At 18 weeks along, your first trimester (and hopefully morning sickness) is behind you and the ‘blooming’ second trimester is about to begin. But, as your bump grows what else can you expect to happen to your body?
Thanks to the pregnancy hormone, progesterone and more oxygen circulating around your body, your skin may begin to look brighter – giving you a healthy glow.
Your hair grows more quickly during this time, while less hairs fall out – which means most of you will get that fashion-shoot look you’ve always wanted: thick, glossy hair. And to add to complete your ‘pregnancy glow’, your skin will retain more moisture, plumping it up a little, smoothing out any fine lines and wrinkles.
The protein balance of your skin changes, losing some of its elasticity and making the outer layers of skin thinner. So, as your skin stretches over your growing bump, darker pigmentation appears. But you’re not alone – 90% of moms-to-be get stretch marks and, fortunately, the pigmentation fades around six months into motherhood.
Many women also discover a dark vertical line running down from their belly button. The ‘linea nigra’ is caused by your hormones producing extra pigmentation. This darker skin also fades with time.
By now, your baby’s brain, spinal cord and heart started have started working and his fingers, toes and genitals have formed. As he grows, he will gradually start to suck, swallow, move around and hear. And, close to the end of this trimester, your baby may begin to respond to sounds. As well as jerking, or kicking when he hears loud bangs, a study has shown that a baby’s heart rate slows when his mom is talking, suggesting that he recognizes the voice and is calmed by the familiar sound.
Please be aware that the information given in these articles is only intended as general advice and should in no way be taken as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you or your family or your child is suffering from symptoms or conditions which are severe or persistent or you need specific medical advice, please seek professional medical assistance. Philips AVENT cannot be held responsible for any damages that result from the use of the information provided on this website.