Pregnancy Week 18

Your baby is busy trying a ton of activities inside and your belly is rapidly getting bigger at pregnancy week 18. You might want to learn about stretch marks and begin using a skin cream if you dont want to retain them post childbirth.

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2020 11:29 GMT

Pregnancy Week 18
Pregnancy Week 18
What’s happening to your baby?

Your baby at week 18 pregnancy is of the size of a sweet potato, making wiggles and jiggles inside all day. Don’t be surprised if you don’t feel all that all day. There is enough insulation between your baby and your outer belly which cuts down the chances for you to feel your baby move.

She is up to more insulation generators this week. A fatty substance called myelin is beginning to form around her nerve cells. Myelin provides insulation to the nerve cells it surrounds. With her nervous system actively developing, myelin sheaths can speed up the process of transmission of electrical impulses between neurons. In simple terms, her nervous system is doing big progress in its development.

As you might know already, your little listener is becoming sharper on her hearing skills. She is getting used to a variety of sounds around. Can you name a few of these sounds? Why, it should be your voice and at times her dad’s voice. Quite obvious, is it not? Bah! C’mon mama, you don’t have to think out-of-the-box, just see-inside-your-body! She can now perceive the sound of your heart beat, your stomach ramblings, the gurgling of water through your food pipe and even your hiccups. Does it make you guess how close she is to your body?

What’s happening to your body? Difficulty Sleeping?

As your uterus is growing bigger, you may feel uncomfortable to lie down on your back. This discomfort is also nature’s way of guiding you to sleep on your sides. The American Pregnancy Association recommends pregnant women to ‘SOS’ (Sleep on Side), specifically on to the left side for the following benefits:

·         Sleeping on your back can make baby’s weight to fall on one of the big veins of your body, inferior vena cava, which carries deoxygenated blood from your lower limbs to your heart.

·         On your right side of abdomen is your liver. Sleeping on your right side can apply pressure on it which you wouldn’t want to.

·         Turning towards the left side while sleeping, helps in better blood circulation, to your heart, uterus and kidneys.

·         Proper blood circulation also promotes carrying of increased amounts of nutrients and oxygen to the placenta, and thus to your growing fetus.

Stretch marks – the relic of your pregnancy!

Okay, not many women would want to keepsake a relic which discolors their skin. By week 18, you may begin to find pale lines on your belly, thighs, hips and even your breasts. Imagine your skin to be an elastic draped around your body. As your body keeps expanding, the elastic is pulled tightly from all sides. This mildly rips the layers of tissues underneath the skin, (it isn’t serious!). These rips are what we see as stretch marks on the body.

Tips and advice for Pregnancy Week 18 Can you prevent stretch marks?

Not if you want the baby to grow! Stretch marks on your baby bump are a clear sign that your baby is actually bumping out. 9 out of 10 women wear stretch marks during pregnancy. Also, it is hereditary. So, if your mother, grandmother and great grandmother had it, you are certainly going to have it too. Perhaps, you wouldn’t mind having them now while you are pregnant but you may not want them to stay there permanently on your skin after pregnancy. While there isn’t a trick to ward off the stretch marks permanently, you may want to try some of these:

ü  Applying cocoa butter on the stretch marks is an age-old recommendation for pregnant women. It is safe on the skin, moisturizes it and keeps itching away.

ü  You would be wrong if you were to search only for dermatological products for your stretch marks. Like any of your body cures, healing of stretch marks too happens from within. Having food rich in nutrients and more importantly, vitamin C helps in gradual fading away of stretch marks.

ü  A sudden weight increase is not only undesirable for your pregnancy but also for your skin. Larger and deeper stretch marks can result out of sudden weight gain. Watch your weight increase and let it be gradual and steady.

 

ü  The use of coconut oil to reduce pregnancy stretch marks have been in practice in the East. It is known to contain vitamin E which helps in maintaining healthy skin. 

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