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18 weeks pregnant: What to expect

Your baby at 18 weeks pregnant

Your baby is the size of a sweet potato (length: 5.5-7”; weight: 190grams).

One of a kind. This week, your little one is developing his or her most unique feature: fingerprints. Pads of fat accumulating on the fingertips and toes will turn into distinguishing swirls.

Prepping the plumbing.Your baby’s developing digestive system has been going through its paces for several weeks already. The fetus swallows amniotic fluid which makes its way through the stomach and intestines. Then, that fluid now combines with dead cells and secretions in the intestines to form meconium. Meconium is the black, tarry substance you’ll see during the very first nappy change.

Measuring up. The fetus weighs up to 7 ounces and is about 5.5 to 7 inches, top to bottom.

Your pregnancy at 18 weeks

Advice overload. While unsolicited opinions can be annoying, try to take them in stride. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. A simple "Thanks, I'll keep that in mind" should do the trick. Try to remember that people mean well and they’re excited for you too!

Dizzy spells. Your heart is working 40 to 50 percent harder than it did before you were pregnant. When combined with the pressure of your growing uterus on blood vessels, you may occasionally feel faint, particularly when you get up quickly. Low blood sugar can also lead to wooziness. Resting, lying down on your side or eating a piece of fruit will help with circulation and settling dizzy spells.

Mini moves. Most women first feel baby’s movements between 16 and 20 weeks. Your little one is still small, so it’ll be more of a gentle flutter than a forceful kick.

Did you know? Did your baby just yawn? Very possibly! You might even be able to catch one on your next ultrasound. Also, the digestive system is starting to form a black, tarry substance called meconium, which you’ll see in that first messy nappy. And your baby is now truly one of a kind with unique fingerprints to prove it

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