Thursday, 24 September 2015

Pregnancy Week 18



During this week of your pregnancy, some of you may feel an increase in your appetite. At such times, ascertain that you take healthy foods that have a high content of fiber. Your baby should be the first thought in your mind, and each and every single thing you eat should be focused on the positive development of your baby. You will be feeling quite good this week, as your pregnancy symptoms will be mild and will not bother you too much. Your energy levels will also be higher, and you will also be able to feel that your sexual desire has increased.

Your Body
Since your nausea would have decreased by now, it is normal for you to feel hungrier than before. Make sure that all the foods you eat are rich in minerals, vitamins and nutrients, in order to support the growth of your baby. It would be tempting for you to eat chocolates and potato chips; but try your best to compensate those with healthy alternatives.
 
You may also feel dizziness on some days, especially when you get up from bed or chair quickly. This is due to the changes in your cardiovascular system, as your blood flow will be faster than usual, along with the fact that there is a chance for your blood pressure to go down during pregnancy.

This would be the time when discomfort and backache may begin hitting you. Your shifting center of gravity, along with your heavy uterus, can cause discomfort by straining the muscles in your back. Try getting a soothing back massage from your partner. If the pain is excruciating, ask your doctor for advice. You are likely to get crazy, vivid dreams during the final two trimesters. 

All the additional pounds you gain during your pregnancy are not completely because of your growing baby. You will also gain weight due to the increasing volume of blood, bigger breasts, fluid retention, amniotic fluid, placenta, expanding uterus, etc. Pregnancy weight gain differs between moms. Sometimes you may gain more pounds during your first pregnancy, which may not be the case with your second one.

The expected pregnancy weight gain for you will be calculated based on your weight before pregnancy. If your pre-pregnancy weight was average, then you can focus on gaining about 25 to 35 pounds during your pregnancy. If you were under-weight, your pregnancy weight gain can be between 28 and 40 pounds. However, if you were overweight before pregnancy, then you should aim at gaining only between 15 and 25 pounds. If you are pregnant with multiple babies, your expected weight gain will increase.

Your Baby
During the 18th week of your pregnancy, your baby will weigh around 7 ounces and will measure about 5 and a half inches in length. Your baby’s hearing would be more accurate now due to the hardening of the bones in her inner years. The development of your baby’s heart will now be in such a way that it can expose defects, if any. By this time, your doctor will be able to identify structural abnormalities in your baby’s heart through ultrasound. Fortunately, in most cases, the number of babies that are born with birth defects or congenital abnormalities is very less. Your baby will now move around your tummy, doing somersaults, bending her joints and limbs, and also crossing her legs. 

By this time of your pregnancy, you can think about joining prenatal classes. These classes will be of great help to you to learn everything you need to know about labor and delivery. You can learn about options for pain relief, relaxation and breathing exercises, and also basic details about how to take care of your child after birth. Several hospitals offer prenatal classes for pregnant women.

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