The bump starts here, announcing your pregnancy to the world
Some days, you’ll take huge pride in your emerging bump, on other days you may sigh for the loss of a trim figure. Enjoy your changing shape – you’ll probably find that your partner loves it, too. For many couples, this can be a time of increased interest in sex. If you have any emotional or physical worries, there’ll be an opportunity to discuss them with your midwife. Another antenatal check is likely to take place this week.
1.Facial muscles have developed enough for the baby to pull faces, such as frowning, although she has no control over her expressions.
2.In the brain, nerve cells are forming and moving from the central to the outer areas. As yet, any neural activity is still very immature.
3.The skin is quite smooth and has a reddish tinge, as there is very little underlying fat.
4.The gut is too immature to function properly but it can take in the tiny amounts of amniotic fluid that the baby swallows at infrequent intervals.
5.At 16 weeks the average crown to rump length is 11.6cm (4.6in) and the average weight is 100g (3.5oz).
6.Greater mobility in the hands means that the baby is able to suck her thumb.
By now your baby is the size of an avocado and he or she is slowly developing eyesight and eyelashes, while you would be just packing on pounds.
Your baby’s development
Your baby is ready for a growth spurt now and in a matter of just next few weeks, your tiny tot will be doubling in weight, adding a lot of inches to its length. As of now, he or she is the size of an avocado, which equals to around 4.5 inches in height, from head to rump. Legs are quite developed now and his head will be more erect than some past few weeks. Even though he or she isn’t quite recognisable yet, the baby would have a more flattened scalped now. Apart from this, a lot more must be happening inside you – from his or her growing toenails to heart pumping around 25 quarts of blood each day.
Now that your baby’s backbone has become more erect, he or she can easily stretch or flex those muscles. They will be straightening out their back and neck all the more now, while the nervous system is busy making connections to the muscles. Not only this, even your baby’s face can now move too, indicating that he or she is developing the facial expressions successfully.
Slowly but gradually, you will be able to feel fetal movements inside of you as your baby’s bones are hardening and developing a big growth spurt. If you could hold your baby now, he or she could fit into the palm of your hand, while the growing fetus will give your baby the room to play with the umbilical cord – a sign that your baby can now fully grasp into objects. Not only this, he or she will be able to kick the amniotic sac or put the thumb in its mouth.
Since there is no actual baby fat yet, your baby is developing in the fetus while his skin would be looking transparent, more paper-like. Practically translucent now, if you would have been able to look at your baby during this stage, you will be able to look at blood vessels under that thin skin.
One remarkable thing by now is that your baby’s ears and tiny bones inside the ears are in place, making the baby to hear your voice by the 16th week of pregnancy. In fact, many of the studies have also found that babies who hear the song in the womb tend to recognise the same voice when they are born, hence do choose your lullabies with that concept in mind.
Changes in you
By the 16th week of pregnancy, the placements of your uterus is going to be around halfway between your navel and your pubic bone. The ligaments that are circling your uterus are gaining more and more stretch and thickening too as they are growing. As of now you would be feeling more or less one with your body and you might be settling up with the terms of being pregnant. This stage is often characterised by glowing skin, fewer mood swings and next to nil nausea. While you might have been feeling an overall sense of well-being, some women by this stage might not be feeling their baby until they reach the 18th week mark. And yes, if this is your first very baby, then you might not be aware of your baby’s kicks and feel until you reach the 20th week of pregnancy. The earliest kicks you might feel from your baby would be like gas bubble, flutters and even a feeling where you might think popcorns are popping in your stomach.
By now you will be having a whole cup of amniotic fluid inside of you, hence making your pelvic region to look all the heavier and firm. You would be feeling a lot heavier too, which would mean an extra flow of blood and fluid volume in your body, packed with enlarged breasts and development of placenta.
During your antenatal appointment at this stage, your doctor would be conducting a routine blood pressure, urine and blood tests on you. If your doctor sees any kind of abnormalities in your baby, he or she will soon advise you to go for anomaly scan, which is offered to women generally between 18th to 20th week of pregnancy. This test is particularly advisable for women who have a higher risk for Down’s syndrome.
Lastly, some women might feel that their libido boosts up by this stage, leading to an increase in sex drive. But this might not be true in all cases. When you are being intimate and negotiating the bump during this stage of pregnancy, it is better to speak to your doctor regarding taking precautions during sex in pregnancy.
Nutrition for you
- How much weight should I gain now?If you were starting off on an average weight during the onset of your pregnancy, then you should have gained an average of 12 to 14 pounds of weight during this trimester, resulting in a totally of 25 to 25 pounds of weight all throughout the pregnancy. Depending upon whether you have initiated your pregnancy with an overweight or underweight issue, then your caregiver might advise you the right amount of weight you should be gaining by now.
- How can I keep my weight gain on track?You can totally keep your weight gain on track by not going all over your food and eating for two. Instead, you should be focused on taking in a minimum of 340 extra calories a day – an ideal guideline on pregnancy weight gain. And yes, the total amount of calories might vary based upon your weight, activity level and if you are carrying twins or more than twins.
Nutrition for baby
- Load up on fluids: Whenever you sweat during exercising or during any sort of vigorous activity, make it a point to compensate for the sweat loss by taking in more and more of liquids. The equation goes like, for every half an hour of exercise, be sure to drink upon an extra glass of water or liquid to your daily total.
- Iron it up! Iron is totally important during the 16th week of pregnancy as it helps in forming or producing red blood cells, something your growing and developing body needs in plenty. Also, without having enough quantities of iron in your blood, you might become anaemic, which might make you tired often, adding to your susceptibility of illness.
- Treat up a runny nose effectively: By the 16th week of pregnancy, you might be suffering from nose stuffiness, nose congestion or nosebleeds. This is mainly happening because your body is pumping extra amounts of blood, which in turn creates havoc for your nose.
- Decrease the intake of these food groups: Anything and everything that adds to your empty calorie woes should be totally ditched. From saturated and trans fats to sweetened beverages and other refined sugars should be best avoided.
- Nose congestion:It is just not your uterus that swells up during your pregnancy, it is also the mucous membranes of your nose that swells up due to the increasing blood flow. This might result into severe nose bleeding or congestions, which at times worsens all the more as ad when the pregnancy term continues. In such a case, try humidifier when you sleep, drink enough liquids in order to keep the passage of nasal moist, try saline drops only after your gynaecologist approves it and lather on a few pumps of petroleum jelly around your nostrils to keep it soft and moisten.
- If you're gaining too much of weight: Some women tend to gain a lot of weight quickly during pregnancy, and in such a s case it isn’t just advisable to skip meals during pregnancy or to go for low-calorie diet. Instead, make sure to start your day with a breakfast that constitutes of complex carbohydrates, fibers, healthy fats and proteins. Your lunch must constitute of healthy vegetables, lean meat and low-fat dairy products. Skip sugar-loaded desserts, packaged snacks and processed foods for snacks, and instead go for plain yogurts, hummus, nut butters, baby carrot, cucumbers, apples and bananas for healthy evening snack. Drink water instead of drinking soda, and exercise often for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes daily.
- If you're having a hard time gaining enough weight: In such a scenario, make it a point to drink a glass of milkshake daily to boost your calorie and calcium intake. Try and consume as much as nutrient-dense foods and eat dried fruits instead of eating a lot of fresh fruits. Do eat frequent snack as it will help in adding pounds to your waistline.
- Backaches:As and when your baby gets big, you are bound to get that extra pressure on your lower back curves, resulting in strained back muscles. You can soothe the sore back muscles by getting a warm bath or taking a prenatal massage.
- Bleeding gums: Sensitive gums or teeth: You might continue to suffer from sensitive teeth or gums during the 16th week of pregnancy. Often leading to an inflammation of gums, this symptom is not anything to be scared about, as this problem subsides post giving birth to the baby. But if you simply don’t take good care of your teeth, then you need to worry as gingivitis can leads to an infection of bones and tissues and bones, called periodontitis. A condition that is often being linked with preeclampsia and premature labor. Maintain a good oral hygiene and brush a minimum of two times in day while gently flossing daily. This will not only help in reducing gum swelling, but it will also help in treating bleeding and soreness.
What do the experts suggest?
“You’re four weeks from the midpoint of your pregnancy. You start feeling the baby move any day now. This second trimester is sometimes called the honeymoon phase of pregnancy. You now sleep in a sounder and peaceful manner than before. It is advised to stop sleeping on your back at this time. This means using extra pillows to support your body. The increase in blood flow throughout your body may make your face look brighter. Increase in active hormones may start making your skin oilier and shinier these days. It is referred to as the pregnancy glow.
Many women get past the morning sickness phase of their pregnancy around this time. However, other problems such as constipation, heartburn and haemorrhoids may become a problem. If constipation becomes troublesome, be sure to eat high-fiber foods, such as fresh and dried fruits, vegetables, beans, almonds, bran cereals, and other whole grains. Watch out for high-fat, low-fiber foods such as cheese and processed meats, which can worsen constipation. If heartburn develops fried or spicy foods are to be blamed.”
Dr. Birbala Rai, M.B.B.S., M.S. in Obstetrics & gynaecology, Senior Consultant at PSRI Hospital, New Delhi
Seasonal Pregnancy Care
Summer – As your body temperature is already slightly higher, make sure to not add to it as it might put you at the risk of heat exhaustion. Keep you and your baby cool by wearing summer-appropriate fabrics, such as cotton, linen. Skip polyester. Bathe often as it will help in keeping your body temperature cooler. Also, do carry a homemade mist made from water, Aloe Vera gel, green tea and mint extract in your bag always with you.
Monsoon –Make sure to avoid eating fruits like jackfruits, along with chutney and pickles as it might lead to water retention in your body.Bath at least twice a day to keep sweat and grim off. Do make it a point to get your home sanitised right before monsoon. Getting a proper team of pest control to handle this would be a good idea. This will help in killing any sort of mosquitoes, cockroaches, termites and flies. But, under all circumstances totally stay away from pest control smoke as it might interfere with your pregnancy in a not so positive way.
Winter – Depending upon what sort of winters you experience around you; winters can indeed be a very challenging weather for expecting mothers. Usually it is observed that pregnant mothers are often overheated and winter can certainly provide a cooling effect on their body and mind. Tackle dry and itchy skin during winter effectively, but most importantly make sure to take proper precautions to stay away from cold and flu.
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