Around this time of pregnancy you are likely to be offered your second ultrasound to check that your baby’s growth and development is going on as it should be. This will assess the due date, check for any birth defects, and check that the placenta and umbilical cord are healthy and in the right position.

You should use this time of pregnancy to see your friends, schedule dates with your partner and do things that you enjoy. You are not that big yet and are probably looking and feeling fairly good; so you can take the time to do all of this. After the baby arrives, you will have little time and a host of new responsibilities.

Changes in the baby

If you have an ultrasound screening about now, you will be able to see the baby move, kick, roll, and hiccup, even suck a thumb perhaps. At this stage you may be able to make out quite clearly the shape of the head, the limbs and torso.

  • Baby’s bones are ossifying or hardening right now and the skeletal structure is firming up.
  • Baby is about 6 inches long and weighs about 190 grams.
  • The baby’s sense organs are developing right now. So if you speak or sing to your baby, he or she will be listening.

Changes in the mom to be

There are so many changes you’ll notice in yourself – because of the hormonal changes as well as the physical stresses of carrying a baby.

  • Getting up suddenly could make you feel a little lightheaded or dizzy.
  • You could be having aches and pains as a result of your growing belly and increased weight. Abdominal discomfort and back pain are common pregnancy problems as your center of gravity and posture changes.

Tips for the 18th Week

Take good care of your hair and skin. Your skin is rapidly stretching right now and may feel itchy and dry. Though there is no way to prevent stretch marks, you can try and reduce their severity by using good quality moisturizers.

  • Massage your skin (particularly the abdomen) with moisturizer to soothe itching and also ease muscular discomfort.
  • Use conditioner regularly for your hair. Consider getting a new hair style that is easier to manage and requires less maintenance.
  • Pick flattering clothing, accessories and subtle makeup to make you look and feel good.