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18 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development

One of a kind. This week, your little one is developing a unique characteristic: fingerprints. Pads of fat accumulating on the fingertips and toes will turn into distinguishing swirling lines.

Prepping the plumbing. The developing digestive system has been going through its paces for several weeks already. The fetus swallows amniotic fluid, which makes its way through the stomach and intestines. That fluid now combines with dead cells and secretions in the intestines to form meconium. Meconium is the black, tarry substance you'll see during the very first diaper change.

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18 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

Advice overload. You may notice that everyone, from your mother-in-law to complete strangers, feels compelled to offer advice about your pregnancy. While unsolicited opinions can be annoying, try to take them in 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 that they're excited for you too.

Dizzy spells. Your heart is working 40 to 50 percent harder than it did before you were pregnant. This effort, combined with the pressure of your growing uterus on blood vessels, can occasionally leave you feeling faint, particularly when you get up quickly. Be sure to rest frequently. Lie down on your left side for a few minutes several times a day to increase your circulation. Low blood sugar can also lead to wooziness. Resting, lying down on your side, or eating a piece of fruit will help with circulation and settling dizzy spells.

Mini moves. Most women first feel their little one's movements between 16 and 20 weeks. Your little one is still small, so it'll be more of a gentle flutter than a forceful kick.

18 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Graciously listen to unsolicited advice, even if you’re not going to follow it

Boost your circulation by resting while lying on your side or eating a piece of fruit

Start collecting books to read to your baby

Sign up for weekly pregnancy tips

18 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Sign up for weekly pregnancy tips:

Graciously listen to unsolicited advice, even if you’re not going to follow it

Boost your circulation by resting while lying on your side or eating a piece of fruit

Start collecting books to read to your baby

Sign up for weekly pregnancy tips:

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