Your baby’s brain can now start to process the sounds that the ears are sending to it and the retinas in their eyes continue to become more light sensitive.
At 18 weeks, their brain is continuing to develop cognitive skills and the nervous system keeps building up reflexes.
Your baby is now the size of a sweet potato and their genitals are now formed and in place.
Leg cramps may be an issue, so make sure you’re well hydrated to help ease this. Swelling in pregnancy, particularly of hands and feet is common around this time. This swelling is annoying but nothing to worry about. But if your swelling is sudden and severe, you should call your doctor as this may be a sign of something more serious. You can read more about why it happens and how you can relieve it, take a look at this article.
You might want to start sleeping on your side from now on. Not only will it help with your heart burn, it will take the pressure of the large veins behind your belly. These veins lead to your heart so if there’s too much pressure on them, it could result in you feeling light headed.
Sleeping, in general, could be starting to become an issue. New Born Baby’s Dr Brad Robinson offers some explanation and a few tips on how to get a better sleep in this article here.
Heartburn is caused when stomach acid backs up into the oesophagus, and it is felt as a burning sensation. Symptoms are most common during the second and third trimesters, when your growing uterus starts to compress your stomach and push its contents upward.
If you are struggling with heartburn, you may need to eat five or six smaller meals a day instead of three large ones. Avoid fatty, fried foods, which take longer to break down, as well as anything that is spicy, acidic or bubbly.
It is one thing to learn about baby care and yet another to experience it first hand. If this is your first baby, try to arrange to spend a day with a friend or relative who has a baby so you can get some hands on experience, practice your nappy changing skills and get a feel for what it’s really like.