Pregnancy Week Eighteen
Pregnancy week eighteen is considered to be that week, where you are almost half way through your pregnancy. Your baby has now become 5.6 inches long and is weighing 6.7 ounces. The pregnancy week eighteen belly is still not too big (only the size of a small melon), and you will be able to feel the uterus below your belly button. This will make you show only a bit by now.
Week eighteen is particularly important for the growth of your baby, because at the eighteenth week, your baby has developed enough signs to show some birth defects, if any, in the heart. In this week, your obstetrician might ask you to get an ultrasound done, to detect any structural abnormalities that might exist in your baby.
Week eighteen is also important, because your baby has started to produce a covering along his nerves, known as Myelin. This is a protective covering and the substance of this covering will be produced by the ninth month. Your baby’s genitals are distinguishable by now. However, they cannot be normally viewed at your doctor’s clinical setup. If you still are interested in knowing the sex of the baby, you can get an amniocentesis done to confirm it.
Pregnancy week eighteen is significantly a week, which is known to produce a few changes in the mother. Sleeping will be a bit uncomfortable, because your belly is in the phase of expansion during the eighteenth week and beyond. For this, it is advised to lie on your left side, particularly during the third trimester. It helps you to sleep soundly and will also prevent the uterus from compressing an important vein of the body, which is known as inferior vena cava.
An ultrasound of the eighteenth or twentieth week reveals many things. It may detect birth defects, and will make sure that the baby is growing properly. Your healthcare provider will also check baby’s placenta or umbilical cord, to determine if the due dates that you have calculated are likely to be correct or not.
Since the hearing apparatus is properly formed now, and the Myelination (the process of covering the nerves with Myelin) has been completed, your baby can now hear clearly. He can hear your heartbeat, the blood moving through the placenta, and even you. The baby at this stage becomes sensitive to light, and the brain is growing quickly at this stage. Moreover, a girl will now have all the eggs contained in her which she will need during her reproductive life, while formation of the prostate gland in the boys has begun.
Week eighteen is important with reference to heartburn symptoms. Your uterus is now finding its way upwards, and presses your stomach, and with the rapid growth of your baby, you will begin to experience heartburn. At this time, you should try eating small meals, and stay away from a high fat diet. Propping yourself up with pillows can also help you decrease this temporary heartburning symptom