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Pregnancy Week 18

Fetal Development at week 18

Your Baby

Many of your baby’s bones have begun to harden, making them visible in ultrasound images. Baby’s ears now stand out from its head, and its eyes look forward rather than to the side.

The baby that has been growing so rapidly inside you now measures 140mm in length, big enough for you to cradle in the palm of your hand.

You

By now you may have felt your baby’s fluttery movement for the first time. If not, this next month will have that in store for you. The baby has been moving steadily. If you haven’t yet felt the movement, you most likely will during these next two weeks.

A thin, whitish vaginal discharge called leukorrhea is normally secreted during pregnancy. You may notice this secretion becoming heavier as your pregnancy continues.

Contact your doctor or midwife if the vaginal discharge changes color (becomes yellowish or greenish), thickens, or is accompanied by burning, itching, or pain during urination. These may be symptoms that require attention.

From this week on, your heart has to work 40-50 percent harder to support your pregnancy. Generally, this added workload doesn’t pose a problem - a healthy heart can cope with the increased demand.

As you identify yourself more and more with being pregnant, you might find that even if you’re excited about having a baby, you sometimes feel scared, worried, or ambivalent about the future. You should know that pregnancy is a mix of both positive and negative feelings and that your particular feelings are perfectly normal. While worry cannot help by itself, being worried about the future might help you plan and solve problems now so that some of the burdens of adjusting to a new baby are lessened. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers - no one does. The good thing is that you’ve got questions, and you can find answers if you just ask. Doctors, midwives, friends, parents, authors, organizations, and counselors are all good resources.

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