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18 weeks pregnant

Your baby at 18 weeks

Your baby is the size of a sweet potato. Your little one weighs up to 199 g (7 oz) and is about 14 to 17.8 cm (5.5 to 7 inches), top to bottom.

One of a kind

This week, your little one is developing his or her most unique feature: fingerprints. Pads of fat accumulating on the fingertips and toes will turn into distinguishing swirls.

Prepping the plumbing

Your baby’s developing digestive system has been going through its paces for several weeks already. The foetus swallows amniotic fluid which makes its way through the stomach and intestines. Then, that fluid combines with dead cells and secretions in the intestines to form meconium. Meconium is the black, tarry substance you’ll see during the very first nappy change.

Your pregnancy at 18 weeks

Advice overload

While unsolicited opinions can be annoying, try to take them in your stride. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. A simple 'Thanks, I'll keep that in mind' should do the trick. Try to remember that people mean well and they’re excited for you too!

Dizzy spells

Your heart is working 40 to 50 per cent harder than it did before you were pregnant. When combined with the pressure of your growing uterus on blood vessels, you may occasionally feel faint, particularly when you get up quickly. Low blood sugar can also lead to wooziness. Resting, lying down on your side or eating a piece of fruit will help with circulation and settling dizzy spells.

Mini moves

Most women first feel their baby's movements between 16 and 20 weeks. Your little one is still small, so it’ll be more of a gentle flutter than a forceful kick.

Did you know?

Did your baby just yawn? Very possibly! You might even be able to catch one on your next ultrasound. Also, the digestive system is starting to form a black, tarry substance called meconium, which you’ll see in that first messy nappy. And your baby is now truly one of a kind with unique fingerprints to prove it!

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