are still visible through the Baby’s skin even though fat has begun to form. The eyes have moved to their correct position and the ears have settled into their final spot, although they may stand out a bit.
A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his or her nerves, a process that will continue after she’s born. Myelin is a fatty layer called the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects the nerves of the nervous system and also allows for quick impulses between the brain and other parts of the body.
If you’re having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you’re having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now. At this time during an ultrasound you can find out the gender of your baby. Here is an ultrasound image of a baby girl demonstrating two bright lines representing labia and a bright dot representing the clitoris. The other image represent the scrotal sac and penis of a baby boy.
What’s Happening With You This Week?
You may have noticed that you are not making as many trips to the bathroom. This is because as the baby gets bigger, the uterus moves out of the pelvis and up into your abdomen, causing less pressure on your bladder.
Your heart rate and blood volume have increased. This extra blood volume can make the veins in your arms and legs and other body parts stand out and be more noticeable. It can also cause nosebleeds as tiny vessels of the nose can expand and rupture easily. Keeping well hydrated and using a nose lubricant can help prevent nosebleeds. They shouldn’t happen often but when one does keep your head held high and apply pressure and ice or both. If this doesn’t stop the bleeding call you doctor for treatment.
Due to increased blood volume your blood pressure may drop so be careful when getting up from a lying or sitting position because it may make you feel lightheaded or dizzy.
Around week 18 you may be offered an ultrasound known as a detailed anomaly scan. This is a harmless imaging examination performed with sound waves. This scan examines baby’s body for normal development. Ultrasound, in the hands of an experienced sonographer, sonologist or midwife can see and pick up anomalies or abnormalities that may be present at this stage of the pregnancy.
The ultrasound also assesses baby’s growth to ensure that baby is on track and within an acceptable growth pattern. The ultrasound will also assess the amount of amniotic fluid, the umbilical cord and the placenta and it’s position in relation to the birth canal. Of course, don’t forget to take home a photo of your baby. If you have any photos we would love to see them. Please share below!