How Your Baby Grows Inside You: Week 18
Your baby is growing fast and so is your bump! Your little angel now measures about 20 cms and weighs about 150 grams. This sudden growth is because of your baby’s developing fat layers and is absolutely normal.
What is also interesting to know is that your baby is much more active, strong and sensitive to the outside world now. The bones through which sound passes to the inner ear are developed and your baby is much more responsive to sounds.
Your baby’s brain development is also very rapid. Besides the formation of nerve cells and the connections between them, an additional layer called the myelin sheath is being formed around these connections.
The myelin sheath protects the nerve connections and makes transmission of the messages between the nerve cells stronger and faster. The myelin sheath continues to develop in the first few months post birth as well.
Signs and Symptoms
Many expecting women find that they need to snack often and reach for whatever comes their way! To avoid munching on something unhealthy all the time, stock your refrigerator and pantry with healthy options.
Sensitivity to sound means your baby will feel startled when there is a loud sound and you might even feel her/him move around and kick! However, they will still feel like flutters and bubbles now.
These magical moments are only yours to feel as your partner still has to wait to feel anything. Just a few weeks more and your baby’s movements will be more prominent. Till then, hang on!
Your pregnancy bump might be quite visible now. This is a great time to start looking for a photographer to book your pregnancy photoshoot! Strike some cute poses, since photos of these precious months make some long lasting memories for the years to come.
It’s time to include Kegels in your daily exercise routine if you haven’t already. These exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor and prevent urinary incontinence (the loss of bladder control) in the third trimester.
Kegels also prepare the pelvic floor for the pushing stage of labor. A toned pelvic floor will also help you recover and come back to shape faster post birth.
Discuss additional exercises with your doctor and start with a gentle program that focuses on overall toning and circulation.
Your baby can sense you, so she/he can feel it when you’re happy, sad, stressed or relaxed! This means you need to keep your stress levels to a minimum.
Take time out to do something that you enjoy at least once a day, whether it’s reading, listening to music, or catching up with your friends! Keep the happy hormones flowing lady!
It is a great idea to practice some relaxation routines as this will help you stay calm and composed when a bad hormonal mood swing hits you.
Your doctor will now advise you to sleep more on your side. The blood vessel which supplies blood to the uterus goes from under the uterus and to ensure optimum supply, it is best to sleep on either side.
However, do not worry if you find yourself on your back occasionally or feel the need to rest your back at times. It’s perfectly alright to do this.
Shop around for a good pregnancy pillow which will help support your head, bump, thighs and back as you sleep in the night. These pillows can then easily be used as breastfeeding pillows during the breastfeeding phase.
Old Wives’ Tales
It is said that if a mum-to-be has severe nausea or heartburn during pregnancy, her baby will be born with a head full of hair.
Newborns with plenty of hair look extremely cute, but a baby’s hair growth in the womb has nothing to do with the severity of the mother’s nausea.
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