Pregnancy Week 18
Having gained approximately 20 pounds by the 18th week of pregnancy, it is now a little more likely that it will begin to show. Chances are that week 18 proves to be an uncomfortable time for laying down because of the expanding uterus. Furthermore, women should try to lay on their left side because this prevents the vena cava vein from being strained, which can slow the rate of blood flow to the heart and therefore make the heart work harder. Since the heart of the mother is already working about as half as much during pregnancy, the extra pressure is not a good idea. Pregnancy pillows can help ease the tension and help the mother rest and sleep much better. An ultrasound at this point should be able to determine the sex of the baby, however, it is important to keep in mind that ultrasounds are not completely efficient. The only fool proof method of determining a babyís sex is by using the slightly dangerous procedure of amniocentesis. Waiting for delivery to find out the sex of the baby is sometimes preferred and often a nice surprise. Most home spun tactics of determining the babyís sex are nothing more than guesses but can be a fun way for family members to bond with the baby. From this point on, the fetus is very sensitive to touch and sound.
At week 18 of pregnancy, the baby is about 6 inches in length and almost 5 ounces in weight. The fetusís body is beginning to also develop a protective coating over the nerves referred to as Myelin. At this point, an ultrasound can also be used to determine any deformities within the heart of the baby. Knowing of the defects before delivery can prove to be essential in helping the baby survive post delivery. Ultrasounds can also be used to view the babyís genitals at this point. The baby can even make facial expressions like yawning and frowning during this week. He can also grip the cord, flex muscles, and such his thumb.
Pregnancy Week 17 | Pregnancy Week 19