You are now 18 weeks pregnant, which is beginning of week 19.

Your baby is now 20 cm long (7.9 inches) from head to toe and weighs approximately 310 grams (about 11 ounces).

Your baby has a fine layer of hair covering their body called lanugo. This helps protect their skin and is only shed a few weeks before they are due to be born. A few babies are born with lanugo, which falls out during the early weeks of life.


You may be booked to have a routine ultrasound soon. This test aims to detect obvious physical abnormalities in an unborn baby and is usually timed for around 19 weeks. Unborn babies need to be at least 18 to 20 weeks gestation for the ultrasonographer to clearly see the normal physical structures of their body, including their heart, lungs, kidneys, brain and spine. An experienced ultrasonographer may even be able to tell if your baby is a girl or a boy, although this is not always 100% accurate!


The ultrasonographer also checks the position of the placenta and comments on where it is situated. A low-lying placenta at this early stage of pregnancy is not abnormal and happens for about 5% of women. This is because the lower segment of the uterus does not start forming until about the 24th week of pregnancy and is fully formed by 36 weeks. In 90% of cases, the previously low-lying placenta moves up and out of the way into the upper segment as the uterus grows. Meaning that by about the 34th to 36th week, it is no longer low-lying.


Physical changes


Baby kicking


A few women sense their unborn baby's movements quite early in their pregnancy (12 to 16 weeks). Others don't feel anything distinctive until 23 to 25 weeks. The timing of when you feel your baby first move is very individual, but it usually happens between 18 to 22 weeks.

The sense of your baby's first movements may be difficult to distinguish, especially if this is your first pregnancy. A question commonly asked is, "Is that my baby moving or just wind?" Many women describe their first sensations as a faint, fluttering feeling (like butterflies) or like small bubbles popping in their belly.


Others describe a scratching internal feeling (especially if it is felt very early in the pregnancy). One woman described hers as a similar feeling to when your muscles involuntarily twitch, but coming from inside her belly! Generally, after 2 or 3 weeks of infrequent and sporadic sensations, the feelings become stronger and resemble more definite kicks. Before long it becomes very obvious they could be nothing else but your little one wriggling around!


Weight gain


Many women put on most of their weight during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, or only gain a few kilograms up until 12 to 16 weeks of pregnancy, then experience a growth spurt during the middle of their pregnancy .


Emotional reactions 


At some point during their pregnancy most women wonder whether their baby is normal and perhaps what they would do if something were found to be wrong. These feelings may be instinctive or possibly related to unexplainable thoughts like "Do I deserve a healthy baby?" Or there may be concrete reasons such as a disorder that runs in the family.


Fears can be also triggered unexpectedly by caregivers offering screening tests for abnormalities, even though the thought had not even entered their mind. This can be quite confronting and maybe challenge your feelings about your body's ability to produce a healthy baby. Unfortunately no amount of tests can give you an ironclad guarantee, but thankfully most babies are born well and healthy.


Other considerations




It may be of concern if you are exposed to an infection during your pregnancy, usually a virus such as chicken pox, measles or mumps. These can potentially affect unborn babies, as the organisms can pass through the placenta, or make the woman unwell, affecting the course of her pregnancy. Any effects will generally depend on the stage of pregnancy the woman becomes infected and whether she has immunity.


Radiation and electromagnetic field emissions


Electronic equipment has become a virtually inescapable part of our modern environment. The information currently available about the effects of exposures and their possible side effects on a woman's pregnancy or her unborn baby are well known in some areas but not fully understood in others. The fast development of new technologies means they often become part of our lives long before we have a chance to fully evaluate them.

Your pregnancy - Week 18

   Second Trimester


  Week 13             Week 25 


    Week 14             Week 26


    Week 15             Week 27


    Week 16            Week 28


    Week 17


    Week 18


    Week 19


    Week 20


    Week 21


    Week 22


    Week 23


    Week 24






































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