Pregnancy
16 weeks pregnant

Your baby is increasing his movements and even doing somersaults

Things are becoming lively in your uterus. Your baby has plenty of room to move around and he’s making the most of it, stretching and turning. All the activity is good for his future physical and mental development. You might feel like some relaxation, so think about taking a break. The second trimester is usually regarded as the best time in pregnancy for travelling and getting out and about.

 

1.The expanding uterus is now pushing up against your other abdominal organs.

 

 

2.The baby’s rapid heartbeat, easily distinguished from your own, may be strong enough for a doctor or midwife to detect with a hand-held probe.

 

 

3.The mouth opens and shuts regularly, and your baby can swallow, may yawn, and occasionally hiccups.

 

 

4.At 17 weeks the average crown to rump length is 13cm (5.1in) and the average weight is 140g (5oz).

 

 

5.Curling and stretching, arms and legs flailing, the baby is constantly changing position, lying first head-up and then head-down.

 

 

6.Fluid is pushed out of the lungs as the baby practises breathing movements.

 

By the 17th week of pregnancy, your baby is equal to the palm of your hand and is slowly learning to suck and swell, an act that’ll help the baby to be prepared for breast or bottle feeding. You on the other hand, must steer clear of unwanted tummy touching.

Your baby’s development

By now, your little pumpkin is growing fatter and that too quickly. The baby weighs at around 150 grams by now, accompanied with a face that looks entirely human. Specifically, because the eyebrows and eyelashes have now developed, your baby is looking more and more like a human. But having said that, your baby’s eyelids are still fused shit now, but they can still move their eyes around. Your baby’s fat will now continue to grow till the end of your pregnancy.

His or her heartbeat is now getting regulated by brains and is beating at the rate of 140-150 beats per minute, which is nearly around twice as fast as yours. Amazingly, your baby’s toes and fingers are also forming their unique patterns and fingerprints, which will stay with the baby for the rest of his or her entire life. How beautiful it is to think of baby’s fingertips and toes adorning with complete individual swirls and creases, right?

As a matter of the fact, most of the survival reflexes your baby will be bearing at birth is getting perfected in the uterus by now.

Your baby might suffer from little hiccups and you might or might not feel them. One interesting thing to note is that by the 17th week of pregnancy, your baby will be developing brown fat under his or her skin – a layer of fat that will keep the baby warm after birth. Sooner or later, additional layers of fat develop. Your baby also tends to develop air passages as the lungs finish the branching process. By this time, your baby will continue to prepare to take in the oxygen.

Lastly, your baby’s skeleton is starting to shift from soft cartilage to a bone structure, whereas the umbilical cord is supplying enough nutrients to the placenta, which continues to grow stronger and thicken. A 5-inch marvel, calculated from crown to rump, by now your baby is even on the track of developing his or her sweat glands.

Changes in you

By the 17th week of pregnancy, one of the most prominent feeling you would be facing is: is that the wind or my baby moving inside me. As one of the biggest dilemmas by the 17th week of pregnancy, your baby might be wriggling around your tummy by this stage, especially a feeling that occurs in first-time moms. Although some mothers might feel this a bit later in the pregnancy tenure, some expectant mothers describe this feeling as butterflies fluttering around in their tummy or bubbles floating in the stomach. But having said all this, soon these cute descriptions will be replaced by ‘the baby is kicking’ phase!

By now, you would be surely feeling a bit more energetic and being healthy and active is all the more important now. Your healthcare provider might have advised you to engulf yourself in a few pelvic exercises. As these exercises will help in strengthening those muscles, thus helping you hold your womb, lower bowel and bladder in place. These body parts should totally work efficiently after birth and during this period as surrounding these areas is where your baby is currently residing.

By this time, soon your co-workers and friends, also the strangers on road, would notice your baby bump. You would also start having an increase in vaginal discharge, along with greater sensitivity to allergens.

By now your placenta continue to give oxygen and nutrients to your baby, thus helping him or her to eliminate waste. By the 17h week of pregnancy, you would be gaining a minimum of a pound or two in a week, while your muscles, joints and bones soon accommodate to your growing body.

If you have started to become a bit off balance by now, it is only because your usual center of gravity alters and you tend to feel more and more of unsteady feet. In order to avoid your risk of falling during this period, make sure to wear low-heeled or flat shoes as any sort of direct strain or trauma to your abdomen might be dangerous for you or your baby. Lastly, you might feel that your eyes are becoming direr as the pregnancy progresses. In such a case, make sure to opt for gynaecologist-prescribed over-the-counter lubricating drops. Ditch the contact lenses during this period and go for spectacles or glasses until you have given birth.

It is about time you start with a baby name list already or have your partner do the same!

Nutrition for you

  • Weight gain during pregnancy: Best way to gain weight during pregnancy is to do so slowly and gradually. It is quite common for a pregnant woman to gain about 10 to 12 kgs of weight during the whole term of pregnancy. But having said that, women should totally be focused on eating healthy. A well-balanced diet must consist of fruits, vegetables and carbohydrates, along with proteins and dairy foods. When including healthy fats think of jiggery, honey and brown sugar.    
  • Fill up your dietary needs with Omega 3fatty acids: When choosing Omega 3 fatty acids, think of fishes like herrings, mackerel and sardines. They help in developing your baby’s brain, while aiding in the eye development. As far as eating oily fishes are concerned, make sure to not eat more than two portions in a week, also go for small-sized oily fish as it might have less content of mercury when compared to the bigger fishes.
  • Vegetarians fill of Omega 3 fatty acids: Vegetarians should opt for foods, such as tofu, walnuts, soy beans, milk, sesame seeds, leafy green vegetables and eggs. You could also try popping in a fish oil supplement with your doctor advise, which has been especially formulated for pregnant woman.
  • Importance of iodine intake during this stage: By this time, your baby’s thyroid glands are forming and so are his or her hormones, hence it is important to have adequate intake of iron in your body. Rich sources of iodine include haddocks, mackerel, prawn, salmon and sardines. Vegetarians can opt for dairy products, like paneer, butter, yogurts, along with mushrooms, onions and spinaches.
  • Choose from delicious snacks and drinks: When it comes to choosing the right sort of drinks during this stage of pregnancy, go for apple and date smoothie, blackcurrant smoothies andrasam. You can also try uttapams, paneer tikka, soya kebabs and homemade fruit yogurt as healthy snacks.

Nutrition for baby

  • Cater to your growing appetite intelligently: As the pregnancy progresses, you might feel like eating a lot owing to your body’s growing needs. While your toilet-hugging days are now over, women would feel sudden pangs of hunger by the 17th week of pregnancy. Some days you might even out-eat your spouse diet, now that’s a tall order, right? But during this stage, one of the biggest word of advice is to not start eating for two. Opt for healthy foods, which will work greatly in fuelling the growth of a healthy and happy baby.
  • Be cautious with exercising: When it comes to exercises, it is generally recommended to ditch the ones that require you to lie flat on your back. This is because by this stage this position might put you at the risk of compressing major blood cells, also known as vena cava. Lying on the back might lead to decreasing the blood flow for the baby, which is not at all advisable.
  • Make best friends with nutrients: Load up on calcium (low-fat cheese, tofu, almonds, skimmed milk); folic acid (kale, beans, spinach, while-grain breads, while-grain cereals); iron (beefs, nuts, pork, tofu, oatmeal, soy); proteins (turkey, chicken, soybean, pulses); Vitamin A (broccoli, bell peppers, strawberries, mangoes, skin of the potatoes); Vitamin C (sweet potatoes, leafy green, eggs, dairy, carrots, while-grain cereals); and zinc (nuts, legumes, whole grains, spinach, peas and lean dairy).

Common worries

  • Stop the nuisance of snoring: If your partner sleeping next to you tends to find your newly developed snoring habit a nuisance, then blame it on the stuffiness of your nose. This stuffiness tends to contribute towards the most common and quite temporary snoring, which is nothing but the side effects of pregnancy hormones at work. To do away with snoring, try putting a humidifier in your bedroom or may be use those nasal strips. Some people might also feel that sleeping on an elevated head, with a stack of pillows underneath them might help them (and their partner) get a good night’s sleep.
  • Pain in the legs: If you tend to feel a snuggly, but periodic, pain in your legs then it is most likely because your baby is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve – a nerve that runs right from the under of your uterus to the legs. In order to relieve the period pain in your legs, try warming it with a heating pad or using back stretches to ease the pain.
  • Dealing with rashes: Some women might also tend to witness body rashes and new sorts of allergies during pregnancy. If you have been plagued by any of this, then do make it a point to wear loose clothing, lather on some baby powder and talk to your healthcare provider if the problem worsens or persists.
  • Occasional headaches packed with fizziness and dizziness: Blame it on the tension, fatigue or just hormones acting up, pregnancy tends to alleviate the pain. Also, another often ignore symptom of fizziness is dehydration, hence it becomes all the more important to consume a minimum of 7-8 glasses of water in a day.
  • Backaches: The growing belly and overall weight might also lead to backaches, which needs to be dealt by always sitting on a supportive chair at work and on a firm mattress at home. It is also advisable to get a cushion to your workplace or may be placing a board underneath your mattress, which will help in keeping your posture in line.

What do the experts suggest?

“During the 17th week of your pregnancy as your belly grows, you may begin to occasionally feel a little unsteady on your feet. Try to avoid situations with a high risk of falling. You may also notice your eyes going drier. Using lubricating drops may help.

Eat a balanced diet with nutritious foods and taking a prenatal multivitamin significantly impact you and your baby’s health. During your 17th week of pregnancy, it’s important to continue with certain specific nutrients such as proteins, iron, calcium, folic acid, vitamin c and zinc.”

Dr.Birbala Rai,M.B.B.S., M.S. in Obstetrics & gynaecology, Senior Consultant at PSRI Hospital, New Delhi

Seasonal Pregnancy Care

Summer – Keep your home cool by not allowing the direct sunlight to fall into it. You should also think about moving to a cooler, west-facing room as they are generally cooler. Another great trick to be install bamboo blinds in your balcony or verandas as it will help in keeping harsh rays of sun at bay. You could also spray some water on your windows during the evening as it will cool the area around by erupting a lovely fragrance as the air passes through them.

Monsoon –During monsoon, make it a point to wash your hands often with warm and anti-bacterial soap as it will help in keeping water-borne diseases and stomach infection at bay. Another thing to keep in mind during monsoon is to keep your nail trimmed and properly filed. Keep your food items properly covered in refrigerators as it can be one of the major sources of contagious diseases.

Winter – Backache can certainly worsen during winter, hence it is important to stabilise your joints by wearing flat, well-gripped shoes, avoiding garden chores and using a hot water bottle to soothe the aching back, especially in winter months.

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