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Pregnancy Week 18


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Fetal Development Images - Pregnancy  18
Week 18 fetal development image showing the fetal growth of your baby to date. Medical Illustration Copyright © 2008 Nucleus Medical Art, All rights reserved

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Your Baby's Development This Week

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.

Pregnancy Lifestyle

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.

Pregnancy Week 18 Comfort Meter

I feel absolutely wonderful!
I feel pretty good!
I could be feeling better
UGG I feel terrible!


Showing 1 - 10 out of 111 Comments
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Soniyak Dec 26, 2018 04:31:47 AM ET

I’m 32 and 18 week pregnant today with my 1st child. I still have not felt any movement. Should I be worried?

Aurora Jan 28, 2019 03:39:29 PM ET

I think it's just hard to identify. this is my first kid too but, i'm just starting to feel movements. just take a couple more weeks.

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Guest Dec 12, 2018 09:59:56 AM ET

I just turned 18 weeks today and I've been itching nonstop for the past week and the itching is so unbelievably unbearable and I can't really sleep bc of it and my itching started on my arms then when to my legs and then started spreading every where else and now my whole body itches.

Monalisa.C Dec 17, 2018 03:53:57 PM ET

That is very alarming. my friend's wife had the same symptoms and it turns out she had this rare condition caused by pregnancy where by it ended up affecting her internal organ. i can't remember which one though.

monalisa Dec 17, 2018 03:55:50 PM ET

I think perhaps you should see a doctor just to be sure.

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MichL Aug 30, 2018 02:36:46 PM ET

Hi. I'm 18 weeks today, and still totally exhausted, and cant bring myself to wake up in the morning. I'm 39 years now and I have two boys. I'm hoping for a girl this time round. All will be revealed next week though. I cant wait. Is this sleepiness normal though??

Angelina421 Sep 28, 2018 02:51:53 AM ET

I am 38 years old and 18 weeks today. expecting a boy and i am completely whooped all day. can barely function because i am so exhausted.

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Kristen Aug 8, 2018 09:15:33 PM ET

Hi all. I am 18 weeks and 5 days with my second child. Still have not felt any movement. Must I worry?

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Jackie Mar 10, 2018 09:39:28 AM ET

I'm 18 weeks 1 day pregnant and when I lay on my back it hurts. I get cramps on my lower back and I get cramps on my left lower side. Sleeping is so uncomfortable.

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Christie Jun 26, 2017 05:48:40 PM ET

18 weeks And two days. This is child number 3 and I am 41. Completely starting over. Haven't been pregnant in 16 years lol so this feels like the first. I've gained like 15lbs. Not good? :/ I wasn't over weight when I started. Should I be worried?

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Santanna Feb 16, 2017 02:59:06 AM ET

I'm 23 and I'm 18 weeks and 3 days and I'm going on my 3rd pregnancy I have two boys already and in two more weeks I find out what I'm having. Hope it's a boy but very excited.

Melissa Sep 6, 2017 06:06:55 AM ET

I'm 24 and i'm prego with my 3rd child and i find out tuesday what i'm having. i got 2 boys right now. i'm hoping for my girl!

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Jules Feb 13, 2017 06:40:03 PM ET

I'm 18weeks and I'm feeling so uneasy at times with major headaches that last all day and lil back pain... What can I do to help with the headaches?

Mae Nov 6, 2017 07:00:40 PM ET

Try supplementing with magnesium. it helps relax tight muscles that contribute to headaches. it has helped me and others i know.

Bev Apr 17, 2019 07:33:00 AM ET

I'm at 17 weeks 3 days. have been suffering headaches for weeks now. my doctor told me to have some caffeine, and tylenol. it works every single time, hallelujah. not too much caffeine though. only as needed. 8oz. coffee, or a can of soda per day is ok. i was concerned about too much caffeine, but, my doctor assured me a little is ok, and sometimes needed.

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Howardbae Nov 26, 2016 03:36:24 PM ET

I'm a little nervous, really don't know y but, also excited. At 18 weeks yesterday & 33 yrs.old.This is my 4th baby. We are wishing 4 either, as long as it's healthy. But with 2 girls and my one boy, almost 18, it would b nice 2 have another son. Did have a few complications at the beginning like hemorrhaging at first on and off ,but I find out on Dec 9th if boy or girl and now so far so good.....nervous mom

Melissa Sep 6, 2017 06:09:59 AM ET

You should not be waiting until dec to find out the sex. you should find out at 20weeks. i am 18 weeks and i find out tuesday what i'm having. but you waiting until dec is not right.

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Guest Oct 26, 2016 02:48:56 PM ET

I'm 24, 18 weeks pregnant and literally have to sit down after doing little things such as showering and getting dressed. I'm so exhausted all of the time, and the headaches don't help. I'm still waiting for the 2nd trimester bliss to kick in. Fingers crossed.

Sami Nov 9, 2017 04:04:38 PM ET

Same. i'm 18 + 4 and i'm drained. i've still got morning sickness and taking prescribed medication to ease the queasy feelings but, the smallest of things i do, i have to take a break or even a nap. i never seam to get enough sleep. this is my second pregnancy after 8 years, feels like my first. i had no pregnancy symptoms with my son. i find out the sex in 2 weeks.

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