18 Weeks Pregnant
You are 18 Weeks Pregnant and halfway through your fourth month. This week your baby has learnt to yawn and his nervous system is also fast maturing. His ears are now in their final position and his chest is moving up and down as he mimics breathing.
At 18 weeks pregnant a protective covering known as Myelin is beginning to form around his nerves. It will continue filling up until his first birthday.
Your little one is about 14 cm long and weighs about 200 grams. He is now the size of a medium sweet potato. He has increased activity in the uterus and spends a lot of time tumbling, kicking and rolling. He can cross his legs, somersault and even suck at his thumb although these movements are not yet coordinated. These movements no longer feel fluttery. The kicks for instance, are more distinct.
At the end of this week you will have the anomaly scan which the doctor will use to make sure that the baby’s organs are all growing as they should be. He will also check the placenta and the umbilical cord as well as screen for certain birth defects. If possible make arrangements so that your partner can come along for this visit. You may be able to see the baby moving around. It is a great bonding moment for the three of you.
Your changing body
At 18 weeks pregnant, your skin is probably starting to feel itchy around the belly as well as the breasts. Regularly rub the skin around those areas with a rich moisturizer to ease the itching. You have also started to experience occasional lower abdominal pain. This is known as round ligament pain and it is normal at this stage of pregnancy. It is usually mild and can feel like a jab.
You are getting increasingly exhausted and you may be finding it hard to get through the day without taking a nap. Plan your day to allow you a little snooze during the day. It could be a few minutes during the lunch hour. The rest helps you have a healthy pregnancy, also don’t forget to talk to your baby at this stage.
This week’s tip: You are starting to have problems finding a comfortable sitting position and the backaches may now be constant. Now is the ideal time to think about supportive clothing. A supportive girdle which you can find at any baby shop will go a long way in easing the backaches and giving you a proper posture. You don’t need to be embarrassed about it because they are worn underneath your clothing.
It’s also a good time to start investing in enriching creams and we’re fortunate to have easy access to wide range of natural Shea butters here in Nairobi. These are just some of the beauty tips for 18 weeks pregnant women can incorporate in their journey.
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