Pregnancy Week by Week

Get a window on what’s happening in your pregnancy, week by week. From week four to week 42, your baby is experiencing a miraculous transformation from a clump of cells to a fully formed (and totally cute) newborn. Just imagine, as early as five weeks, your baby is already starting to form major organs (heart, stomach, liver, and kidneys) and systems (digestive, circulatory, nervous). By eight weeks, your raspberry-sized womb-mate is moving her arms and legs. At the beginning of your second trimester (week 14), your wee one is sucking his thumb. By week 28, the first week of the third trimester, baby (now as big as an eggplant) is prepping for breathing, developing his eyesight and packing on pounds in anticipation of life outside the womb. Each week is a new miracle. Less miraculous is how a mom-to-be may feel. Pregnancy Week-by-Week charts your baby’s development but also lets mom know what she might be feeling during each week of her pregnancy. Pregnancy week by Week includes everything mom needs to know to feel a sense of control over her pregnancy. Each week offers a complete guide to what you might feel, your must-do’s, your nice-to do’s, and answers and advice on everything pregnancy-related. Plus each week’s guide offers tips on maintaining a healthy and comfortable pregnancy from strategies on coping with pregnancy symptoms (morning sickness anyone?) to ideas for healthy eating, and pointers on talking to your OB. Let us guide you along your pregnancy, week by week.

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18 Weeks Pregnant

What the heck is baby doing in there at 18 weeks? A lot! He’s working his muscles and practicing all kinds of moves. (Can you feel them yet?) Over the next few weeks, you should make sure to start sleeping on your side. That’s because baby (and your uterus) are getting big enough to press against large veins in the back of your abdomen, which can reduce the amount of blood going to your heart, making you feel lightheaded, or worse, lowering your blood pressure. Of course, your veins aren’t the only things that are prone to pressure -- you might be too! Not only are you super busy, but you might be having some not-so-fun symptoms, like swollen feet or hands, backaches, leg cramps and nosebleeds. And the stress and discomfort might be keeping you up at night around week 18. Be sure, in your hectic schedule, that you plan some time to unwind. (Great excuse for some pregnancy pampering! Can you say prenatal massage?!) It’s important to give your body and your mind a break for a little while. That just might help you get the sleep you need, too.

your baby's the size of a sweet potato!
She's about 5.6 inches long and about 6.7 ounces now and she keeps on growing rapidly. (That's why you're probably feeling so hungry.)

your baby at 18 weeks
  • Can you believe she's yawning, hiccuping, sucking and swallowing?
  • And she's twisting, rolling, punching and kicking, too -- and she's big enough that you might be able to feel her doing it!

pregnancy symptoms at 18 weeks
  • Baby's kicks -- they're getting stronger!
  • Swollen feet and/or hands. An annoying pregnancy symptom, but nothing to worry about as long as the swelling isn't sudden or severe.
  • Back aches. Baby's putting a lot of pressure on your insides.
  • Leg cramps. They can be a sign of dehydration, so drink up!
  • Varicose veins, a product of all that extra pressure on your circulatory system.
  • Trouble sleeping. Your mind is working overtime and you're getting more and more uncomfortable.
  • Increased pressure on the veins in your nose may be causing nosebleeds.

your must-do's
your nice-to-do's

watch: your bump, week 18

Reminder: Medical info on The Bump is FYI only and doesn't replace a visit to a medical professional.