Tuesday, June 2, 2009

18 Weeks

Week 18

How Big is the Baby at 18 Weeks Pregnant?

By 18 weeks pregnant your baby is now anywhere from 5 to approximately 6 inches long at 18 weeks and weighs a little over 5 ounces! In case you are wondering that is about the size of a small can of soup!

Your Baby's Growth and DevelopmentBy pregnancy week 18 your baby's heart is developed enough to show some signs of defects. Ultrasound may be used to help detect any structural abnormalities that might exist. Most babies will be born without any congenital abnormalities. If an early ultrasound does detect something abnormal, you can plan ahead for any interventions or surgeries that may be necessary to support your newborn baby after birth.

At pregnancy week 18 your baby is now starting to produce a protective covering along the nerves, called Myelin. This substance will be produced through the ninth month. By now your baby's genitals should be distinguishable, though you may not yet have the opportunity to view them at your health care practitioner's office.

Your Growth and DevelopmentYou should be able to feel your uterus now just below your bellybutton. You should definitely be showing a bit by now. Most women will have gained anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds at this point in time, though some will have gained less and some more. Your uterus is the size of a small melon by this point in time.

Changes in YouSleeping might start to get a bit more uncomfortable as your belly continues to expand during pregnancy 18 weeks and beyond. One of the best things you can do during your pregnancy is lie on your left side, particularly during the third trimester. This will help prevent your uterus from compressing a vein in your body called the inferior vena cava. This vein helps return blood back to your heart. If you haven't invested in a whole body pillow at this point, you might consider one soon.

Most women will undergo an ultrasound sometime between 18 weeks pregnant and 20 weeks pregnant. An ultrasound is typically ordered to help detect birth defects and ensure that the baby is growing properly. Your healthcare provider will examine your baby's placenta and umbilical cord and also determine whether or not the due date you have estimated is likely to be correct.

Many women have their husband join them during their ultrasound visit so they can enjoy the experience of seeing their miniature newborn baby together.

Here's a picture of my belly, I'm pushing it out as much as I can. It seems small for being into my 5th month!

And here is another that shows how you can barely even tell I'm pregnant yet :(

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