18 weeks pregnant: advice, symptoms and what to expect

unborn baby

by Maria Martin |

At eighteen weeks pregnant your baby is now big enough that in the next few weeks, you’ll feel them twisting, rolling, kicking and punching. Here’s what your baby and your body are doing at 18 weeks pregnant and any symptoms you can expect this week.

How big is my baby at 18 weeks pregnant?

Your baby is about five and a half inches long this week and weighs somewhere between five to six and a half ounces.

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What’s my baby doing at 18 weeks pregnant?

This week your baby will learn how to yawn and hiccup – something you might start feeling soon! Your baby’s nervous system is also maturing rapidly and her nerves are now forming complex connections. Your baby’s hearing is now getting more acute, which means now is a good time to start talking and signing to your growing bump!

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1) Edema

A fancy word to describe the swelling in your feet and ankles that often happens during pregnancy. If your feet and legs look like you’ve just got off a long-haul flight, do not panic, this is simply a sign your body tissues are accumulating fluid to support your baby. You can reduce the water tension in your feet and lower legs by avoiding standing or sitting for too long, and keeping your feet up whenever you can.

What is my body doing at 18 weeks pregnant?

By now your uterus has moved up into position and has grown to about the size of a cantaloupe melon. In fact, you’ll probably be able to feel it about one and a half inches below your belly button.

Last week we spoke about the pregnancy hormone relaxin, which is continuing to work around your body this week, relaxing all your ligaments and loosening your joints. Reduce those aches and pains by sitting down with your feet up, or taking a long warm bath.

Your week 18 FAQ’s answered:

Can I expect to feel movement at 18 weeks?

Feeling your baby move is one of the most special parts of pregnancy, yet it can raise a lot of questions – is my baby moving too much or not enough? There’s a wide range in what is normal, and movement varies from baby to baby. Most women will feel the first movements, known as quickening, between 14 and 26 weeks.

What if I can’t feel movement at 18 weeks?

Do not panic, every baby is different and if you don’t feel any movement this week, it is not a sign that anything is wrong. The position of the placenta can also affect how much movement you feel at this stage – if it’s facing the front (medically referred to as an anterior placenta) these early movements can be muffled and you might have to wait a few more weeks.

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