Pregnancy

18 Weeks Pregnant: What to Expect During Pregnancy

Team Peanut9 months ago4 min read

At 18 weeks pregnant, you’re close to being halfway through your pregnancy, mama! Wow! So, if you’re asking how many months is 18 weeks pregnant? Well, you’re into the fifth month of pregnancy now, and it’s a good idea to take some chill time before you get into the later stages.

18 weeks pregnant

We’re talking spa day, movie trip, or date-night with your partner. Sounds good, right?!

What else is going on at 18 weeks pregnant? Here’s what to expect:

What should I be feeling at 18 weeks pregnant?

The list of 18-week pregnant symptoms isn’t very fun (sorry!) but know that whatever you’re feeling, be kind to yourself. And don’t feel silly mentioning your symptoms to your doctor or midwife next time you see them — they might be able to help!

Swollen feet

Thanks to the wonders of gravity, all that extra blood and bodily fluid you’re producing to grow your baby tend to pool in your feet and ankles — especially after a day on your feet. Try to avoid long periods of standing if possible and lie down with your feet propped on a pillow or two in the evenings.

Backache

Your center of gravity is all out of whack thanks to your growing uterus. Your lower back is naturally pulled forwards as your abdomen grows outwards, so it’s no wonder it’s super sore. We hear you, mama. Doing some gentle exercise will help your muscles adapt so you feel fitter for longer throughout pregnancy and can aid a quicker postpartum recovery too.

Trouble sleeping

Whether it’s the weird dreams, leg cramps, or all the pregnancy and birth stuff going on in your mind that you just can’t switch off, it can be hard to get a decent night’s sleep. It’s important that you go to sleep on your left side now, so an arrangement of pillows can help prop you up.

Some simple stretches, reading, or meditating, might help you drift off, and some pregnant mamas swear by magnesium supplements to help with the leg cramps (but remember to get the “ok” from your doctor before you start taking anything new).

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What can my baby do at 18 weeks?

Your 18 week fetus is about the size of a bell pepper and will weigh almost 7oz. They’re doing some pretty rapid growth at the moment, and you may be starting to feel their kicks and punches as they practice their somersaults!

In your 18 weeks pregnant belly, your baby will;

  • Have a working digestive system
  • Be developing a coating of lanugo all over their body — a very fine hair that will shed later on in the third trimester
  • Be able to yawn and hiccup. Adorable!
  • Be maturing their nervous system ready for the outside world
  • Finally have their ears in their final place on the sides of their head
  • Have developed genitals so you can find out the sex of your baby on your next scan (if they’re positioned just right)!

18 weeks pregnant: what to expect

Your uterus is about the size of a sweet potato, and you might be able to feel the top of it, around 1.5 inches below your navel.

Between 18 and 22 weeks, you’ll be due to have a mid-pregnancy or anatomy scan, which is a detailed look at all baby’s body parts to make sure they’re developing properly. They will also check the placenta, umbilical cord, and amniotic fluid to make sure they’re all helping your baby to thrive.

It’s easy to go into panic mode when you realize you’re almost halfway through your pregnancy, but speaking to other mamas-to-be on Peanut or starting to think about your baby shower are great ways to get excited for what’s to come!

🤰Read next:
19 Weeks Pregnant: What to Expect
Your Pregnancy Week By Week Guide