July 18, 2010
18 weeks: sweet potato
Your baby is growing rapidly. His bones are continuing to harden and the pads of his fingers and toes are formed. He even has his own set of fingerprints developing as well. Your baby is approximately 5.5 inches and weighs about 7.5 ounces.
Your baby can kick, swallow, and sleep. He also is developing his stomach, intestine and colon and the intestines are collecting meconium (the initial stool a baby will pass after birth). If the baby is a boy, the prostate will begin to develop this week as well. The skin is still a bit pink and transparent and his ears still stick out from his head. The four-chambered heart begins to build up muscle cells and is pumping between 25 and 30 quarts of blood per day.
He's busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they're still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he's born.