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Week 18
(counting from first day of last menstrual period)
Around 16 Weeks After Conception

Please keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. If you have any questions, please check with your care provider.

Fetal Development:
Four MonthsOur little one is nearly half a pound now and very human looking. Pads are forming on the fingertips and toes, and the eyes are looking forward rather than out the sides of the head. Meconium, the baby's first bowel movement, is accumulating within the bowel. If your baby is a boy, his prostate gland is beginning to develop.

If you notice your belly making jerky movements in sync, don't panic; your baby may have the hiccups!

Maternal Changes:
Feeling dizzy, lightheaded or faint are normal during pregnancy. These symptoms aren't harmful unless they occur frequently or severely. "Postural hypotension" is low blood pressure due to a change in position and happens frequently in pregnancy because your cardiovascular system doesn't react as fast.

Your uterus is just below your belly button now.

If you're having an ultrasound to verify fetal age or for other reasons, your careprovider will probably schedule it between now and 20 weeks. It's often possible to determine your baby's sex at this stage, and you'll be able to tell arms from legs and all sorts of delightful details!

Ideas for Partners:
Are you a "Fix-It" kind of person? Often, Mom will need a big shoulder to cry on and get out all of those crazy pregnancy emotions. It can make you feel rather helpless listening to her carry on, and in your frustration, try to do what you can to "fix" whatever she's grumbling about. Just relax. Nine times out of ten, Mom just needs to vent and really doesn't expect you to act upon her complaints. As hard as it may be for you, just LISTEN! Give her your undivided attention. This is the best gift you can give to Mom.

Inspirational Thoughts:
If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much. ~Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Reading:
The Mother of All Pregnancy Books: The Ultimate Guide to Conception, Birth, and Everything In Between by Ann Douglas, published by John Wiley & Sons, 2002

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