This week your baby is now about 6 inches/15cm long and weighs around 7oz/200g. There is still a lot of room in your uterus to move about and your baby will continue to make the most of this by rolling, twisting and kicking around in there.
At 18 weeks pregnant you could start to feel these movements. Blood vessels are still quite visible beneath the paper-thin skin and the ears are now finally in position. The nerves are developing a protective covering of myelin which will continue for up to twelve months after birth. The genitals are now formed and in place but if it’s a boy these may not be visible on the ultrasound scan as he may decide to curl up modestly.
The brain can now start to process the sounds that the ears are sending to it and the retinas in the eyes continue to become more sensitive to light.
Your appetite may have increased recently so try to make sensible decisions about what you eat. Always choose food that is rich in nutrients as your baby needs a diverse range to develop properly.
By 18 weeks pregnant you are probably in maternity wear as comfortable clothing is a must. One major change that occurs is within your cardiovascular system.
During this second trimester your blood pressure will have lowered. Be careful not to leap up too quickly because you may become dizzy as your reduced blood pressure tries to send more blood to your head.
When you go to bed the best position to sleep in is on your side. This is because lying on your back may decrease the blood flow to your baby. Try lying on your side with a pillow behind you or under one leg.
Your second ultrasound may be due soon. This will help your doctor to check for any birth defects whilst keeping an eye on the condition of the placenta and umbilical cord. During this scan it is quite possible to see your baby moving around and sucking its thumb. This is a magical moment so take your partner along and remember to ask for a photo to start the baby album.
What to expect at week 19 of your pregnancy...