Your baby has increased another 1.5 inches to its length and he measures 5.5 inches long from head to toe. He has increased in weight considerably and is moving much more rapidly than before. You will feel his movements and response to stimuli much more than ever. Placing your hands on your belly is one of the ways of getting your baby to move in response to stimuli. You can see the blood vessels from his skin and his ears have developed and assumed their final position. The reproductive organs have already developed. The genitals of a boy will be fully developed and will be noticeable through an ultrasound. For a girl, her fallopian tubes will have already been developed although they will not be visible through a scan.
Your cravings for food will be at the very peak at the moment and you will notice that you will hate some and love some foods. It is important to maintain a balance, so that you are not taking too much of one thing and depriving yourself of nutrients from some of the foods you loathe. Choose snacks that are nutritious. Choose to eat several times a day, rather than three huge meals three times a day.
You will visibly have an expanded waistline as your belly grows even further. You may experience low blood pressure or high blood pressure when you are 18 weeks pregnant depending on your cardio system. Your legs may experience some cramps and you may want to sit down with your legs elevated to relieve your legs of the pressure that causes cramps. The weight of the baby may cause you to have back pain and you may also want to relieve this by sleeping on your side with pillows for support. Exercise to increase your energy levels, but be careful not to overdo it, especially if you have a low blood pressure and are constantly dizzy. Any medication you take should be prescribed and in the right amount so as not to harm the fetus that is developing in you. Perform light stretching exercises every so often to reduce the labor you will have when giving birth to your baby.
You may want to perform tests to determine any chromosomal problems that your baby may have and birth defects. Ultrasounds will show you many things, among them the gender of the child, multiple births if you are giving birth to more than one child and so forth. Pregnant women are better off taking walks as this is the safest kind of exercise when they approach their due date of delivery. Avoid anything that has the risk of falling down and causing trauma to the fetus. Do not perform any exercise that causes sudden changes of position or any that requires you to lie on your back. You need not perform anything that is too hard for you to execute in the first place. Consult with your doctor when you fall sick and any medication you take should be duly prescribed; avoid prescribing it and treating yourself.