Pregnancy Week 1886 Comments
Week 18 fetal development image showing the fetal growth of your baby to date.
The baby's nervous system continues to become more refined and detailed in development, with this week the myelin, or protective covering over the nerves, forming. This aids in messages traveling across the nerve pathways. The myelin continues growing until the baby is one year old. Other not so easily seen development includes the formation of the alveoli, or the tiny air sacs in the lungs. The vocal chords are formed, but without air, the baby is just going through the motions without the sound now. If the baby is a girl, the fallopian tubes and uterus have settled into their permanent position now. The baby's skin is being protected from the watery environment of the uterus, by vernix-a cheesy, greasy substance, and the lanugo-a fuzzy hairy growth on baby's skin. The baby is now between 5 and 6 inches long and between 5 and 6 ounces.
Pregnancy Symptoms You May Feel During Week 18
One symptom becoming more problematic is low blood pressure. Rising from a seated position will make it worse. Make certain that you avoid lying on your back now, and try to lie on your side. Another common complaint at this point is backaches. The center of gravity has now shifted and the muscles and ligaments have loosened, only making the problem worse. Try to be mindful of your posture and don't allow yourself to be slumped or slouched if possible. Also, if you work a sedentary job, be sure to get up and move around every hour at least. Look into yoga stretches to help alleviate the pain, and keep your movements pain-free.
Visit With the Obstetrician
At this point in your pregnancy, your doctor might perform a level II sonogram. This type of sonogram will not differ greatly in the experience for mom, but yields much more detailed information for the doctor. This sonogram may last longer than the typical sonogram done earlier in the pregnancy. The test will give a more in depth look at the organs and the development, as in seeing the chambers of the heart, blood circulation throughout the fetus, and how the brain is developing.
Preparing for Baby
When the baby comes home from the hospital, it will be a huge accomplishment to just keep up with the burdens of daily life. To ease the struggle some, look now at how you might simplify your surroundings. Pick up some books on how to organize and de-clutter your home. Don't try to implement all the ideas, and certainly not by yourself. However, figure out what things might give you the best results and try to get those done over the next several weeks, not being too shy to ask for help in getting those things organized. The pay off will come once your little one is home and you have a better handle on your time because you've streamlined your environment a bit better.
The burden of weight, the hormones, the big changes in mom's body, all add up to fatigue. To fight the fatigue, you surrender to it. Make certain you are getting plenty of sleep at night, which can become increasingly difficult with the symptoms you might be contending with, such as aches and pains, gas, heartburn, and leg cramps. Besides an adequate amount of bedtime zzz's, try getting some little naps or rest periods worked into the rest of your day. If you can, go ahead and lie down and nap. If you are at work, then do your best to take a little time to put your feet up, close your eyes and do some relaxation exercises. Even just a few minutes here and there can add up to some relief, so don't neglect the signals that your body is sending you.
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