Week-by-Week Pregnancy Guide

Select a week of pregnancy from a trimester

18

 Weeks 

Pregnant

November 5, 2021
8
min read
IN THIS ARTICLE
Your baby is the size of a sweet potato!
Height
14
cms
Weight
180
gms
How far along now?

4 months and 2 weeks

Which trimester is this?

2nd Trimester

How many more weeks to go?

22 more weeks to go

Week

18

of your pregnancy

Relaxin is on the job! Unfortunately, we don't mean "relaxing”, though that is what mum must be craving for now. During the second trimester, your body releases relaxin, a hormone that (true to its name) loosens the ligaments that grip the bones. Of course, this is all in preparation for the delivery, and especially useful for pushing out the baby's head. But, at the moment it can cause an achy pelvis and hips — and maybe even bigger feet! The baby’s face and head are taking shape. The facial features and ears are moving into place. At this 18-week mark, the baby has a working digestive system, as well as a light coating of hair all over their body that’s called lanugo.

Garbha Vriddhi

चतुर्थे मासि स्थिरत्वं आपद्यते गर्भः, तस्मात्तदा गर्भिणी गुरुगात्रत्वं अधिकं आपद्यते विशेषेण। (चरक शारीरस्थान)

Ayurveda says the mother starts feeling heavier in this month due to initiation of the fat deposition process and foetus attains stability. 


Your Baby's Development

Main Highlights
Fingertips getting ready
Fingertips getting ready
Digestive system
Digestive system
Hearing readiness
Hearing readiness
Network of nerves
Network of nerves
Ossification
Ossification
Fingertips getting ready

This week, the baby is developing a unique characteristic: fingerprints. Pads of fat accumulating on the fingertips and toes will turn into those characteristic whorling lines.

Digestive system

The tiny digestive system has been developing over the past few weeks and now, the baby swallows amniotic fluid, which makes its way through the stomach and intestines. That fluid will combine with dead cells and secretions in the intestines to form meconium — a black, tarry substance that will pass as the baby's first stool. Your baby will need bile to digest nutrients, and at 18 weeks, the gallbladder may begin to work.

Hearing readiness

Around this week, your baby’s ears will begin to stand out from both the sides of the head and are likely to hear sounds, too. He might hear your heartbeat or your tummy gurgle. He might hear loud sounds outside the womb.

Network of nerves

At this point, your baby's nervous system is maturing rapidly. A network of nerves, now covered with a substance called myelin that helps speed messages from nerve cell to nerve cell, are forming more complex connections. The connections in the brain are further developing into the ones that serve the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing.

Ossification

Your baby’s skeleton continues to harden during the 18th week of your pregnancy. His leg bones and inner ear bones are the first to ossify (harden).

Your Pregnancy Symptoms

Main Highlights
Dizzy spells
Tooth changes
Darkening moles and spots on the face
Lightheadedness
Flickering mini movements
Dizzy spells

Your heart has to work harder: about 40 to 50 percent harder than it did before you were pregnant. In addition, there is the growing pressure of the expanding uterus on blood vessels. These can make you feel dizzy occasionally, particularly when you get up quickly. Be sure to rest frequently. Lie down on your side when you feel faint or dizzy. Low blood sugar can also lead to dizziness. Resting, lying down on your side, or eating a piece of fruit will help boost blood sugar levels and settle dizzy spells.

iMumz Tip
Tooth changes

Pregnancy hormones affect gums,ligaments, bones in your mouth. Loosening of teeth is common, so don’t panic, just plan a dental check-up.

iMumz Tip
Darkening moles and spots on the face

An increase in a group of hormones called androgens can cause the glands in your skin to grow and produce more sebum which is an oily , waxy substance. This oil can clog pores and lead to bacteria, inflammation, and breakouts leaving spots on the face.

iMumz Tip
Lightheadedness

You feel dizzy due to the pressure of growing uterus on veins in the back of your abdomen which reduce the amount of blood going to your heart.

iMumz Tip
Flickering mini movements

Most women first feel their little one's movements around 18 weeks. Your baby is still tiny so don’t expect a big kick! It will feel like a butterfly fluttering.

iMumz Tip

iMumz Wellness Tip

  • An effective home remedy for clogged pores and spots on skin is application of lemon juice.
  • Squeeze the juice from a lemon or lime and apply directly to spots with a cotton ball. Leave on for 10 minutes or until dry, and then rinse with cool water.
  • Alpha hydroxy acid  in citrus fruits like lemons and limes. When the juice of a lemon or lime is applied to your skin, it helps unclog pores and shed dead skin cells. These astringent and antibacterial properties make it effective as an exfoliant.
We have curated several pregnancy lifestyle sessions and expert-led webinars to help mums to build flexibility and to prepare their bodies for delivery.

Your Pregnancy check-ups

  • Anomaly Scan or mid-pregnancy scan is an ultrasound scan done between the 18th and 21st week of pregnancy to take a closer look at the baby and the womb (uterus) and to have an idea where the placenta is lying. The scan aims to look for any major physical abnormalities in the growing baby.

  • The mid-pregnancy anomaly scan is done for checking any physical abnormalities in the growing baby. Although it can’t pick up every problem, it gives the healthcare specialist (a sonographer) an idea about the baby’s bones, heart, brain, spinal cord, face, kidneys and abdomen and allows the healthcare specialist identify the following conditions (some of which are very rare):

  • Anencephaly
  • Diaphragmatic hernia
  • Gastroschisis
  • Exomphalos
  • Open spina bifida
  • Bilateral renal agenesis
  • Lethal skeletal dysplasia
  • Edwards’ syndrome or T18
  • Patau’s syndrome or T13
  • Cleft lip
  • Serious cardiac abnormalities

    In rare cases, the mid-pregnancy ultrasound could reveal issues associated with the placenta. Your doctor will tell you if he suspects either placenta accreta or placenta previa and will be able to advise you on what care you will be given to lower any risks associated with either condition.

What should you eat in this week of pregnancy?

This is the month when the baby starts developing taste-buds. Eating a wide variety not only adds the needed nutrition, it also helps the baby to get accustomed to different tastes. If you eat bitter gourd now, you will be making the baby fond of it, too! Well, with some luck!

Main Highlights
  • Have all the 5 core groups represented: Grains, Dairy, Fruits, Vegetables, Healthy Fats.

Iodine,  calcium and iron-rich foods, and foods high in folic acid, such as leafy greens and citrus fruits. If you crave sweets, eat fresh fruit instead of cakes or processed sweets. Avoid high-calorie and fried foods. Overweight women with a BMI of 30 or above run a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.

Fermented foods (like idlis) are good for your gut microbiome.

Unless you are allergic to nuts, do eat them so that they build your baby’s immunity.

iMumz provides micro nutrients week by week for your daily dose of nutrition. Diet charts and recipes are made by mothers to give your daily dose of health for your baby and you.

To know more
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Ideal Weight Gain

180

gms

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.
Can I feel my baby move at Week 18 of pregnancy?
A.

Most women first feel their little one's movements between 16 and 20 weeks. Your baby is still small, so at around 18 weeks pregnant, it'll be more of a gentle flutter than a forceful kick in your belly.

iMumz has a team of doctors working round the clock to prepare a rich repository of such tips.

Myth Vs Fact

MYTH

Craving for salty foods means you’re having a boy. Craving for sweet foods indicates a girl is expected.

FACT

Research shows that cravings have nothing to do with determining the sex of a baby. Cravings can be a sign of things your body needs, for example wanting to chew ice can mean a low-iron level. But they aren’t a gender predictor.

Bonding with your baby

Anxiety episodes are common in pregnancy and are experienced by more than 50% of pregnant women. But, if it is chronic, and ongoing anxiety, it poses risks  to both mother and foetus and increases the risk of postpartum depression.

It exposes the foetus to excess glucocorticoids, which can lead to preterm labor, low birth weight, and lower Apgar scores. In the long run, the baby can have  stress-related behavior,  emotional instability, and hampered cognitive abilities in adult life.

Meditation provides you a peaceful environment in which you and your baby can bond before it's born. There are various meditative practices that you can adopt:

  •  Deep breathing: Lie down on the floor or on your bed with your feet shoulder-width apart. (Lie on your side if you are more than 18 weeks pregnant) Breathe slowly through your nose for four seconds, keeping your mouth closed. Be conscious of your stomach rising as you gradually fill your lungs and diaphragm with air, then hold for one second before exhaling through your nose to the count of four.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation: Best accompanied with soothing music, all you need to do is focus on one muscle group at a time and alternate between the left and right side of your body. Clench hard and then release the muscles of your hand and forearm muscles, followed by your triceps and biceps, then your face, chest and shoulders, stomach, legs, and finally, your feet.
  • Guided imagery or visualization: Imagine a field of flowers in the Himalayas or the waves of a calm beach.  Next imagine every detail of that place, from the sounds to the smells and everything in between. Visualization needs some practice but it is very effective in easing anxiety and also giving good sleep.

Bond with the Baby by making your body calm and relaxed so that it sends across good hormones.

We have weekly bonding activities to help mums to connect with babies for their all-round development. 

The award-winning iMumz App is helping 350,000 + women make their pregnancies healthier and happier.

DOWNLOAD APP NOW

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?
What’s a Rich Text element?
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  • The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create conten
  • The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content
  1. The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create conten
  2. The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create conten
  3. The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create conten

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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