17 – 20
is the time to enjoy your pregnancy, as you are
feeling much better. You are also in a much better
position to enjoy all the pampering you get.
Though the changes
of 2nd half of pregnancy has started,
they have not reached their peak so as to prove
troublesome. Hence you can take your mind away
from the pains and pay more attention to the pleasures
they are marginally more severe.The linea nigra
may become prominent and stretch marks also may
start appearing on the abdomen.These stretch marks
depend on the elasticity and tone of your skin
as well as the hereditary factors. Some of you
may go through pregnancy without any stretch marks
at all.Those who have stretch marks need not despair,
these usually fade after deliver. There are a
lot of anti stretch mark creams available in the
market. None of them can guarantee to prevent
stretch mark completely. Massaging with plain
oil or cream is as effective as massaging with
these creams. Your spouse can do the art of massaging
the cream. It is both fun and helps in bonding
of the spouse to be father to the pregnancy.
You may start feeling
some movement in your lower abdomen. These are
the foetal movements and kicks usually perceived
at around 18 – 20 weeks of pregnancy and thence
till term / delivery.
The baby’s limbs
are completely formed. So also the skin and the
muscles.The length of the baby is between 7 –
10" (18 – 25 cms) the teeth buds have begun forming
in the gums by 18 – 19 weeks.Vernix, which is
a cheesy white substance covering the baby’s skin,
has also made its appearance.
Body and You
uterus is easily palpable and at 18 weeks it is
half way between your pubic bone and navel.You
can also appreciate feotal movements another event,
which can be appreciated, is painless contractions
or hardening of your uterus intermittently. These
are a normal finding during pregnancy and are
called "BRAXTON – HICKS" Contraction and are nothing
to worry about (as long as they are not accompanied
by pain and bleeding)Your spouse can appreciate
the foetal movements and uterine contraction by
placing the hand gently but firmly over the uterus
in the lower abdomen.This is an event, which needs
celebration, or this is the first feel of your
baby.You must have started putting on weight and
inches around your waist and hubs. Your breast
has also significantly increased in size and may
need a bra one size larger for support.One should
be careful to avoid putting an excessive weight.
The usual weight gain in around 11b/week. The
weight gain between 13 – 28 weeks is around 5
– 6 kgs over the pre-pregnant state. .
Emotionally you are much more stable than before.Your
mood swings have reduced, but irritability still
occasionally occurs. There is also an acceptance
of the reality of pregnancy.
ToYour Doctor .
visits to your doctor at monthly intervals will
continue. Some of the additional things done during
this period will be:
- Giving you your
1st tetanus toxoid injection (vaccine).
The 2nd one will be given 4 – 6 weeks
- An ultrasound
scan may be done especially to rule out any
birth malformation or defects (though all of
them cannot be diagnosed on an ultrasound scan).
- Certain selected
individuals may undergo special tests like amniocentensis,
Triple tests etc….
- Weight gain is
approximately 1.5 – 2 Kg per month between 14
– 28 weeks (1 pound / week approximately 12
– 14 pounds in total during this period). Excessive
weight gain is not good and weight gain more
than 2 pounds /after 20 weeks should raise the
suspicion of pregnancy induced Hypertension.
the previously mentioned facts, some points worth
weeks is legally a very important land mark.
Medical termination of pregnancy (MTP or abortions)
can be now done up to this week now that the
abortion laws are much more relaxed.
method of performing this of abortion though
is slightly different from that followed during
an early less than or equal to 3 months old
is also the time to have a look at your wardrobe
if you are not the "sari" wearing kinds. Women
who wear saris exclusively don’t have too
much of a problem as "one size fits all".As
your body is undergoing a fast and obvious
change, it would be a sound idea to go in
far loose apparel; keeping your future body
image in mind.You may also have to change
the size of your bra. Buying one that fits
well is important to prevent your breasts
from sagging later on.Dresses that are front
opening are comfortable and may be found useful
later on during breast-feeding.
- If you wear contacts,
you may experience some discomfort due to changes
in the eye. These revert back after pregnancy
it is advisable to consult your ophthalmologist
or change over to conventional spectacles for