When you are 18 weeks pregnant, knowing what to expect helps you to get prepared for caring for your baby now and in the future. There are several things to know about this week of pregnancy that ensure that you are doing everything possible to have a healthy pregnancy. You want to know about things like your belly, how your baby is developing and growing and what to expect at an ultrasound should your doctor schedule one at this point.
Your Belly at 18 Weeks Pregnant
Your belly is definitely noticeable at this point in your pregnancy and it might itch a little because it is stretching. To reduce the itching and the potential for stretch marks, you want to make sure that the skin on your belly is moisturized. A good thick lotion is ideal and you want to gently massage it in at least once a day, preferably after you bathe so that it soaks in well. You are also likely feeling a lot of kicks at this point because your baby is starting to really move around.
Getting an Ultrasound at 18 Weeks Pregnant
Not all doctors will do an ultrasound at week 18, but you typically have one between 18 and 20 weeks. If you did not learn the gender of your baby at 15 weeks, you will likely learn it today as long as your baby is in the right position. You can see your baby’s tiny hands and feet during the ultrasound, as well as his or her face. As you are looking at your baby, you also get to hear the heartbeat so that you can really get a feel of who your baby is becoming. Your sonographer can do a 3D ultrasound at this stage too, so you can see even more.
Your Baby at 18 Weeks Pregnant
You are halfway to the average delivery date and your baby is developing and growing rapidly. At this point, your baby is about the size of a bell pepper at approximately 14 centimeters in length and 200 grams in weight. His or her nerves are now developing a protective covering to ensure proper function after your baby comes into the world. He or she is far more active now and you are probably feeling those kicks. The genitals are fully formed and babies now have hand strength.
At 18 weeks pregnant, you now know more about what to expect at this stage of your pregnancy. You can use this information as a guide for what to expect at this week of your pregnancy. If you notice anything odd or concerning, make sure to talk to your doctor right away. This will help to ensure that any potential issues are quickly addressed and that your baby is growing and developing on schedule. Make sure that your nutrition is on point at this stage because your baby is growing rapidly and needs the critical nutrients.