18 Weeks Pregnant

Your baby is the size of a

Sweet potato

Pregnancy can be a truly magical experience! When you’re 18 weeks pregnant, your body is going through a range of changes as it prepares for the arrival of a new life. We’ll take a look at what’s happening during 18 weeks pregnant, some symptoms, your baby’s development and some tips to help make the journey as smooth as possible.

Highlights at 18 Weeks Pregnant

There are many exciting things happening at 18 weeks pregnant, and here are some of the highlights:

  • At 18 weeks, your little one is now about the size of a sweet potato.

  • They may be able to hear and respond to sounds – so why not play your favourite song to them?

  • Have you felt any flutters or swirling in your belly at 18 weeks pregnant? This may be your baby moving around!

  • Make the most of any extra energy you have during this period by taking a short trip – or you may prefer to take this time to rest, relax and pamper yourself!

  • Need some baby name inspiration? Check out our Baby Name Generator below:


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Your Baby’s Development at 18 Weeks Pregnant

Here are some of the exciting developments your tiny baby is making this week:

  • Play your favourite music nice and loud! Why? Around 18 weeks your foetus may start responding to loud noises, and even move around in response – you may even start to notice some of those movements.

  • At 18 weeks, your little one may also start to hear all the noises going on inside you such as your heartbeat and digestive noises.

  • Not only is your baby’s hearing developing this week but so is their feeling, swallowing and reflexes – your little foetus already has a strong grip.

  • At 18 weeks pregnant, your little one may be making facial expressions, although they’re not able to control these expressions just yet.


Pregnancy Calendar
Second Trimester of Pregnancy: Weeks 13-27

How Many Months Is 18 Weeks Pregnant?

You’ve heard your pregnancy described in weeks, but what month is week 18 in pregnancy? There are various methods of assigning the 40 weeks of pregnancy into months; however, at 18 weeks pregnant it’s likely you’re now in your fifth month.

What Size is Your Baby at 18 Weeks Pregnant?

When you’re 18 weeks pregnant, your foetus is around the size of a sweet potato, they measure about 14 centimetres from crown to rump and weigh around 190 grams.

Your Baby: What Does 18 Weeks Pregnant Look Like?

The illustration below shows how things may be looking inside your belly at 18 weeks pregnant:

what does a baby look like at 18 weeks pregnant

Your Body at 18 Weeks Pregnant

Have you felt any little movements from your baby yet? Typically, you'll feel this fluttering for the first time sometime between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy, but if this is your first pregnancy it's more likely to happen after 20 weeks.

If you've felt this swirling, rolling, or bubbling feeling in your belly already – how exciting! If you haven't felt any movement at 18 weeks pregnant, don't worry. Every pregnancy is unique and you may just need to be patient. Soon enough, you'll feel all kinds of kicks and prods. Of course, speak to your doctor or midwife if you're at all concerned.

When you do feel your little one move, don’t forget to download our pregnancy guide because it includes a handy foetal movement tracker.

Your Symptoms at 18 Weeks Pregnant

Here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing at 18 weeks pregnant:

  • Dizzy spells. Feeling dizzy may be a common symptom at 18 weeks pregnant due to low blood pressure, particularly if you stand up quickly. Take things nice and easy.

  • Leg cramps. Around 18 weeks pregnant leg cramps may start to strike. Stretch your calf muscles occasionally and stay well hydrated to help ease those cramps.

  • Nosebleeds or congestion. Thanks to a surge in hormones and increased blood volume during pregnancy, mucous membranes in the nose can swell up. This means you might experience nosebleeds and nasal congestion. You can reduce congestion by rinsing your nose with a saltwater solution.

  • Swollen feet. You may notice your feet swelling due to water retention, a condition known as oedema. This normally occurs from the second trimester onward. Relieve the swelling by raising your feet throughout the day, exercising and drinking lots of water. If you notice sudden swelling, contact your doctor, as this can be a sign of the blood pressure disorder called preeclampsia.

  • Dark line on the abdomen. You might see a dark line starting to appear down the middle of your growing belly. This is called the linea nigra and is completely normal. It will likely disappear within a few months of you giving birth.

  • Hair changes. Your hair may appear thicker and shinier around 18 weeks pregnant and during your second trimester.

What Size is a Pregnant Belly at 18 Weeks?

At 18 weeks pregnant your baby bump may be a little more obvious now. Your baby and uterus are growing, and you may notice changes to your body. Your growing belly can take some getting used to and may cause you to feel clumsier or lead to stomach and lower back pains.

What Does 18 Weeks Pregnant Look Like?

Take a look at our image below for a better idea of what your pregnancy bump may look like in your fifth month, around 18 weeks:

Things to Consider at 18 Weeks Pregnant

From maintaining a healthy diet to thinking about your birth plan, 18 weeks pregnant may come with a lot of things to consider. Here are some things to think about during this period:

  • You don’t actually need to eat for two – even if you’re 18 weeks pregnant with twins. In fact, until you are six months pregnant you won’t really need any extra calories at all – just try to maintain a healthy balanced diet. Talk to your midwife for tailored advice and check out our article on pregnancy weight gain. Typically, pregnant people gain about 10 to 12.5 kilograms during pregnancy but most of this is gained after 20 weeks.

  • You might have more energy this trimester, so this could be a good time to consider going on a holiday. Before picking a destination, read up on flying while pregnant and ask your midwife for their advice, too. If you get the green light, it could be time to pack your bags and enjoy a few days of rest and relaxation.

  • You may notice that everyone from close relatives to complete strangers feels compelled to offer advice about your pregnancy. Although unsolicited opinions can be annoying, try to take them in your stride. You don't have to explain yourself to anyone. A simple ‘Thanks, I'll keep that in mind’ should do the trick. Try to remember that people mean well and they're excited for you. You may even find some of the parenting tips you get are actually helpful.

  • You might want to have a birth plan for labour and childbirth. Look into it and discuss the idea with your midwife. If it’s something you feel would be beneficial for you, start thinking about what preferences you might like to include in your plan. The most important thing to keep in mind while writing your birth plan is that during labour and childbirth things don’t always go to plan!

  • You might have heard of hypnobirthing and be wondering if this form of childbirth class could be a good fit for you. Experts say the ideal time to book a course is after your mid-pregnancy ultrasound scan, which happens when you’re around 18 to 20 weeks pregnant, so now is a great time to start researching a hypnobirthing course in your area if this is something you would like to do. Your doctor or midwife will be able to help you find a course in your area, and you might like to ask other mums in your network for their tips as well.


Tip for Partners

With all the big changes in your life right now, you and your pregnant partner might be feeling a little overwhelmed. It’s totally normal to feel this way – talking to your partner about how you’re feeling and encouraging them to share how they’re feeling can benefit you both. It can help you both understand each other better and work as a team throughout the pregnancy.


Questions for Your Doctor at 18 Weeks Pregnant

If you have any questions and concerns, your GP and midwife are always there to give you guidance and address your concerns. Here are some questions you might like to ask at 18 weeks pregnant:

  • Will I be having a mid-pregnancy ultrasound exam, and when will it be scheduled? The mid-pregnancy ultrasound scan usually happens between 18 and 20 weeks. Ask your GP or midwife about scheduling this and for more information about this scan.

  • When can I find out if I’m having a boy or girl?

  • Can I continue with the exercise I already do or is it time to make changes?

  • Can I get free prescriptions and dentist visits? Both of these are usually free during pregnancy with a Maternity Exemption Certificate or card (MatEx). Ask your GP or midwife for the application form and more details.

  • What should I think about including in my birth plan?


At 18 weeks pregnant and throughout your entire pregnancy, it’s recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a healthy balanced diet, getting some daily exercise, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and reducing caffeine intake. It’s also good to try to avoid processed, fatty and salty foods.

18 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Here’s a simple to-do checklist for you to use at 18 weeks pregnant:

☐ If your growing pregnancy bump is straining out of out of your normal clothes at 18 weeks pregnant, it may be time to look at some maternity wear. Don’t feel you have to go on a spending spree as these clothes may only be suitable for a few months. Supermarkets and charity shops have affordable options, or you could ask friends with young children if they have anything to spare.

☐ Think about telling your work about your pregnancy, if you haven’t already – you might even enjoy using a fun pregnancy announcement for your co-workers. Before you do, read up on your maternity leave rights and responsibilities.

☐ Take our Baby Arrival quiz to discover just how prepared you already are.

☐ Struggling to find the perfect name? Check out our range of baby name lists to help you find the right one.

How We Wrote This Article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the National Health Service (NHS). You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.

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