Pregnancy Weeks 17 - 18
Pregnancy Week 17
Recent research has shown an increase in the number of cases of gestational diabetes. This form of diabetes appears during a mother's pregnancy and increases the risk of the baby developing diabetes later in life. Thus, there is a possibility that your family doctor will suggest that you undergo a test during the check up visits. The risk to the baby can be reduced by carefully regulating the mother's blood sugar levels through the pregnancy. The levels should remain stable without a wide variation. Consider the foods being consumed by you and ensure that those food items that increase the blood sugar levels are avoided throughout this stage. Eating small quantities at regular intervals will also reduce the possibility of decreasing the glucose levels.
The stretching of the skin on the breasts and abdomen causes itchiness. Because of the increase in the weight of the expecting mother, the center of gravity shifts thus increasing the possibility of back pain as each week pass. Due to the increase in the flow of blood and hormonal levels, there may be bleeding in the gums. An increase in body secretions, such as sweat, nasal congestion and vaginal discharge is normal and generally settle postpartum. Many women show signs of linea negra, which is a dark line from the belly button. This also usually disappears after the child is born. Many times, the freckles and skin may become darker, which also goes away after the birth. To avoid swelling of the feet, keeping them elevated is suggested and drinking lots of fluid daily is important.
The baby now is like a human form in posture and look. The pads develop on the baby's finger tips and toes. The eyes move in position on the face but continue remaining shut. The ears are protruding from outside the head and the baby can distinguish extra-uterine sound and musical notes. The baby has already familiarized himself/herself with the mother's heartbeat, breathe and stomach growls. At this stage the umbilical cord gets thicker with accumulation in the bowels. The baby's cartilage makes the transition to bone formation.
The baby in week 17 is 5.11 inches and 4.98 ounces.
Pregnancy Week 18
Some genetic tests are common during this week. However, these do not reveal the possibility of the baby developing a genetic disorder but only provides your family doctor the probability of the baby developing a certain genetic disorder. Consulting the doctor for knowing the requirement of these tests is suggested.
The baby's skin in the eighteenth week becomes protected with an insulating material. The placenta continues its growth during this week. The alveoli within the lungs and the vocal cords are formed now. The ultrasound shows the formation of the baby's heart. All the senses of the child are still developing. Many a times, you may find that the baby is more receptive and responsive to some specific sounds.
The baby's length is now 5.6 inches and her/his weight is 6.8 ounces (190 grams).
Pregnancy Week To Week 1- 40