At 18 weeks
Hey you’re nearly half way there!
At 18 weeks you’re nearly half way through your pregnancy. Try to remember that your mood will effect how your baby feels. If you’re stressed and depressed during pregnancy, your baby will be prone to being depressed after he’s born. It’s perfectly natural to experience a mixture of moods during pregnancy, but if the negative ones outlast the positive ones, you should do whatever you can to make yourself feel better. See your doctor if you feel depressed for more than two weeks.
Around this time you may notice tiny red marks appearing on your face, arms and shoulders. These are dilated blood vessels and should fade after birth.
You can’t live in a hazard-free environment while you’re pregnant, but you can avoid unnecessary risks. Check the labels of all cleaning fluids, avoid hot baths and saunas, talk to your doctor before undergoing any immunisations. Also check the labels on all drugs and don’t take any over the counter medicines. Always tell your doctor before taking any prescription drugs. In fact it’s best not to take anything unless your doctor concurs. Don’t take any herbal preparations without consulting your doctor and make sure any massaging oils are safe for pregnant women.
You’ll need to discuss with your partner the type of birth she wants and together decide what your involvement will be.
You’ll also need to talk to your employer about taking time off to go to the antenatal appointments, as well as the birth, to enable you to spend some time at home after the baby is born.
The placenta has developed quickly, making sure there’s rich network of blood vessels to provide everything that your baby needs. The umbilical cord is fully developed and carries oxygen-rich blood to your baby. The placenta is half an inch thick and about three and a half inches in diameter.
Your baby will now be about 13.5 centimetres long and weigh 180 grams. Your baby’s face will be developing all the time and his eyebrows and eyelashes will be starting to grow. He even has the beginning of taste buds on his tongue.
As your baby grows and her heart gets stronger you’ll be able to hear her heartbeat with less sensitive stethoscopes. All her features are clearly distinguished and she has soft downy hairs all over her face.
Work and travel
It’s best to avoid working long hours. See if you can adapt your hours to avoid travelling in the rush hour by starting and finishing later, or working from home. When you get in for the day, try not to do too much, have a rest and make sure your partner shares the chores.
Travelling can be especially exhausting. When travelling book a seat to keep hassle to a minimum. Even car travel can be exhausting so limit your journeys. Stop and get out of the car every now and then to stretch your legs. Always fasten your seatbelt and buckle it low. You should stop driving as soon as you feel cramped. After your seventh month travelling by plane isn’t a good idea because of pressure changes in the cabin. If you must fly check with the airline if you’ll need a doctor’s letter. It’s a good idea to go to the loo before boarding in case there’s a delay taking off.
Some tips -
- Leave plenty of time especially for check-ins and connections
- Travel in short bursts rather than long stretches
- Carry snacks and drinks
- Have some glucose sweets to help prevent nausea
- Take an eye mask and ear plugs so you can sleep
- Carry your iPod with favourite chill-out music
See you next time
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Copyright Miriam Stoppard 2012