Your Pregnancy Week 18

Your Baby

Your baby is growing rapidly. His bones are continuing to harden and the pads of his fingers and toes are formed. He even has his own set of fingerprints developing as well. Your baby is approximately 5.5 inches and weighs about 200 grams (7.5 ounces).

Your baby can kick, swallow, and sleep. He also is developing his stomach, intestine and colon and the intestines collect meconium (the initial stool a baby will pass after birth). If the baby is a boy, the prostate will begin to develop this week as well. The skin is still a bit pink and transparent and his ears still stick out from his head. The four-chambered heart begins to build up muscle cells and is pumping between 25 and 30 quarts of blood per day.

Your Body

You may find that sleeping is increasingly difficult as your body grows. Some things you may want to try are propping yourself with pillows to help you find a more comfortable sleeping position. or investing in several firm pillows or a pregnancy pillow to help you get comfortable. Also, try doing pelvic tilts before bed and always urinate before lying down.

You may be getting light-headed, dizzy or even feel faint from time to time. This is normal and is only cause for concern if it happens frequently (more then several times daily) or severely (if you pass out and fall). This condition is referred to as "postural hypotension" and occurs because your cardiovascular system isn't reacting as quickly as it did before pregnancy. Postural hypotension most commonly occurs when you go from one position, such as sitting, to another position, such as standing, too quickly. The best thing to do is to move slowly when changing positions. Move to the edge of the sofa or chair and allow yourself to get steady before slowly standing.