Pregnancy Week 16
Welcome to this wonderful week 16 as your baby can hear you now. Have you felt some fluttering in your tummy lately? No? Be prepared it can disturb you anytime now. The baby is making extensive movement every time but it can take you a little more to recognize them.
This time is the most beautiful part of pregnancy for most of the couples as many of them plan their baby moon around this time. The irritating symptoms of pregnancy have already subsided and it’s the time when people will talk about your dense, fluffy and thick hair, radiant skin and long nails. Yes! You will get that due to always blamed pregnancy hormones.
Growth and Development of Baby
At 16 weeks, your baby has grown up to four to five inches and weighs around 3-5 ounces. He or she can be roughly compared to the size of avocado fruit. The bones and joints of the baby are almost formed and he is enjoying them by making extensive movements. The body is straightening day by day giving him more human looks. Now, one can easily observe the neck area.
In an ultrasound scan, you can observe your baby wincing and grimacing as the facial muscles are fully developed allowing him to make different facial movements. However, he does not have any control over them yet. Another amazing thing this week is working of baby’s eyes. They can make side by side movements and could respond to the perceiving light as muscles scrunch up the eyes. As told you in earlier week that ear muscles are developing, they are now completely developed giving your baby hearing ability. Now, be careful when you talk, listen and hum as the little life inside you is keeping an account of the same.
The baby has started breathing on her own inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid. Along with this, the other systems like circulatory or urinary are working perfectly. Do you know that the tiny circulatory system of your baby can pump 25 quarts of blood daily? The reproductive organs are fully developed by now and your doctor can easily identify the sex in a sonogram. The transparent skin of baby is turning translucent as the fat has started depositing underneath their skin.
As the baby’s body is almost developed and it further needs only increase in size, he or she is busy playing around in the womb. The kicking, turning, flickering, and somersaulting will be felt as the baby movements soon. Some women start feelings them from the 16th week itself while others are blissfully unaware. If it is your second baby, you will be able to make the movements earlier than the fresher’s.
The first feel of movements is known as quickening which is felt as butterflies fluttering in stomach. Some may mistaken them as gas or upset tummy or muscle twitches. Don’t worry, the movement will be more pronounced within a week or two when the baby becomes stronger and bigger.
Week 16 Ultrasound
By now, you must have already been through a number of antenatal appointments. However, nearby this week, your doctor will call you for ultrasound scan. The scan is performed to know the baby’s development and any abnormalities in the developing organs. If you are at a risk of developing any chromosomal abnormalities in the baby, you may be asked for CVS (Chronic Villus Sampling) and Amniocentesis. These tests can be done anywhere around 12-20 weeks.
Apart from that, this scan can reveal the most surprising part of baby i.e. baby’s sex. If your country’s law allows and you are willing to know about it, you can ask your doctor to kill the suspense.
In some countries, there is strict prohibition on the determination of fetal sex. However, people have evolved their own ways to predict the baby’s sex. True or false, but according to one old wives tale, the baby’s heart beat is somewhat an indicator of baby’s sex too. According to this, if the baby’s heartbeat is less than 140 beats per minute it’s a boy while in case, it is more than 140 beats per minute, it has to be a girl. While this point may sound a bit plausible but one another is about holding a ring on a string on belly and determining the gender.
Believe it or not, they are just a fun time ones to spend with family members. All such tales can only be 50% correct. So, better not rely upon them.
Keep following Tips in mind while planning a baby-moon
Vacation while pregnant unlike the normal vacation demands some additional factors to consider. Though, you are getting your energy back but still it is much less than before pregnancy.
- Pre-vacation planning itself is quite tiring and cumbersome. So, make sure you do not make it stressful. Be sensible while packing and do not pack heavy luggage as you are not allowed for the same.
- Be careful in your journey as you need more bathroom stops and snacks.
- Plan your journey in way which could give you some time or places to sit or relax rather than walking, climbing or travelling.
- Keep yourself hydrated whether it’s a hot or cold climate. Also, make sure that you drink only bottled water. Avoid infectious places, things and people as much as you can.
- Keep all the important and necessary documents in hand like medical file, health insurance, emergency contacts, doctor’s number etc.
- Fruits and vegetables should be peeled and washed before eating.
Changes in Mother’s Body
- If people around you are still in suspense, they must be talking about your radiant skin and that unknown glow on your face. Your hair and nails would have become thicker and longer. You must be getting lot of compliments lately.
- As the uterus is rising, you must have started to show by this week. By now, you were only feeling pregnant but now you are looking pregnant. Your wardrobe must be stacked with new maternity pants and skirts which you must be enjoying wearing. Also, invest some money in maternity underwear to accommodate the growing belly and stay comfortable.
Apart from these, there will be some not so nice symptoms like:
- There is no relief from bigger, tender and sore boobs till now. We can only pacify you by saying that these will return normal after giving birth and weaning. Till then, try different bras and be careful.
- Nasal congestion, nose bleeds and streaming nose is again a common problem in pregnancy. This is due to the increased blood supply to the nasal area. Aromatherapy and steam inhalation can comfort you a bit.
- You are increasingly becoming prone to constipation as the muscles are getting relaxed making bowel movements extremely slow and difficult. The naturally effective remedies for the same include water, fiber, roughage fruits, vegetables and regular exercise.
- Another annoying symptom is the milky white clear vaginal discharge which is likely to increase this time. Until and unless, there is itching, foul smell or weird color, it is not a sign of infection.
- Sudden and sharp twinges of pain are not uncommon during this time. The muscles which are supporting your growing uterus are working hard to support them. Sometime, they even resist the growing expansion. These activities of muscles feel like a sharp pain. Make it a habit of not standing or sitting all of a sudden. Also, try to avoid long hours of standing.
- You may experience sensitiveness and bleeding in your gums while brushing. This is again an indirect effect of pregnancy. Make sure to use soft bristles brush only, floss daily, and don’t forget to clear back of the tongue area where bacteria breed, brush twice daily. Make an appointment with the dentist at least once during pregnancy. Some women may ignore these issues but surprisingly, gingivitis and gum inflammation can be the reasons of premature labor.
- From the moment you conceived the baby has taken over your body and changing it in different manner but now, your mind is also under your baby control. What I mean is you are completely baby focused right now and loosing concentration from other important works and people around. Don’t worry; this is again an indispensible stage of every pregnant woman.
Tips for This Week
Apart from the healthy eating and healthy lifestyle with regular exercise regime which you need to follow throughout the pregnancy, here are some other important to-do things for this week.
- Women who are pregnant in the flu susceptible months (i.e. from June to September) must get immunized. This vaccine serves as a protective factor without affecting the growing baby.
- Use sun blocks or sunscreens while moving out as melanin is more active around this time.
- Do not stand in one position for long and while sitting keep your feet elevated otherwise the growing uterus can compress veins and cause pain.
- Discuss any odd, not so discussed or any weird symptoms in your body with your doctor. Do not hesitate or delay in this.
Interesting Things to Do
- As you begin to show, start taking your bump photos right from this month until last. This will be nice keepsake as once baby is there, you will forget about your baby bump. These photos will revive your memories. Video diaries can also be a good idea. Try to include your partner also in some photos and videos.
- If you know the baby’s sex, try thinking the cute names. If still in suspense, try to keep 4-5 options for both genders. Involve your partner in this activity. This will be a nice activity together to revive your relationship which went through a stressful time in last trimester.
- As now, when your baby can hear you, extract sometime of your bust day and talk to your baby in separation. This will help you establish even stronger bond with your baby, which will help you complete the pregnancy journey with ease and comfort.
- Talk to your older children (if any) about their coming sibling. Make them feel connected with their younger sister or brother so that they do not feel annoyed sharing their mom and dad with another person.
With one more week to complete, you will be entering second month of second trimester. Just relax and enjoy your pregnancy and be aware of health precautions. No one can know and understand your body better than you. Take care!