18 – 20 Weeks pregnancy
This is an important time during your second trimester: you have your 18 week Ultrasound – and your baby hasn’t inherited Grandad’s nose!!! Thank Goodness – well… so far so good anyway!!
I’ve learnt so much about how incredible new Mums are over the years. Below, I share with you some of my insights. If this does not interest you, click on the following link: Pregnancy Facts and we’ll continue!!
What I discovered when I worked with expecting Mothers, is that there were very few Moms who felt excited all the time about their pregnancy. So many of them were facing other challenges at the same time: work challenges, and anxieties as to how they would be able to afford to start a family, maybe a partner who did not support the pregnancy, anxieties as to whether they would be a good Mom as they had no previous experience with babies. Many felt afraid about what lay ahead – afraid of childbirth, afraid of the ongoing responsibility that lay ahead of them. My own life experience and interactions with pregnant Moms confirms that this is still the case. My belief is that many expecting Mothers have unspoken fears, which if they bottle up inside them, just seem to get worse.
I would really appreciate your comments on this as well, so please leave your comments on your pregnancy toward the bottom of the page and read what other expecting Moms have said.
What I generally found was that once they had shared their fears, they then seemed to find a strength deep inside and make a commitment to do the best for their baby.
What amazed me was that it didn’t matter what their financial, educational, or social status was – they wanted the best for their baby. What I realised was that every Mom-to-be has a vision of a happy healthy baby that they will love, no matter what, a baby they will always be there for – many said they wanted more for their own baby – than they had ever had, that they wanted to do it their way – the way they believed was best …. And they were happy to research their options so that they could make the best choice that was aligned with their values. They were determined to create a loving environment in which to raise their child.
I also believe that after the baby is born, each mother continues to do her absolute best. If she has other supportive adults around her – she is able to go on and achieve her dream. If she is left to do it all on her own, or people close to her sabotage what she is trying to do, it becomes increasing hard for her to go on creating that loving environment for her baby – she just becomes too exhausted.
So what I am trying to say here is, life always brings along challenges. The “and they all lived happily ever after” is not what real life is all about. Have realistic expectations about what is going to happen, and take each day one day at a time, and let your unborn baby know – day after day that you love him/her. In time you will look back – and know that you “stepped up” and marvel at the love and joy your child brings you. By the time your baby reaches one year old – the excitement they show if they haven’t seen you for a couple of hours – and you will wonder how your heart can hold so much love Do you know you will always be the most important person in your baby’s life, and they will spend their lives doing whatever they can – just to get your love and approval.
You may have some unspoken thoughts and fears about your pregnancy, and you may have realised you are not alone, don’t read into others fears too much or they might give you ideas and that won’t help you either! Towards the bottom of this page some other expecting Moms share some of their thoughts and if you would like to share your comments feel free to fill out the form.
Pregnancy Facts continued Weeks 18 – 20
Week 18 Ultrasound
Because the baby is much bigger now – it is easier to see some of the organs. This is again when the Specialist is looking for any signs of birth defects, such as Down’s Syndrome – which they can tell from the nuchal fold – at the back of the neck. Apart from looking for any problems with your baby’s development, they are also looking for where the placenta is situated, and for signs that the baby is growing as is expected, that there is sufficient amniotic fluid. Congenital heart defects and other organ malformations can often be picked up at this stage. A multiple pregnancy is usually picked up at the 11week Ultrasound. If your baby has a severe malformation or disease, you may be counselled to terminate the pregnancy. Fortunately not many expecting Mothers find themselves in this situation – but I don’t suppose that helps if you are the one that is in that situation.
Fetal blood sampling or cordocentesis
Using Ultrasound guidance – blood is taken out of the umbilical cord. This can be used to identify chromosome abnormalities, some fetal infections and a condition called hydrops – which occurs because of Rh incompatibilities. In Rh incompatibilities, if the baby is very anaemic – a blood transfusion may be given to the baby – via the umbilical cord.
This procedure carries a slightly greater risk of miscarriage than amniocentesis.
Results are usually available within a few days.
Your baby is able to hear you and recognises your voice. Now is a great time to introduce your baby to music that you love. Playing certain types of classical music is thought to improve your baby’s intelligence. (PS Keep the volume down!!)
Your baby weighs about 9oz or 250gm.
Possible effects on you
- Incredible relief if the tests have all come back showing that there appears to be no major problems with your baby. If you have been told that your baby has a problem and you are continuing with the pregnancy – now is the time to find out if there are support groups for Parents who have a baby with the same challenge.
- You feel your baby move inside you – it feels like a butterfly fluttering!!! … yes .. it’s real now!!
- You are definitely starting to show, and you will need to find clothes to fit!!! There are loads of beautiful Maternity wear shops.
- Check out www.fertilemind.com.au or visit 2nd hand Maternity shops, borrow clothes from friends.
- Stretch marks may appear on your breasts or abdomen – every one will have an opinion on which nourishing cream to massage into your skin – but you still may end up with stretch marks.
- You continue to gain weight and increase your bra size!
- People you don’t even know – start touching your ‘bump”
- Fortunately you are no longer experiencing morning sickness – though a very small percentage of expecting mothers continue and develop a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum – which usually requires hospitalization.
Comments from Expecting Moms
We quite often receive comments from expecting Mom’s that I would like to share with you below so you know you are not alone in this journey.
Ignorance is bliss – just going with the flow and see what happens. Vicky Mc (22weeks)
My recurring dream – I have the baby early and I have nothing ready for it. I have to put the baby in a drawer to sleep. Also – the baby is the size of a 2 yr old!! Gen O (27 ½ weeks)
I’ve had such bad morning sickness (all day) for nearly 4 months now. My biggest fear is never feeling well again and being able to eat. Lyn P (16 weeks)
Nauseated for 8 months now!!! I love feeling the baby move though. Not looking forward to labor – would love a C Section!! Janine (36 weeks)
I have no fears at all. I feel too sick to feel anything! Linda B (14 ½ weeks)
Still getting over the shock of getting pregnant so quickly and excited. Don’t know how I will keep it a secret – the morning sickness will give it away! Ann