In the 18th week, the baby continues to grow and your body is adapting to the changes due to this growth. Your uterus is increasing in size and this is pulling down the lower back and pushing your belly out. If you lie down on your back, the growing uterus presses against the veins at the back of your abdomen which in turn hinders the free flow of blood. This could cause problems like low blood pressure.
The only option now is to lie on your side. This is the position you will have to adopt until the baby is born. To be more comfortable, try keeping a pillow between your legs. It does help.
You’re Baby in Week Eighteen
Week 18 to 20 is the time that your doctor may ask for a detailed sonogram of the baby. In certain cases, this is the only time the ultrasound is used for mothers to be. The sonographer will take a number of measurements. He reports to the doctor on the following:
- Fetal measurement of the head abdomen and femur which determine the baby’s age. Subsequent scans show the growth rate.
- Check baby’s heart rate to be between 120 and 160 per minute and the rhythm
- Check for correct functionality of the head, abdomen, and chest.
- Check face for cleft lip or cleft palate
- Evaluate the baby’s spine to eliminate neural tube defects
- The placenta is examined for checking health and correct position
- Amniotic fluid is assessed for quantity as too little or too much has adverse signals to the baby’s development.
- The uterus and surrounding area is checked for ovarian cysts and fibroid or other adverse pelvic conditions and also to check that the cervix is closed.
Your baby now has fingerprints and a heart that is completely formed. It has taste buds and is able to use its ears. It may get startled by loud noises. The baby has now nearly 200 bones which continue to harden.