SmartMomma HomeChannels - Preconception, Pregnancy, Baby, Toddler, and MoreSmartMomma Baby & Pregnancy CommunitySubscribe to Our Infant Development & Pregnancy NewslettersShop SmartMomma Baby & Pregnancy!
  Due Date Calculator - Early Pregnancy Symptoms Pregnancy - Fetal Development 18 weeks
Fetal Development: 18 Weeks

18 Weeks - Pregnancy


Week 18 shows your baby measuring about 5 ½ inches long, with a weight of almost 7 ounces. Along with the lanugo (downy-like hair covering baby’s body), your baby has accumulated vernix (a white cheese-like protective coating) on her body. This protects your baby’s skin by keeping it moisturized in your amniotic fluid.

Is your baby going to be the next American Idol? This is the time when her vocal cords are forming, and she begins to practice vocalizing. She will begin to cry, although without air, no sound will escape her. This is strictly for practice.

If you have a pregnancy ultrasound this week, the technician should be able to make out the baby’s heart well, including the ventricles and chambers. Her brain is growing rapidly as well, and all the major areas will be differentiated. She is starting to respond to stimuli, and in the coming weeks, she will love hearing your voice.

An ultrasound will also now reveal your baby’s sex, unless she is shy and has her legs crossed. A girl will have her uterus and Fallopian tubes formed, along with her genitals and a boy will have pronounced genitals as well, visible with an ultrasound.


Now that you’re at the beginning of your fifth month of pregnancy, it may be time to transition fully into those maternity clothes. Don’t worry. The tents that women wore in the past are not around anymore. You can find very attractive maternity clothes that will hide or accentuate your pregnant belly, whichever makes you more comfortable. Besides, wearing maternity clothes will make you look pregnant, in case people haven’t figured it out yet.

Since you are starting to show, it may be a good time to let your boss know you’re expecting if you haven’t already. Before you tell your employer that you are pregnant, do your research. You should find out the corporate policies on maternity leave and leave for doctor appointments. You will have quite a few of those. Does your company offer unpaid or paid leave? How long are you able to be out before returning? Some other things to think about is whether or not you plan on returning back to work. If you know for sure that you will not return, you should tell them. They cannot fire you for that, as that is discrimination.

Some annoying symptoms you might be experiencing include heartburn, indigestion, and constipation. Heartburn is one of the most common complaints in the second and third trimester, and is often the result of an increase in the hormone progesterone. The increase in progesterone often loosens the normal sphincter between the stomach and the esophagus, causing the acid in your stomach to move up the esophagus. The result is a burning pain in your chest and upper stomach. Indigestion is also caused by the increase in progesterone, as the hormone slows the emptying of the stomach, leading to lingering acid. To counter heartburn, avoid fatty or deep fried foods and chocolate. Limit your intake of foods such as cabbage, broccoli, or lettuce. These foods can produce excess gas that can worsen heartburn and indigestion. Pop those antacids. TUMS is a popular choice AND it also has calcium, which your body needs anyway. As you suck on them, your esophagus will contract and acid will diminish quickly. Also, avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol (you know this is a given anyway) and sleep in a more upright position. See our recommended maternity pillows to increase your comfort.

Has your doctor scheduled your pregnancy ultrasound yet? An ultrasound is often scheduled between 16 and 20 weeks to check on your baby’s development. Sex can often be determined during the ultrasound as well, and your due date is double checked by the progress of your baby’s development. Your doctor will also check the placenta and umbilical cord, and he will take a lot of measurements of your baby, along with checking out the baby’s organs for any abnormalities. This is a painless procedure and is often a lot of fun. You finally get to see a beautiful profile of your little one. They will also give you some pictures to take home as well. Your first snapshot!

Do you want to be caught up on all the latest happenings with your pregnancy and your baby? Join SmartMomma Advantage for free! You'll receive your choice of e-mail newsletters, from weekly fetal development updates to sales alerts and the latest pregnancy, baby, and toddler news. Stay up to date with the SmartMomma advantage! Join today!



Fetal Development: By Month
Fetal Development: 5 Months
Fetal Development: 6 Months


ExpectantSee Screensaver Pregnancy Calendar: CD ROM


This should be used as a general guideline and is for general information and educational purposes only. Please remember that all pregnancies develop at different rates. If you have questions about your baby's development, please contact your doctor or midwife.




  Shop SmartMomma Baby & Maternity  
Shop SmartMomma Baby & Maternity Shop SmartMomma Baby & Maternity
All Pregnancy Articles
Health And Nutrition
During pregnancy, your body needs your full attention, as your baby grows and your hormones go a bit crazy. SmartMomma is here to help you with some health and nutrition advice of our own.
Labor And Delivery
After many months of pregnancy, the big day finally arrives, whether you're ready or not. Be ready for baby's entrance into the world by reading up on what you may encounter on the best day of your life. Think happy thoughts!
Planning For Baby
One of the most exciting parts of pregnancy is planning for your baby's arrival. Check out SmartMomma's recommendations on baby gear, not to mention our Nursery Planner for the arrival of your little bundle. It's never too early to start planning your nursery!
Pregnancy Effects
What effects can pregnancy have on your body? From stretch marks to leaking breasts, SmartMomma uncovers the reality of pregnancy, along with the joys of feeling your baby's first movements. Discover the answers to your questions about all of the new and "interesting" things happening to your body during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Stages
Is your baby kicking yet, or just fluttering? When does he have his fingers and toes? How big is he now? Find out the answers to these questions and check out the stages of pregnancy with our Fetal Development tool.
Prenatal Fitness
The best way to prepare for the marathon of labor and to get your figure back quickly postpartum is by keeping up a fitness routine while pregnant. Ask your doctor what level of fitness is appropriate for you. The most popular methods of staying fit for pregnancy is walking and prenatal yoga.
Pregnancy can put your relationships in a vulnerable state, as your daily activities will most likely change, along with your waistline and your emotions. This can put a strain on your relationship with your partner or spouse, as well as your relationship with others. Just remember, that you are a strong, beautiful woman, deserving of the best in life. Don't forget to remind your partner of this too!
Home About UsOur Friends Join For Free UnsubscribeAll Articles Contact Us
Terms of UsePrivacy PolicyAdvertisingPress MaterialsLogin to Update Membership
©2007 Smart Momma. All rights reserved.