18 Weeks Pregnant: Taking Care of Your Mental Health

Fact Checked Medically reviewed by Tanja Premru-Sršen


During week 18 of pregnancy, the baby is going to begin yawning and having hiccups, and the mom’s pregnancy belly is becoming more and more evident as each day goes by.

Keep reading to find out more about what pregnancy week eighteen will bring to you, what you can expect, and how to prepare for the next few weeks!

Physical Symptoms During Week Eighteen of Pregnancy

Week eighteen is likely to bring on some not-so-fun pregnancy symptoms, on top of the symptoms that will stick around from the past few weeks.

Some of the most common physical symptoms of pregnancy at eighteen weeks are going to include:

Baby kicks

Whether pregnant with twins, triplets, or a single baby, you are probably feeling definitive sensations that resemble real baby kicks at eighteen weeks pregnant.

The baby inside you is getting bigger and stronger by day, and the kicks will also get stronger soon!


The growing baby causes a lot of pressure, and this added burden can cause some aches in your back. Pregnancy can also cause incorrect posture, which can also lead to backaches.

Swollen feet and hands

Swelling can be an annoying pregnancy symptom, and you might have to make some peace with taking off your rings and buying a new pair of shoes in a bigger size.

However, if the swelling is severe and happens almost overnight, notify your healthcare provider right away.

Trouble sleeping

Sleeping can be troublesome during the second trimester of your pregnancy. Troubles usually come due to the mixture of stress, uncertainty, excitement, hormone fluctuations, and the discomfort of the growing belly.


Many pregnant women report experiencing frequent nosebleeds during the second trimester of their pregnancy. Nosebleeds happen due to increased blood pressure and increased blood volume in the veins in the nose.

If a nosebleed stops you in your tracks, pinch your nose for five to ten minutes to apply pressure and get the high blood pressure and bleeding to stop.

Varicose veins

Due to the extra pressure on your circulatory system, you are very likely to notice some purple or blue swollen veins all over your body at eighteen weeks pregnant.

What Happens to The Baby During Week Eighteen of Pregnancy?

At eighteen weeks pregnant, the baby measures around eight to nine ounces. At week eighteen, the baby weighs around nine inches long, which is about the size of a sweet potato and the length of a dollar bill. Your baby is growing every single day very rapidly, and the baby’s development is going pretty nicely, at the right rate!

Eighteen weeks pregnant is the point around which you are very likely to start feeling the baby move. In the beginning, the baby’s activities inside your tummy might feel like a fluttering sensation. In a few weeks, you will feel some serious kick start.

However, there is no fixed point for the beginning of fetal movement, and not everyone experiences the same baby’s movements during pregnancy. If you do not feel any movement for another two weeks, that is also normal. The little baby inside of you can yawn and hiccup at eighteen weeks pregnant!

If the baby is female, she is developing her fallopian tubes and her uterus. If the baby is male, he might already have visible boy parts at this stage of pregnancy, or they are in the stages of fetal development.

However, a baby’s body parts can be difficult to see during the mid-pregnancy ultrasound and the screening test. This includes the baby’s face, baby’s ears, and body shape.

Pregnancy Checklist During Week Eighteen

Some important items you need to check off your pregnancy to-do list during the week eighteen in order to prepare for the baby’s arrival are going to include:

Take care of your feet

At 18 weeks pregnant, your feet might be feeling extra swollen and you might be experiencing some leg cramps. This happens due to all of that excess fluid buildup in your body and water retention.

Raising your feet above heart level and relaxing is a great way to relieve this symptom. Also, buying bigger shoes in your pregnancy is pretty much the right of passage.

Start sleeping on your side

At eighteen weeks pregnant, it is time to switch things up and start sleeping on your side instead of your back to accommodate your growing belly.

Buy a body pillow

If you are having trouble finding the perfect position to comfortably sleep in and if you are having issues with leg cramps, using a pregnancy pillow might be the thing that solves all of your issues and makes your pregnant body comfortable enough to sleep.

Using a body pillow (also often called a pregnancy pillow) can help maintain a comfortable sleeping position that will accommodate your pregnant belly.

What To Avoid or Begin to Avoid?

Being pregnant means staying away from harmful things and activities to protect you and the baby inside of you. During week eighteen, make sure to stay away from:

  • Smoking, drinking alcohol, drugs, and being exposed to toxic substances.
  • Performing demanding workouts and carrying heavyweight.
  • Drinking an excessive amount of caffeine and carbonated drinks.
  • Getting tattooed as it poses a risk of infection.
  • Touching kitty litter or cat feces.
  • Eating junk food, deli meats, raw or undercooked meat, fish, chicken, eggs, cheeses, unpasteurized dairy foods, high mercury fish, and unwashed fruits and vegetables.
  • Having close contact with anyone with rubella, chickenpox, or the Zika virus.