Pregnancy
18 weeks and 2 days pregnant

The sound of your baby’s rapidly moving heart muscle can be detected using a simple hand-held listening device – the frequency change it produces is converted into a sound that is easy for you, and your doctor or midwife, to hear.

Your baby’s hiccups become stronger and more frequent as pregnancy progresses, and you may be able to feel them now.

Just like your own, your baby’s hiccups are short, powerful, jerky contractions of the diaphragm, causing a sudden rush of air that closes the opening between the vocal cords.

Hiccups frequently follow each other in rapid succession and are often followed by gentle limb-stretching movements. No one is certain why babies hiccup. Perhaps it’s due to the immaturity of the nerves supplying the diaphragm, or else to your baby’s small stomach quickly becoming over-distended.

Your baby’s ears and eyes are now in their final position on his face. The ears have moved up from the jaw line and the eyes have moved from the side of the head to lie closer together, looking forward. The eyes move beneath the lids but not yet in a co-ordinated way. He will open them at around 26 weeks.

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Your baby is looking more human and fully formed every day, with well-developed facial features and limbs – and he may even get the hiccups.

Many fats are healthy, and should be consumed as part of a heart-healthy diet. The key is to choose healthy fat. For example unsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil, rapeseed (canola) oil, and in nuts and avocados, are good for you and your baby.

Saturated fats, such as those found in butter and whole milk, and trans fats (chemically altered vegetable oils) found in many processed foods, should be kept to a minimum. Substitute good fats for bad fats in your diet:

  • When making a salad dressing or in cooking, choose olive oil or rapeseed (canola) oil. Ready-made salad dressings are often high in saturated fat.

  • Eat nuts and avocados, which are full of healthy fats.

  • Eat white meat as it is lower in saturated fat than red meat.

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