What occurs at pregnancy week 18?
You are now in the last stages of your second trimester and in the fifth month of your pregnancy. At this stage, your belly is more obvious that you are pregnant and the area around your waist is shrinking as the uterus moves to your lower abdomen.
At week 18, your baby is now having visible facial expressions like yawning and also producing hiccups.
Your baby at week 18
Your foetus is developing in size and weight; it is about 9 inches long, the size of a cucumber and weighing 8-9 ounces.
As mentioned above, your baby is now capable of yawning and limb movements can now be felt with a few kicks to your belly. The foetal nervous system is still developing and the formation of the myelin sheath is also starting. Myelin is the protective sheath that covers nerve cells.
Female foetuses are now developing reproductive organs that is the uterus and fallopian tubes while the male fetuses are developing external genitalia which might not be visible during the ultrasound scan.
● Dizziness/lightheadedness from abrupt body movements like sitting and standing.
● Pain in the lower back
● Weight gain
● Fatigue during exercises
During the eighteenth week of pregnancy, exercise for pregnant ladies starts to feel strenuous. It is advisable to limit any aerobic exercises like;
You can limit the time to 15minutes and you should be able to have a conversation while exercising. If you feel out of breath, you are straining yourself.
What can you do to ensure your baby stays Healthy?
Your doctor may call you for your third scheduled antenatal visit to check on your growing fetus. You will get to listen to your baby’s heartbeat and see the foetus in the ultrasound scan. Blood tests will be carried out to check for any abnormalities. Your doctor will also check on your blood pressure and weight to ensure they are at risk-free levels.
Visit Jacaranda Maternity hospital at Umoja branch (Wallet centre, opposite Shujaa Mall) or Kahawa West branch (Kamiti road, Kiamumbi, Chief’s stage) for your antenatal clinic. The Midwife will take you through the danger signs, plan for your OGTT visit (Oral Glucose Tolerance tests for elevated blood sugar levels, which could indicate Gestational Diabetes) and book you for a nutrition clinic.