A week by week guide to pregnancy - week 18

In December, St James' Palace made one of the most eagerly anticipated announcements in years with the news that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant. And since then, all eyes have been on Kate as she embarks on an incredible nine-month journey into motherhood.

With that in mind, Teresa Walsh, Midwife Childbirth Educator at The Portland Hospital for Women & Children, shares a week-by-week guide to pregnancy with HELLO! .

Week 18

By 18 weeks your bump will be about the size of a cantaloupe melon.

The most amazing thing is noticing your baby's early movements. Those first flutterings might leave you unsure as to what you are feeling, but soon you will be in no doubt when he or she is moving  – and you will notice the baby's movements especially when you are trying to rest. This is a most life affirming message, a secret between you and your baby.

You might be able to see your baby sucking her thumb during ultrasound. Her bones continue to ossify which means they are forming and getting stronger and stronger.

You may also begin to notice stretch marks. These tend to run in families and/or if you gain a little too much weight. Sometimes it feels good to apply some creams but these are questionable in their ability to prevent stretch marks.

Due to an increase in nasal mucous you might be accused of snoring at night. It is also very normal for women to notice an increase in vaginal discharge which has no colour or smell.

By this point you will have a good appetite but remember you do not need to eat for two.

You might consider being selective with what you keep in your fridge and store cupboards. Have healthy snack options available. If you don’t drink milk, cheese, yoghurt, custard, ice-cream, fish with edible bones and even almonds contain calcium, as do green leafy vegetables.

Remember to book your next ultrasound appointment – preferably at a time that you and your partner can attend together.

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