Thursday, September 18, 2008

Week 18 of my pregnancy


Thumb-sucking at 18 weeks....

By week 18 of your pregnancy, your baby's crown-to-rump length is 5 to 5.5 inches long. Your baby continues to develop fat layers and weighs about 5.25 ounces. Your baby will continue to grow and develop, but the rapid growth will slow down for a little while. You will be able to feel your uterus just below your bellybutton. If you put your fingers sideways to measure, you can feel your uterus about two finger-widths below your bellybutton. At this point of your pregnancy, your uterus is approximately the size of a cantaloupe. Although weight gain varies from woman to woman, your total weight gain at this point should be 10 to 13 pounds.

At this time if you had an ultrasound, heart abnormalities can be detected. If the ultrasound technician detects abnormalities, further ultrasound exams may be ordered to follow the baby's development. There is still space available in your uterus and your baby will be active for periods at a time. Your baby may sit cross legged or turn somersaults.

Around this time, your baby becomes more sensitive to the outside world and shows her presence through powerful kicks and prods. The bones through which sound is passed to the inner ear have hardened and the parts of the brain that receives and processes nerve signals from the ears are developing. This means that your baby can hear now. Your baby will get used to familiar sounds, such as your heart beating, familiar voices, blood rushing through the umbilical cord and other daily routine sounds. Your baby will become startled if he hears a loud sound.

If you have a stethoscope at home, you can now hear the baby's heartbeat yourself.

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