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18 weeks pregnant – pregnancy week by week

Pregnancy Week by Week Calendar - 18 weeksAre you having a boy or girl? It is almost time for your morphology scan, when you can find out the sex of your little one … if you want to, of course!

18 weeks pregnant – development guide

Your body

Your fundus (top of your uterus) is now halfway between your pelvic bone and your belly button. With your heart working up to 50 per cent more than it did five months ago, it’s not uncommon for you to feel dizzy and lightheaded at this stage of your pregnancy and onwards. Take it easy and relax when you need to. Have fruit or a healthy, sustaining muesli bar at the ready in your handbag to help balance your sugar levels, and remember to keep up your fluids – 6-8 glasses a day (preferably water).

Pregnant woman with visible uterus and fetus week 18Your health care provider will recommend a morphology scan that should be done sometime within the 18-20 weeks window. This ultrasound will be able to detect if there are any issues with your baby, importantly the heart or kidneys, and will pick up cleft lip or spina bifida abnormalities. It is a great time to reassure you that your growing baby is on track for a healthy delivery and that all is fine with the placenta and umbilical cord.

The sonographer may also be able to tell you the sex of your baby … but only if you want them to. If you want it to be a surprise, just let them know at the start of the appointment.

Your baby

Sized at approximately 13-14.5cm (head to rump), your baby weighs around 149-158 grams. The fast paced rate of growth you’ve seen over the past 18 weeks starts to slow down and most amazingly, your baby’s fingerprints are now formed.

Weekly development of a human fetus - week 18If your baby is a girl, she will have the tiny follicles that hold all the eggs she will have for her life – up to 6 million – holding on to them until puberty when she begins the process of ovulation herself.

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3 things to do now you’re 18 weeks pregnant

Try to guess the sex of your baby!

Have you heard of the ‘ring test’? Or have you had a few comments like “oh, you’re carrying low – must be a boy!”. These are common old wives tales meant to predict the gender of your unborn baby. Of course, they’re just a bit of fun so why not have a go before your morphology scan! Here are 10 popular old wives tales to predict the sex of your baby.

Can’t decide whether you should find out or not?

Can’t decide if you want a surprise or not? Here are some reasons for and against finding out your baby’s gender. You can always also ask for opinions one way or another in our Baby Gender forum section.

Book your scan

Are you booking your scan? Search our directory to find your local 3D and 4D scan and ultrasound clinics.

This content is meant as a guide only. If you find anything worrying or unsettling, or experience any bleeding or spotting, contact your local GP, obstetrician or an emergency healthcare provider immediately.

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