Within the different weeks that mark a woman’s pregnancy, the 18th is one of the most desired by many future mothers. The changes and symptoms that arise in it will make a difference for the rest of this period.
Pregnancy is one of the most special vital moments for women who decide to become mothers. A process in which changes of all kinds take place to house the new life. Of all this time, the 18 weeks of pregnancy are one of the most anticipated moments by mothers, due to the many changes that occur. The most important is that the fetus at 18 weeks is already beginning to move in a way that can be perceived by the mother, which is one of the greatest joys for her.
However, the 18-week pregnancy has other aspects that should be known. So that you do not lack information, we leave you everything you need to know about it. By the way, in case you don’t know how many months are in the 18th week of pregnancy, we will tell you that it is 4 and a half months, although the fetal age would be 4 months or 16 weeks.
Changes in the fetus
A baby at 18 weeks gestation has an average weight of about 190 grams and an estimated size of 14.2 centimeters, from crown to buttocks. So, although the size of the 18-week fetus is not considerable, it is true that from here it begins to increase exponentially, until it reaches term. So from the ultrasound of week 18 everything begins to look clearer.
Other important changes when the pregnancy reaches week 18 is that the legs and feet finish being molded and the bone cartilage progressively turns into bone. The heart and respiratory system also develop , within the maturation process that will continue until the end of pregnancy.
To complete this section, it is worth mentioning that your baby is already beginning to move with more intensity, so it is normal that you begin to perceive the first kicks. He is also able to start perceiving sounds, since her hearing is already developed this week.
Changes in the mother
As with the baby, the mother also perceives changes in her body and her organism at this time. Known is the relationship between the arrival of the 18th week of pregnancy and the discomfort in the lower part, derived from the movements of the baby that we have mentioned. There is also considerable growth of the uterus , so the 18-week belly will grow larger and larger.
As a consequence of what we have been discussing, when you reach 18 weeks of pregnancy, the weight begins to increase with greater intensity, in order to give the fetus the necessary support for its growth. This phenomenon changes the center of gravity of the body, also opening the legs a little. An event that can cause back and muscle pain. These can be avoided with a good rest or even with a maternity girdle , although these are recommended for later periods.
This need for more intense life support for the fetus also implies greater hormonal activity, so that among the effects of 18 weeks of pregnancy and its symptoms, nausea stands out, which increases considerably. However, this is something you will have to get used to until the end of the pregnancy. The same happens with the additional heat, caused by the acceleration of the metabolism, or the presence of itching in the belly area, due to the stretching of the skin.
Tips for the 18th week of pregnancy
In general, this time does not mark too many changes regarding the advice given to mothers during pregnancy. Yes, it is true that physical changes can make the mother’s day-to-day a little difficult, especially due to the growing size of the belly. If it bothers you when you sleep or rest, you can use a nursing or maternity cushion to accommodate yourself better.
Regarding the topic of nausea, the treatment to follow is the usual one. The main help will come from food, which must be healthy, balanced and above all light. Avoiding prolonged digestive processes helps the nausea not to be so annoying or so intense during this week and those that remain.
It is also recommended to chew food very well, eliminate fats and spicy foods or raise the head of the bed a little. All this without forgetting the necessary contribution of vitamins and folic acid, which not only completes your nutrition, but is also suitable for fighting these symptoms. In extreme cases, you can take some medication against these nausea, although always with medical recommendation.
Finally, it is important not to become overly obsessed with the subject of movements. As we have mentioned, in this week these are already perceptible, but there are many factors that influence us to notice them, such as the sensitivity of the mother, her weight, the position of the baby and the belly and many others.
There are also phases in which the baby is more relaxed and others more moved, these last moments coinciding with those of more nausea in the mother, as movement is linked to maternal hormonal activity. In any case, if you notice any worrying symptoms, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.