My 18 Week Pregnant Belly: Bump Update (With Pictures)

My 18 Weeks Pregnant Belly Picture

18-week-bump-update

Starting Weight: 123lbs

Current Weight: 128lbs

Total Weight Gain: 5lbs

Energy Level: My energy started high this week, but I had a near syncopal episode on Monday while in the operating room. This is actually quite common in pregnancy (as your blood pressure drops in the second trimester). This has also happened to several of my fellow physicians while operating during pregnancy.

Thankfully, I felt better after drinking some apple juice and felt good enough to return to the OR 2 hours later to complete my next case :).

Symptoms: I felt my baby move this week for the first time and it is the most amazing feeling ever! His kicks are strong!

Other Physical Changes: My breasts are continuing to grow as well as my belly πŸ™‚

I am also using skincare products by Tracie Martyn on my belly to try and prevent stretch marks. (Be sure to speak with your doctor if creams are okay for you to use).

The Tracie Martyn products aren’t cheap – but they are one of the cleanest, all-natural products I have found and you will notice the quality immediately.

Diet: I am still following the same plant-based diet as I did pre-pregnancy. If you decide to go plant-based, it is important to speak with an expert to make a nutrition plan that is right for you!

Diet Modifications: No modifications as of yet.

Food Aversions: I usually enjoy almond butter, but now I only want peanut butter.

Food Cravings: I still crave pizza from time to time.

Workouts: I have continued to include both peloton rides and strength training in my workouts. Typically this consists of 3-5 sets of a barbell-focused exercise like squats and deadlifts and a ~20-minute aerobic cycling workout.

Modifications to my workout:  I am making sure to train my glutes as much as possible, as a growing belly can change your center of gravity. As a result, you can develop mom posture and lower back pain.

*Be sure to speak with your healthcare provider to learn if exercise is safe for you.*

Here is a short video of me rowing with and without a barbell at 18 weeks pregnant.

Other Related Questions

Does your belly show at 18 weeks pregnant?

You may or may not start to show at 18 weeks pregnant.

How soon you show depends on several factors:

  • If this is your first baby
  • How many fetuses you are currently carrying
  • Genetics
  • Weight gain

Here is what my baby bump looks like at 18 weeks (this is my first pregnancy).

Why is my pregnancy belly small at 18 weeks?

Your pregnancy belly may be small because your fetus is only 5.5 inches and only weighs ~ 6.5 ounces at this point.

This is about the size of a sweet potato! So it’s not uncommon to have a small belly at 18 weeks.

Is my baby fully formed at 18 weeks?

All of your baby’s internal organs as well as external genitalia and formed by 18 weeks.

Even your baby’s upper and lower limbs are developed as well as its fingernails and toenails.

At this gestational age, your baby’s ears are more developed allowing your baby to hear.

You may even see your baby yawn on a sonogram!

Can you feel baby move at 18 weeks?

You may or may not be able to feel your baby move during this week.

The detection of fetal movement, known as quickening, depends on several factors.

If you are relatively thin, you may be able to feel fetal movements sooner as there isn’t a lot of subcutaneous tissue between your skin and uterus.

If you have a posterior placenta, you may be able to feel your baby’s first movements earlier compared to someone with an anterior placenta.

I am relatively thin and have a posterior placenta. I have been feeling my baby move all week!

What is the position of the baby at 18 weeks pregnant?

Your baby is constantly moving around inside the amniotic sac so it is hard to determine exactly what position your baby is in at any given point.

Where is baby located at the 18th week of pregnancy?

At 18 weeks, your baby is still 2-5 cm below your belly button. The top of the uterus (also known as the fundus) reaches your belly button at approximately 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Are there any pregnant symptoms of a boy or girl at 18 weeks?

You may have read that the following symptoms are associated with having a girl:

  • your baby’s heartbeat is >140bpm,
  • you have morning sickness,
  • you are carrying the baby “high,”
  • have been experiencing mood swings,
  • craving sugar, you are having a girl.

The opposite would signify that you’re carrying a boy.

Unfortunately, none of these have been proven.

But again, there are no pregnancy symptoms that indicate the sex of your baby as far as we know.

18 weeks pregnant to months?

18 weeks pregnant corresponds to the fifth month of pregnancy!

Your due date is getting closer!

Is it normal to have sharp pains or pressure in lower abdomen at 18 weeks?

Having sharp pains in your lower abdomen might indicate stretching of the round ligaments during the second trimester.

As your uterus grows, the round ligaments stretch as a result of the pregnancy hormone relaxin.

Many pregnant women notice that the pain is typically worse with any sort of movement and better with rest.

Check out my post on round ligament pain here to learn what you could do about it.

What can you see at an 18 weeks pregnant ultrasound scan?

You may be scheduled to do your anatomy scan this week.

This pregnancy ultrasound can be performed anytime from 18-22 weeks so that we can observe the anatomy of your baby.

All of the internal and external organs of your baby will be visualized and measured to ensure there are no abnormalities.

If you are having the sonogram this week, you will notice some pretty cool things:

  • First, your baby has grown a lot since your nuchal translucency scan!
  • You will likely see your baby moving around a lot
  • The placenta and umbilical cord has grown bigger
  • You will notice a lot more amniotic fluid
  • A fully formed spinal cord, skeletal system and rib cage
  • An elaborate digestive system
  • Your baby’s heart is fully developed and you will be able to see the 4 chambers pumping blood
  • You will be able to see all the structures in the brain
  • And the best part is you will be able to know the gender!

Anything else I should know?

Leg cramps are a common symptom in pregnancy and are usually benign, but they are also a symptom of a blood clot.

Pregnant women are at higher risk of developing deep venous thrombosis (DVTs) in the lower legs. If you have swollen and painful lower legs, especially on one side – make sure to tell your doctor immediately.

This is also a good time to ensure you are following a healthy diet as weight gain will start to increase at this stage of your pregnancy. Too much weight gain in pregnancy can be associated with gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and other labor complications.

Final Words on pregnancy Week 18

18 weeks is an exciting week as your baby is growing significantly and you might have felt your baby move for the first time.

It’s also exciting to see how much progress your baby has made in the anatomy scan!

Now I want to hear from you.

Are you 18 weeks pregnant?

Comment below and let me know how your week went!

And don’t forget to check back in next week for my 19 week pregnancy update!

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brittany-robles

Brittany N Robles, MD, MPH, CPT

Brittany Robles is a full-time OBGYN, a NASM certified personal trainer, and health & fitness, expert. She holds a Masters of Public Health degree in maternal health with a special interest in exercise and nutrition. She is also the co-author of The White Coat Trainer. Learn more about her here.



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