18 Weeks Pregnant – what to expect

Now you're 18 weeks pregnant, this week is all about aches in your hips, getting ready for your 20-week scan, baking soda sex predictions and sesame baby carrots!

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Watch our video to see what your baby looks like this week

Twisting, kicking, rolling, punching, yawning: it’s all go for your baby right now! The nervous system’s revving up, too, as a protective myelin covering is now speeding up nerve-to-nerve connections. And your baby has a set of unique fingerprints!

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And here’s a 3D scan of a 18 week baby…

So what’s happening to your body this week?

Getting the hippy hippy ache? With your hormonal surge of relaxin now nearing its peak, your pelvic ligaments are seriously loosening up and, as a result, you may be finding things a bit uncomfortable in the old hip, bum and thigh department.

Massage and stretching can help. If you’re really unlucky, though, it can actually get properly painful, centred either right at the base of your spine (pelvic-girdle pain or PGP) or at the front around your pubic bone (symphysis pubis dysfunction or SPD) – maybe with shooting or stabbing pains radiating up your back or down your leg.

Don’t suffer silently; ask your midwife for a physiotherapy referral.

Our MFMer’s 18-week bump of the week

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Has your bump got noticeably bigger this week? Check out other MFMers’ belfies in our 18 week bump gallery.

Did you know? Your baby’s now the length of… a pain au raisin

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This week, your baby measures 14.2cm, the same size as this sweet French pastry.

And is around the weight of… an onion

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Your baby now weighs around 7oz (198g)!

4 things you might need to know this week

MFMer’s tip of the week from our forum

“Don’t worry if your bump’s not showing much. First time round, I didn’t “pop” until 6 months. Doesn’t mean a thing” – Vikster2000

Want to share your pregnancy with others going through the same as you? There’s a birth club for your due date – take a look

Is it safe… to eat chocolate?

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As if. As if we would suggest you couldn’t eat chocolate during these months of swollen, flatulent, aching loveliness.

But, just to put a damper on things, it’s not safe to overindulge in a chocolate splurge. That’s because chocolate contains caffeine, as well as lots of sugar.

So while you’re practising restraint, here’s something to put a smile on your face. This is a genuine piece of research: A study in Finland found that women who ate chocolate during pregnancy had babies who laughed and smiled more often than the babies of non-chocolate eaters. Hell yes.

Our preg recipe for week 18 – Sesame baby carrots

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Why sesame seeds are great for your growing baby

You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that all sesame seeds are good for is making the top of a burger bun look pretty. But actually, they’re a bit of star on the nutrient front, packing into their tininess impressive amount of iron, vitamins B, C and calcium (one handful of sesame seeds contains more calcium than a glass of milk).

Oh, and they also contain serotonin-stimulating tryptophan, so might help you sleep a bit better. Yay!

See the full recipe and get cooking…

Baby namer – what do you think of these animal-themed names?

The animal kingdom provides heaps of inspiration for baby names. What do think of these two cuddly animal names?

Bunny
Bunny means rabbit and was commonly used as a nickname for girls named Barbara before becoming a name in its own right.
Celeb baby-name-check: Katie Price named her 2nd daughter Bunny.

Bear
Naming your child Bear after the cuddly (or grizzly) animal is pretty bold – and may be inspired by TV adventurer Bear Grylls.
Celeb baby-name-check: Kate Winslet’s 2nd son is named Bear Blaze.

Search our Baby Names section for more inspiration. 

So that’s plenty for this week, want to take a peek at what lies ahead – or look back at last week?

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