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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.

Check out this week:
Easy Labor Authors Are Here to Answer Your Questions
Dr. William Camann and Kathryn Alexander, authors of Easy Labor: Every Woman's Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth are here to discuss how you can make confident, informed choices regarding pain relief preferences. [Click Here]
Healthy Pregnancy Over 35 Author Interview
Laura Goetzl, MD, MPH, author of Health Pregnancy Over 35, is visiting to discuss the unique concerns of women over the age of 35. [Click Here]

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 Dad:
Are you a "Mr. Fix-It" kind of guy? It's common for dads to feel very protective of moms. Often, Mom will need a big shoulder to cry on and get out all of those crazy pregnancy emotions. Dad can feel rather helpless listening to Mom carry on, and in his frustration, try to do what he can to "fix" whatever she's grumbling about. Dad, 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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