Eighteenth week of pregnancy

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Future child

Height - 20-22 cm, weight - 200-210 g.

This week, you can already feel the movement of the child, through the stethoscope, you can clearly hear the heartbeat. Now an ultrasound scan can determine whether there are any suspicions of congenital defects - defects in the structure of the heart and large vessels.

Congenital pathology occurs in about 5 newborns out of 1000. In recent years, this figure has been growing due to the improvement of instruments and the quality of diagnostics. Most of the defects are amenable to surgery, so these babies can develop normally.

Until now, doctors do not know most of the factors leading to congenital heart defects (CHD). It has been established that the cause of dysfunction is not necessarily a genetic predisposition. So, for example, if one child in the family has a heart defect, then the risk of having a second child with a similar disease is only 1-5%.

According to statistics, there are seasonal correlations in the birth of children with different types of CHD. For example, patent ductus arteriosus is more common in girls born between October and January. In March and April, boys are more often born with coarctation of the aorta (congenital narrowing of the aorta in some area), and in September and October, such boys are not born at all.

Sometimes in some geographic area, many children with CHD suddenly appear, it even resembles an epidemic. Scientists believe that such seasonal and geographical fluctuations may be associated with the effects of unfavorable ecology, as well as viral epidemics such as influenza and rubella (especially if the epidemic occurred in the first three months of pregnancy).

This can especially affect if the unborn child and his mother are affected by other unfavorable factors: genetic predisposition, general weakening of the body, other viral diseases, diabetes in the mother, stress. Of course, alcohol, tobacco and some drugs are dangerous: the anticonvulsant hydantoin, trimethadione, drugs containing amphetamines, lithium and progestogens.

Additional risk factors are the mother's age, the threat of miscarriage and the woman's intake of endocrine drugs to maintain pregnancy, the woman's previous stillbirth, and endocrine disorders in the spouses.

If the doctor discovers the possibility of CHD in the fetus, he is obliged to send the woman for repeated examinations (ultrasound of the fetal heart, electrocardiogram, phonocardiogram) under the close supervision of specialists. In severe forms of CHD, childbirth takes place in a specialized hospital. Often, the expectant mother starts taking special supportive medications.

It should be noted that doctors usually treat the possibility of CHD very carefully and believe that it is better to play it safe than not to be insured. Therefore, you should not be seriously worried if the doctor sends you for additional special examinations. In the overwhelming majority of cases, suspicions of CHD are removed.

Future mom

Your weight gain has reached 6 kg (normal). A little more than half of the pregnancy lies ahead. If you are gaining too much weight, talk to your doctor. In the second and third trimester, you will gain a lot of weight, but by the end of pregnancy it is still not advisable to add more than 15 kg. If you gain more, it will be more difficult for you to give birth and it will be more difficult for you to return to your previous size after giving birth.

The bottom of the uterus is two fingers below the navel. Its height is at least 16 cm. It is comparable in size to an average melon. This week, you can already feel your baby moving, even if your first pregnancy.

If you haven't purchased a maternity brace yet, now is the time to do so. Why is it needed? First, it supports your enlarging belly, which will look less saggy after childbirth. Secondly, the brace lightens the strain on your back, which is very important. After all, the larger the child becomes, the more difficult it is for your spine.

In addition to the fact that the uterus presses on him, he has to carry additional kilograms of weight, which are rapidly falling on him. No joke, for 9 months to get another 12-15 kilograms in the load, and then work very hard during childbirth.

To prevent intervertebral hernia and other complications, as well as back pain, which can bring the expectant mother to an almost immobile state, a special bandage is needed. There are many models on the market and you need to be patient to find the one that works for you. But the effort and money spent is worth it.

To keep yourself in good shape and to prepare for childbirth, you should do special exercises. Many expectant mothers specially enroll in preparation courses for childbirth, where instructors show them all these exercises. We will present some of them.

Kegel exercises.

1. Temporary retention of urination - if this is easy and without problems, then your pelvic floor has the correct shape. If it doesn't work out, practice, after a while you will succeed.
2. Repetitive contractions - Contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles. First, do 10 times 4 times a day, gradually bring up to 50 times 4 times a day.
3. Hold - Contract your pelvic floor muscles, count to 5, then relax. Perform 10 times. When you can reach the 15-20 second delay, you will be at your maximum fitness level. Just please do it gradually.
These exercises should be performed in different positions: sitting, standing, lying down, on all fours.

Stretching exercises.

1. This complex prepares the muscles of the thighs and pelvis for childbirth.
2. Squatting for 1 minute 10 times a day.
3. Sitting in Turkish for 10 minutes 2-3 times a day, keep your back straight.
4. Stretching sitting in Turkish. Sit in a Turkish position with your heels together and try to reach the floor with your knees. Just try, it is not at all necessary to get it, only very trained women are capable of this.
5. Rotation of the shoulders - lift them forward, up to the ears, then back and down. This is how the muscles of the shoulders and neck are trained, which receive a very serious load during childbirth and then when caring for the baby.
6. Knees to chest - get on all fours, rest your knees and palms on the floor, arch your back up like a cat, and try to pull your head down to your knees. Do it for five minutes a day. This position is very comfortable when your back hurts.

In addition to special exercises to prepare for childbirth, you can engage in reasonable limits and normal physical exercise. The main thing is not to overdo it. Now you go in for sports not in order to surprise the coaches with your results and not in order to lose weight, but solely to give the body an additional warm-up, as a result of which oxygen is produced vital for the baby and you. If you are at risk or have had miscarriages, then physical activity may not be worth it.

The most beneficial sport for pregnant women is swimming. If you can swim, that's great, try to do it as often as possible. If you don't know how, just go to the pool and swim where it's shallow. Water and all types of movement in it are very useful for the body of the expectant mother.

Walking is also a sport for pregnant women. It is useful for them to walk, especially in nature. Choose a park for yourself or go to the dacha, if you have one, and walk 4 km a day at a calm pace. By the end of pregnancy, the distance should be reduced, but do not cancel walks.

If you find yourself at the seaside during pregnancy, use the healing power of thalassotherapy. Walking along the beach barefoot on the sand in the morning or evening (when it's not hot) is an ideal way to improve your health and help your baby develop. Swimming in the sea is also much healthier than swimming in the pool.

It is better not to do running, unless you actively ran before pregnancy, and you do not have any complications. But still, by the second trimester, it is advisable to turn running into walking.

You can not do everything that can lead to falls, blows, back strain. For example: equestrian sports, cycling, skiing, skating, motorcycles are all prohibited. You shouldn't play tennis, football, basketball and other ball exercises. Golf, as a very relaxed sport, can be good as fun while walking.

Sauna, steam bath and solarium, although they give vigor to the body, are undesirable during pregnancy. It is better to replace all this with a trip to the shore of the warm sea. The second trimester is almost an ideal time to travel. In the third trimester, of course, it is undesirable to go far from home and the doctor.

Choose, where possible, travel by train or car; during takeoff and landing in an airplane, a pressure drop occurs, which can (although such cases are rare) have a negative effect. And be sure to take out increased health insurance, especially if you travel abroad.

17 weeks - 18 weeks - 19 weeks

Watch the video: 18 Weeks Pregnant: What Does Every Woman Need To Understand

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