In pregnancy week 18, your little one is around 5.6" long and can weigh up to 6.7 ounces. You little one is building strong and sturdy muscles and heart. When pregnancy week 18 is over, you can check to see that all the organs and heart are in good order by using an ultra-sound. If a baby has any defects in the heart or any other organs, it can be detected by scanning using the ultrasound. In most cases the baby is born without such defects.
Your little one's genitals will already be formed, but you can do an ultrasound in week 20 to see for yourself, if your little one allows you to. Your baby's nerves are being covered with a protective sheath called the myelin sheath. Myelin will be continuously produced till the final month.
In pregnancy week 18, your uterus would have risen to just below your navel or belly button. You probably would have gained between 10 to 15 pounds, and your tummy may look like a mini watermelon. You probably find it uncomfortable sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your left side will help. Why not the right side? If you sleep on your right, the growing uterus is going to put pressure on a major vein, called the Inferior Vena Cava. This is a major vein which brings back the blood from your legs and the major part of the torso back to your heart. Sleeping on the left side is the best way to sleep especially when you are in the third trimester.
If you've not got your maternity clothes, you'll have to look for some in this period. Your normal clothes will be a little bit tight. You will soon go for another ultrasound, and this is for the doctor to know whether all is well, and if your little one is developing properly in all areas. He will check the present size of your baby, and the placement of the umbilical cord and placenta.
Get your partner to accompany you to the doctor in pregnancy week 18. You may or may not be able to see the gender of your little one. You both may not want to know the gender of your little one, as you both prefer to be surprised on the day of the delivery. Whatever it is, the ultrasound is mainly to let the doctor know, how well your baby is growing and how far the development has gone.
Constipation may be a problem throughout your pregnancy. The main reason is the increase in the size of the uterus and the baby is pushing against the intestines, and therefore it is more difficult for the food to pass through. There are several things you can do to elevate this condition. Normally everyone must drink 8 glasses of water a day. But a pregnant woman can even drink more to ensure you are hydrated, so that you get some relief from your constipation. As in all weeks, in pregnancy week 18 too, you must eat lots of fruits and vegetables for the fiber, as fiber will push the food along the intestines. Do exercises to improve your blood circulation as this will also relief constipation.