Week 18 Of Your Baby’s Development!
Your baby is the size of a bell pepper
At almost halfway through your pregnancy, baby has now grown to about 5.5 inches long and weighs about 6 ounces – similar in length to a bell pepper.
She can grab onto things and will be trying out this new skill by holding on to the umbilical cord while tumbling around inside your tummy.
The teeth have started to form and by now, the genitals are formed. This means that if baby is in the right position, you will be able to tell the gender at your next scan! If you are carrying a little girl, she is already making eggs in her ovaries.
Your baby can now hear you quite well so talking, storytelling and singing to him or her is a great idea. Sudden loud noises can make her leap inside your belly.
Week 18 Of Your Health, Mind & Body Changes
Your belly is likely now well rounded enough to tell that you are carrying a little baby. If you were feeling baby’s movements as ‘bubbles in the tummy’, you may be pleasantly surprised by more obvious kicks and twists this week.
Aches in your lower limbs are common and you may be experiencing pain in your tail bone too. While you are likely to be feeling more energetic than you did during your first trimester, your muscles are working harder than before so expect some fatigue.
Mentally, you are most likely excited about the new little life growing inside you but also maybe feeling fearful about the child birth process or worrying if your baby is developing perfectly.
The Second Trimester Scan
While fears and anxiety are normal, you’ll have peace of mind when you get to see baby in your second trimester scan- which can be booked in and carried out anywhere between now and 22 weeks (the most common time being 20 weeks). During this scan, the sonographer will have a detailed look at baby’s growth and development and take lots of images and measurements. You can also get an indication of baby’s gender at this scan, if they can get a clear shot!
Trust in your medical team to keep you up to date with everything you need to know and of course be sure to ask any questions that might be plaguing your mind. No matter how big or small, they’ve heard it all before and no question is too silly.
Week 18 Of Your Next Steps!
- Book in your second trimester scan to have carried out in the next week or so. This scan will verify that the placenta is healthy and that all of baby’s organs are developing the way they should. Ask the sonographer to point out the body parts of your baby while they are doing your scan – it can be very hard to distinguish ‘what is what’ to the everyday person!
- Dying to know the gender of your baby? Let the sonographer know you’d like to find out at the beginning of your scan. They can let you know during your scan, or perhaps write it down on a piece of paper discretely if you’d like to organise something a little more special or elaborate to mark the occasion.
- Lay off the tasks that are causing strain to your back, muscles or that are simply too uncomfortable to do with your pregnant belly.
- Spend time communicating with baby and building the bond that will last both your lives.
- Planning a creative gender reveal? There are a ton of fun and creative ideas you can research online to make this occasion extra special. Popular ideas include having a cake made with the centre coloured either pink or blue or having a balloon or pinata filled with either pink or blue powder or confetti.
“We had the sonographer write down the sex of our baby and not tell us. Then, we organised a reveal party with our closest friends and family. It was special sharing that moment with everyone and seeing the love and excitement on everyones faces“ Rachael