Week 18

It's all action inside you at the moment - your baby is moving around, stretching, boxing, turning head over heels, thumb sucking, swallowing, and much more!
If you or your partner want to talk or sing to the baby, go right ahead – he or she is aware of sounds from outside and also hears your heartbeat and other body noises.
Your baby is nicely protected in the womb and receives all the nourishment needed through the placenta.

Changes in your body

As your uterus grows, it starts to exert pressure on the surrounding organs and blood vessels. This means that if you’ve been lying down or sitting for some time, you probably don't want to get up too quickly in case you become dizzy.

Your ligaments are also softening, which will come in handy during the birth, but also makes sprains or strains a bit more likely. You may also start to feel some back pain, particularly in your lower back, as your bump gets heavier and your centre of gravity changes.

It's a good idea to be extra-careful if you need to lift any heavy objects – or better yet, ask someone else to do it for you. A soothing back massage from your partner can help with mild aches and pains, but you should probably see your doctor or GP if any pain becomes severe or intense.

Swimming and walking are both excellent ways to help your body stay strong enough to handle the extra load you're under - and it's a good idea to start doing some pelvic floor exercises as well, if you aren't doing them already.

Tip on exercising when pregnant

Be proud of your bump!

Some of the great advantages of being pregnant (besides not having to hold your tummy in) include thick glossy hair, that lovely glow and an amplified cleavage. Don’t be surprised if your partner thinks you're extra-gorgeous right now - many do!

You might also find that total strangers want to talk to you about pregnancy or babies - lots of people just love pregnant women! This doesn't mean, of course, that you have to put up with intrusive comments, but if you're keen to chat about your pregnancy, you'll almost certainly find lots of people to do it with!