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18 WEEKS, 3 DAYS

151 days to go...

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placenta of human fetus at 18 weeks and 3 days

Your baby today

Coiling is now well established in the umbilical cord. This coiling protects the cord from kinking and from pressing on the umbilical arteries and vein. The coils help ensure that there is a continuous flow of blood both to the placenta and also back to the baby.

Wanting to protect your baby is a natural maternal instinct and it's likely to have started already.

It's understandable that you want your baby to have the best start in life, but this may lead you to unnecessary anxiety about his health and well-being.

You may find yourself worried about things that previously did not bother you. For example, you may use a computer regularly and only now become concerned about the radiation it might produce.

Try to relax and keep concerns in perspective; remember that your baby is very resilient and well-protected inside the uterus. If you have concerns about lifestyle issues or how your baby is developing, your doctor can provide information and reassurance.

Meanwhile, you can take good care of yourself by eating well, exercising regularly, and attending all your prenatal appointments.

Ask A... Doctor

What are the risks if I gain too much weight?

Pregnant women who overeat tend to have larger babies, which can make the delivery more difficult (the baby is more likely to get stuck during the birth) and increase the likelihood of having a cesarean section.

Pregnant women who are overweight are also more likely to experience health complications, such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Their children may be at greater risk of becoming diabetic and being obese in later life.

Most of the research seems to focus on pregnant women who have gained more than 40 lb (18 kg).

pregnant woman talking on phone

Taking care of your baby will become your main concern and there's unlikely to be a day that goes by where you don't consider your baby's well-being.

As A Matter Of Fact

There is no significant radiation from a computer that can affect an unborn baby.

Many studies have been done to examine the low-level radiation that computers and laptops emit, but they've found computers to be safe.

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Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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