Pregnancy Week 18 – The Baby’s Progress

Although a handful of mothers may have already felt their baby move by now, pregnancy week 18 tends to be around the time when ‘first time’ mothers can begin feeling a little movement too, although ‘regular movements’ can come as late as week 24.

4D ultrasound scan showing an 18 week fetus

The above video shows how these new 4D scans can provide a magnificent ‘window to the womb’ – this particular baby was a joy to watch as she appears to be listening to some music through her own set of headphones, then looks up to give a little wink and smile for the camera at the end (aww).

Having a 4D ultrasound scan this week, as you can see, shows very clear and defined facial features and even the tongue moving in and out of the mouth. If there are any congenital defects with the baby, such as a cleft lip and palate, then this would also be viewable now on a scan. His growth and development will also be determined, but the most exciting thing of all though is finding out what color you’re going to need to paint that nursery. Some people do like to keep that part a secret though so be sure to let the midwife know if you want to wait until the birth.

Just for fun, a really primitive way of listening to your baby’s heart is by getting your partner to place a cardboard tube against the lower part of your abdomen. He may be able to hear the faint, underwater sound of pulsating which can not only be exhilarating for you both but it also helps with the ‘father bonding’ process too, making him feel much more a part of the process. However, don’t be alarmed if he can’t hear anything as the the baby is still very small at this stage and this is by far and away not the conventional way of doing things.

Further bone structures will continue to ossify throughout pregnancy at 18 weeks as they continue to receive calcium. The clavicles (collarbones) and the legs are usually the first cartilage that begins the hardening process. Although the baby’s bones are considered to be solidifying, in fact, all the bones, especially the skull, will remain soft and malleable until after the baby is born. This is to prevent any damage to the baby’s head once he engages down into the pelvis ready for exit through the birth canal.

Your baby is going to hit an accelerated growth spurt soon around weeks 24-28 (so get ready with that maternity wear). During this time he is going to practically double in size from around 8 to 16” so if you think you may be big now, then hold on as there is much more to come. During pregnancy week 18, almost halfway through your 2nd trimester of pregnancy now, your little one will still be measuring around 5.5” (14 cm) and weighing in at approximately 6.6 oz (187 g).

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(See 18 Weeks Pregnant – The Mother’s Progress)


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