Being 18 weeks pregnant is another one of those points that is quite exciting for a number of reasons. Not only are you feeling every extravagant movement of your baby, you are soon going to have the ability to refer to him as “him” or “her”! To many, this point might seem like just another informative time of the pregnancy, and there are many parents who choose not to find out the gender, but for the many who choose to be in the know, this week is darned exciting!
In the 18th week of pregnancy, your baby is now an astounding 5½” and weighing in at around 6½ oz.! She’s growing nicely in every way: her senses are developing (she can hear your voice), she’s able to move her extremities (from her fingers to her knees), and she will have her genital area distinguishable from that of a male’s on an ultrasound. Luckily, technology has brought us nicely into an age when we can view our babies on an ultrasound machine between 18 and 20 weeks pregnant, and be able to view their bodies; this not only allows you to find out the gender of your baby, but also discover any heart or physical malformations that can be seen using the same technology.
You are coming closer and closer to the ½-way-point of your pregnancy… so, congratulations! The average pregnant woman has gained between 5 and 10 pounds by the 18th week of pregnancy, and this is obviously different depending upon a number of factors. If you were overweight or underweight, whether you had participated in an exercise regimen prior to pregnancy or started following the “news”, and the diet and nutrition you have managed throughout your pregnancy to this point all play into the amount of weight a woman will have gained in these first 18 weeks.
One little piece of information that serves pregnant women well when they’re trying to find new ways to improve their comfort (and the health of their pregnancy) is to sleep on their left side. Even if you’re just lying down for a few minutes, lying on your back should feel uncomfortable by now… and is dangerous for you and the baby. Instead, try lying on your left side; this actually prevents the weight of the uterus from pressing on the large vein that brings blood to the heart, the inferior vena cava. In addition to promoting better blood flow for your sake and the baby’s, you’ll probably find that this is the most comfortable position to lie down.
When a baby is thriving as much as yours is this week, you can be sure that your energy and comfort are being used up faster and more efficiently than ever before. When you need to rest or relax, remember to lie down on your left side for better blood flow to your heart. 18 weeks pregnant is another point of excitement for many parents. Although some choose to wait until the birth to find out the gender, many opt to find out at the ultrasound viewing of the baby that occurs between this week and the 20th. Finding out your new addition is going to be a boy or a girl is a huge point in your pregnancy that will change the way you think about your baby forever!