One of the most awaited weeks of pregnancy is pregnancy week 18. During this week, you would be able to know the sex of your baby with the help of an ultrasound. Other than the sex, through an ultrasound, you can also check the development of your baby, the placenta, umbilical cord, amniotic fluid, gestational age of your baby, estimated, due date, and possible birth defects.
This week, your baby’s senses of smell, taste, sight and hearing are all developing. His or her ears have now reached their final position and he or she can already hear sounds such as your heartbeat. He or she may even be startled by loud noises. The eyes are now facing forward and he or she would be able to detect the light of a flashlight if you hold one to your abdomen.
During this week, the hardening of bones or ossification also begins. The clavicle and legs are the first bones to harden. His or her nerves are developing and making more complex connections. Myelin is now coating your baby’s nerves, which makes the nerve connections travel faster.
His or her heart is building up muscle cells and is now pumping blood of about 25 to 30 quarts a day.
Your baby now weighs between 5 and 7 ounces and is about 5 inches long.
This week, your uterus is now as big as a small melon. It is now just below your bellybutton.
Aside from knowing whether your baby is a boy or a girl, another milestone this week is you may begin to feel a flutter in your belly which doctors call “quickening”. Within the next few weeks, these movements will become more obvious and stronger. You may experience gas pains. You may think that you are having indigestion when actually, it is just your baby moving around your tummy.
Pregnancy week 18 is truly a week to look out for during pregnancy because of the many milestones that occur during the week. The first movement of the baby that you can actually feel, meeting your baby through the ultrasound screen and getting to know whether your baby is a she are concrete proof that he or she really exists. These moments are one of the best moments during pregnancy. Look forward to it, enjoy it, and treasure it.