18 Weeks Pregnant - What Happens To The Baby, Mom's Feelings, Abdominal Pain

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Video: 18 Weeks Pregnant - What Happens To The Baby, Mom's Feelings, Abdominal Pain

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18 Weeks Pregnant - What Happens To The Baby, Mom's Feelings, Abdominal Pain
18 Weeks Pregnant - What Happens To The Baby, Mom's Feelings, Abdominal Pain

18 weeks pregnant

At 18 weeks, women who are not pregnant for the first time usually already feel the movement of the baby. The eighteenth week of pregnancy according to the obstetric method is equal to the middle of the fifth month, that is, it corresponds to a period of four months of 28 days plus two weeks. The uterus has increased so much that pregnancy is already noticeable not only for the woman, but also for those around her. However, the belly is not yet big enough to limit walking, exercise and swimming, and performing simple household chores.


  • What's going on with mom?
  • What's going on with the baby?
  • New sensations - fetal movements
  • Nausea
  • Uterus
  • How does the belly grow?
  • Can there be pain at 18 weeks?
  • What vaginal discharge is considered normal?
  • Screening, ultrasound and other examinations at 18 weeks
  • Weight
  • Food
  • Sex
  • Twin pregnancy
  • Frozen pregnancy

What's going on with mom?

The metabolism in the female body is rebuilt to meet the needs of the growing fetus. Protein and salt are actively stored for the formation of the child's tissues, his musculoskeletal and immune systems. Healthy fats accumulate under the skin and in the mammary glands. The need for vitamins of groups D, B, C, E is growing. The pregnant uterus needs support with a special prenatal bandage, which is chosen, planning to wear it until the baby is born.

What's going on with the baby?

18 weeks pregnant
18 weeks pregnant

Under the thin smooth skin of the fetus, which has a reddish color due to translucent blood vessels, the formation of fatty tissue begins. The skin itself is coated with a protective lubricant that allows it to resist the action of the amniotic fluid. The proportions of the body have changed so much that the baby looks very much like a newborn baby. Small fingers and toes already have phalanges and skin patterns.

Fetal parameters at 18 weeks:

  • Weight - 200 g;
  • CTE (coccygeal-parietal size) - 14 cm.

In the brain, the formation of myelin sheaths begins, covering the nerve fibers. The nervous system directs the fetal movements, they become so active that now the expectant mother already feels them. The baby reacts to the bright light of a lamp brought to the mother's stomach, although his eyelids are still closed, and also distinguishes the nature of sounds reaching him. He is frightened by loud noise and screaming, shuddering and making sharp movements, and calms down in response to gentle gentle intonations and melodic music.

The endocrine system is improving, the child has the beginnings of future immunity - the body produces its own interferon and immunoglobulin. The sex of the unborn child has ceased to be a secret, now it can be easily distinguished during an ultrasound scan.

New sensations - fetal movements

fetal movement
fetal movement

The first stirring is the most important sensation that a woman experiences at the 18th week of pregnancy. If the expectant mother does not yet feel the movements of the fetus, but at the same time the baby's heartbeat is well listened to, she should not worry. The norm is the appearance of the first movements before 22 weeks of obstetric pregnancy. Most often, so late, obese women and primiparous pregnant women begin to notice movements. In thin women and those who undergo a second and subsequent pregnancies, the first movement is recorded 1-2 weeks earlier.

Now you can mark periods of wakefulness and active pastime of the fetus. Normally, such bursts are noted 4-8 times per hour. Too frequent movements indicate that the child is in need of additional oxygen supply. Actively moving in the uterine cavity, it stimulates the heart to more frequent heartbeats, thus solving the problem of oxygen deficiency.

To ensure the child's full development, you need to do gymnastics, spend more time in the fresh air.


By the 18th week of pregnancy, most women have no symptoms of early toxicosis. In the remaining 12-20% of pregnant women, toxicosis can continue until the beginning of the third trimester. This phenomenon is associated with an unstable hormonal background, emotional overload of the nervous system. Toxicosis accompanied by vomiting is called hyperemesis of pregnant women. Because of vomiting, a woman cannot eat normally, she significantly loses weight and even risks losing her child.

If at week 18 there is nausea and vomiting, a stomach ache, you should inform your doctor about this. He will prescribe a course of treatment, which, most likely, will have to be taken in a hospital.

To relieve the condition during an attack of nausea, the following exercise will help:

  • Place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
  • Take several deep breaths and exhales for 3-5 minutes.

With nausea and other signs of early toxicosis, you should rest more often, observe the drinking regime. You need to eat often, but little by little, include foods high in magnesium, zinc, vitamins in the menu.


At 18 weeks, the bottom of the uterus is located 2.5 cm or 2 fingers below the navel. She has risen so much that now she significantly expands the internal organs. The uterus exerts strong pressure on the anterior wall of the peritoneum and on the navel. The uterus at this time is comparable in size to a small melon.

How does the belly grow?

The enlarged tummy is now clearly visible not only in thin women, but also in pregnant women of any physique. The shifted center of gravity changes the gait, the increased load requires comfortable shoes with low heels. If until now the woman has not picked up a prenatal bandage, now it is simply necessary to do it. Supportive maternity underwear and pants or shorts should be available. These measures will help you not to avoid discomfort, pain in the groin and lower back after a long stay on your feet.

Can there be pain at 18 weeks?

Can there be pain at 18 weeks
Can there be pain at 18 weeks

The increasing load on the spine and pelvic bones leads to pain in the lower back and lower abdomen. Pain ranges from mild aches to severe and sharp lumbago in the spine and sacrum. To prevent negative sensations, you should rest the spine and back muscles in the supine position several times a day.

Additionally, it is necessary to strengthen the muscles with exercises of therapeutic exercises, support the abdominal wall with a bandage, try not to overeat and not gain excess weight.

Pain of a different nature is caused by cystitis, which is often found in pregnant women due to a decrease in immunity. Pain in cystitis occurs most often during urination, can be given to the lower back, felt in the lower abdomen. Inflammation of the bladder should be treated to avoid inflammation of the kidneys and ureters (pyelonephritis, pyelitis).

If pulling pains are felt on the side of the abdomen, their cause is the tension of the ligaments that support the uterus. The tendon tissues are stretched, trying to securely fix the growing organ. Pain of a spasmodic nature with bloody discharge requires seeking emergency help, since these are signs of an incipient spontaneous abortion. With timely therapy, the child can be saved.

What vaginal discharge is considered normal?

Light, translucent discharge that does not have an unpleasant odor is considered the standard at 18 weeks of gestation. Now they may be more liquid than at the very beginning of gestation, but still do not cause itching or burning, do not change their color.

Inclusions of pus, mucus, blood, heterogeneous cheesy discharge of yellow or greenish color are a sign of a fungal or bacterial infection of the vagina or STDs. This condition requires immediate diagnosis and treatment in order to save the fetus from the danger of infection. For the prevention of candidiasis, or thrush, you need to more often use kefir, fermented baked milk, remove sugar, baked goods, and wheat flour products from the menu.

Screening, ultrasound and other examinations at 18 weeks


If the woman has not yet been screened for the second trimester, she has several weeks left for this important test. The second screening to determine possible fetal pathologies is carried out from 14 to 20 weeks. Ultrasound at this time is done for medical reasons, that is, when fetal development problems appear.

"Triple test" of the second screening:

  • Blood test to determine the level of hCG;
  • Research for the content of alpha-fetoprotein;
  • Calculation of free estriol in the blood.

Deviations of the data obtained in the second screening from the norm indicate possible fetal pathologies - hydrocephalus, Down's syndrome, anencephaly, Edwards syndrome, cranial hernia. Abnormal results are not yet a reason for making an accurate diagnosis. You should go to a consultation with a geneticist, perform additional examinations recommended by your doctor.

If an obstetrician-gynecologist has prescribed an ultrasound scan, during the procedure, you can determine the baby's gender, the presence or absence of malformations, and the parameters of his body:

  • Head circumference;
  • Body circumference;

  • The length of the lower leg, femur and humerus, forearm;
  • Frontal-occipital size.

If the screening was completed earlier, when visiting an antenatal clinic at week 18, a woman takes a standard blood and urine test to assess the general condition of the body. The obstetrician-gynecologist will measure the height of the uterus, blood pressure indicators, the weight of a pregnant woman, listen to the fetal heartbeat.

Video about fetal sleep and wakefulness, its development, clothes for pregnant women, about vacation:


If from the first days of pregnancy a woman has added no more than 5.5 kg until the 18th week, this is considered the norm. Observance of optimal weight gain will help to endure pregnancy more easily and quickly bounce back after childbirth. Overweight women more often have pregnancy pathologies due to excessive stress on all organs, experience difficulties during childbirth, and rehabilitate longer after them.

If necessary, you need to seek the help of a nutritionist to create an individual diet that helps maintain optimal weight and does not limit the baby in nutrients.



For the full development of the child, you should eat meals that are balanced in the content of fats, proteins, vitamins and microelements. It is important to consider all the needs of the fetus and not gain excess weight. To do this, limit the intake of a large amount of carbohydrates along with sweets, pastries and white bread.

To prevent edema, salty and pickled foods, canned food and smoked meats are removed from the diet. The inclusion of vegetables and fruits, natural juices in the menu is welcomed, This will help get rid of constipation, introduce the maximum amount of vitamins into the body.

To avoid calcium deficiency, nutritionists insist on eating natural dairy products. Buckwheat porridge, pomegranate juice, liver, beef and veal, apples will help prevent anemia.


Intimate relationships are beneficial for a pregnant woman, asserting her own attractiveness. But it should be borne in mind that with the growth of the tummy, partners need to be especially careful and choose comfortable, safe positions.

Contraindications to sexual intercourse at 18 weeks:

  • Placenta previa;
  • Increased tone of the uterus;
  • Partner's infection;
  • Twin pregnancy.

Twin pregnancy

The load on the female body from the beginning of the second trimester of pregnancy begins to increase. The woman feels pain in the spine, as a result of increased stress, and frequent urge to urinate due to the pressure of the noticeably enlarged uterus on the bladder. At this stage of pregnancy, when both fetuses are growing intensively, it is required to diversify as much as possible in order to fully supply the babies with nutrients.

It is required to devote enough time to performing special exercises to stimulate blood circulation in the uterus and placenta, wear comfortable shoes and clothing.

Frozen pregnancy

Frozen pregnancy
Frozen pregnancy

This problem most often occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy, but for various reasons, the normal development of the fetus can be disrupted at 16-18 weeks. This period is considered a critical period of the second trimester. With a frozen pregnancy, the uterus does not reject the ovum. The death of the fetus may not be accompanied by any alarming symptoms and discomfort, and the woman herself in this case for some time is unaware of the tragedy that has happened.

Causes of pregnancy fading:

  • Addiction to alcohol, drugs;
  • Genetic and chromosomal abnormalities of the fetus;

  • Infections that have crossed the placental barrier;
  • Physical and mental overload;
  • Hormonal imbalance.

Within a few hours or days, the woman "stops feeling pregnant." Her engorgement of the mammary glands disappears, signs of toxicosis disappear. If this period fell on a regular visit to the antenatal clinic, then the obstetrician-gynecologist will not be able to listen to the fetal heartbeat.

If a woman is left without medical supervision for some time, after a few days she has smearing, bloody or brown discharge, pulling pain in the lower abdomen and in the lower back. At 18 weeks, the cessation of fetal movements is noted. As soon as the pathology is detected, the ovum is removed from the uterus, the woman is prescribed anti-inflammatory therapy. Until the next conception, you need to withstand a period of at least 8-10 months. Before planning the next pregnancy, it is advisable to find out the cause of fetal death, to carry out preventive treatment.


The author of the article: Lapikova Valentina Vladimirovna | Gynecologist, reproductologist

Education: Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology received at the Russian State Medical University of the Federal Agency for Healthcare and Social Development (2010). In 2013 completed postgraduate studies at N.N. N.I. Pirogova.

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