It’s now week 18 of my pregnancy. I have felt little squishy moving around on and off and I am finally having moments when I actually feel myself although they are generally brief. For those experiencing their first pregnancy movements are not always easy to differentiate from wind but as the baby grows it will become obvious. The next scan, normally carried out at between 18 and 22 weeks, will find out the sex of your child, that is if you want to know! I have always asked as I like to be prepared and can’t take the suspense. Not all hospitals will tell you the sex of your child. The scan also screens for certain birth defects and enables a more accurate due date to be determined.
At this stage the baby will now measure approximately 14cm to 15cm from crown (head) to rump (bottom), is about the size of a pepper and weighs about 190g-200g. Don’t forget to talk to the baby, research has shown that they are most comforted by voices they recognise from their womb days once they are born. Myelin, a protective cover is forming around the baby’s nerves and the sex organs are now present.
(Photo thanks to wikimedia)
You may be experiencing back pain or aching joints thanks to pregnancy hormones. It’s best to avoid heels as this can increase your risk of falling due to a change in your centre of gravity. Stretch marks may begin to show so make sure you use plenty of moisturiser like Palmer’s Cocoa butter or Bio Oil these work wonders on the skin.
Be careful when getting up as sudden movements can cause dizziness as the blood pressure generally lowers during pregnancy.
When sleeping it is advised that you sleep on your side not on your back. This is because the uterus presses down on a large blood vessel called the aorta which reduces the amount of blood flow to your heart. I use a number of pillows to help me get into a comfortable position as well as support my bust, tummy and I find a pillow between my knees also helps increase comfort levels.
Be careful with what you eat, your appetite will have increased and you may be tempted to eat a range of high carb foods. The best way to address this is to eat a variety of foods do not deny yourself yet exercise some form of portion control as you are not eating for two (or more).