18 weeks pregnant

#baby is now able to hear your voice! 

Through a stethoscope, you can hear #baby ’s heart beating. 

You might feel a bit tired, as you may soon reach your peak of low blood pressure. If you have the energy, you can start talking to #baby or reading some stories. 

#baby ’s development
#baby now weighs up to 200g and measures about 15 cm in length — the size of bell pepper.

The nerves and brain: The nerves are beginning to develop a coating of myelin, a substance that covers and insulates the neurons to help them function better. Myelin is key to #baby ’s brain development. 

The ears: Your baby’s ears begin to stand out on the sides of the head. At this stage, #baby may have started hearing but cannot distinguish between different voices.

The face: The eyes and face are more anteriorly placed, so #baby now looks more human. 

The bones: Starting from this week, #baby ’s small bones are clearly visible on ultrasound images. 

Reproductive organs: Ovaries and testes are different in structure, but both already carry primordial follicles inside them. Within these small sacs, are tiny little cells known as oogonium or primordial germ cells. Later, these cells will divide and eventually become eggs or sperm cells — and potentially the seeds for your grandchildren. 

The lungs: By this week, all major elements of the lungs have formed, except those involved with gas exchange. Respiration is not possible; therefore, fetuses born during this period are unable to survive.

Your development
One common symptom at this stage is low blood pressure because your circulatory capacity increases significantly to meet the circulatory demands of pregnancy. Generally, low blood pressure peaks around half-way through the second trimester and then subsides. 

Abdominal pain: Stomach pain in pregnancy is common and can be caused by constipation, wind, or “increasing pains”, as your ligaments stretch to support your growing bump. It is probably nothing to worry about if the pain is mild and goes away when you change position, have a rest, do a poo, or pass wind. Sometimes, however, abdominal pain can be a sign of something serious. If you are having persistent stomach pain (pain that won’t go away) or cramping or if the pain comes on suddenly, it should be checked by a doctor or midwife immediately.

Headache: Some women get headaches during their pregnancy. Occasional headaches are common and shouldn’t alarm you unless they are severe or reoccur in regular patterns or intervals. 

What you can do
To support #baby ’s brain development, add lots of omega-3-rich fish to your diet. Ideally, choose salmon, canned tuna, or small fish as they are usually low in mercury.

As you might have low blood pressure, slow down a bit so your body can get along. Don’t get up too quickly after reading this 😉

Sources:

Download Mali: Daily Pregnancy Tracker


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