Pregnancy Week By Week : 16 Weeks Pregnant - What To Expect
Yay mommies! You are 16 weeks pregnant and hopefully enjoying every moment of it. You are probably eating to your heart's content and pu...
Backbone is getting stronger
Your baby is able to retain an upright position by now. The little backbone is gaining strength. The back muscles are also growing stronger so that it can rest on its back once it is born.
Frowns and squints
It is amusing to know that at this stage of your pregnancy, your baby's facial muscles have developed well and they are capable of making expressions like frowning and squinting. The eyes have also developed and have come to the front of the face and the little eyeballs can make side to side movements. However, the eyelids will remain closed till birth.
Your baby has taken a human form and does not look like a tadpole or an alien anymore. But it is quite skinny as of now as there are no fat cells in the body as yet. Your baby has an almost transparent or translucent skin and with close inspection, you can see the blood vessels under the skin. In a few more weeks, there will be fat layers and the skin will become less translucent and more opaque.
Your baby can hear you
By the 16th week, your little one can hear your voice and other sounds that are near the womb. It listens to your blood flow and heartbeat all day long. Studies have shown that babies who have heard their mommy sing in the womb can recognize the voice and the song after birth.
Your baby is about four to five inches long now. It is almost the size of an avocado and weighs three to four ounces. This size is quite a jump from its seed-like form early in the first trimester. However, your baby is still not big enough for you to feel its weight or movements. You may suddenly feel a random kick or twist, but they will not be very frequent at this stage.
Body Changes & Common Symptoms
Congestion in the nasal canal: Your pregnancy hormones may have stopped affecting your mood and senses, but it will now play a rogue with your nose. The circulation of the hormones is responsible for the swelling of the mucous membranes of your nose. This may cause nasal congestion and results in nosebleed sometimes. Saline sprays are safe to use to get rid of the stuffiness, but it is best not to try any other medications for this condition as it may have an adverse effect on your pregnancy. This congestion may get worse in the coming weeks, but it will go when your due date nears.
Change in your body shape: If you have feared this change in your body shape, now is a good time to embrace this fact. By week 16, your body will show clear signs of pregnancy. With the increase in the size of the uterus, your belly will also grow. The baby bump will become more prominent and there will be considerable weight gain. Your face may look puffy and your clothes may not fit anymore. All these changes are fine and natural and you can think of shedding the pounds once your little baby sees the light of the day in a few months time.
The appearance of varicose veins: Around this time of your pregnancy, your body is preparing your mammary glands for milk production. This is why you will notice clear greenish blue veins across your breasts. The milk glands will begin to feel taut and there will be a marked increase in the blood flow in your breasts.
Back pain: With your baby gaining weight and the uterus becoming heavier, it tends to pull you forward. Your back, if left unsupported may experience cramps and aches due to this. Try to keep a backrest when sitting in one position for long, especially if you are required to sit with a laptop or in front of the computer for long hours. Prenatal massages can also help ease the pain followed by a warm shower.
- Avoid standing in one position: In order to provide nutrition to your baby, there is increased blood volume and circulation in your body. The blood vessels experience a higher pressure and your growing womb also tend to compress them. This results in painful varicose veins. In order to minimize the pain, try to move around every 30 minutes if you are seated. Also, don't remain standing in one position for more than 10-15 minutes as it may put greater pressure on your legs. While in a sitting position, keep your feet elevated on a small stool to avoid swelling.
- Comfortable innerwear: This has been discussed in the previous week as well, and by now you should have invested in comfortable bras, thanks to your increased breast size. There is no cause of worry at this change and once you stop feeding your baby (ideally after he or she is a year old) your breasts will return to their normal size.
- Communicate with your health care provider: This is a good time to speak to your gynecologist and have your concerns addressed. If you are suffering from pain in your inner thigh and sides, let your doctor examine you and makes sure that they are due to the stretching of the round ligaments and not something more serious.
This time of your pregnancy is a good time to take a quick vacation or a babymoon as it is called now. Spend quality time with your partner and share your fears and feelings with him about the new phase of your life that is arriving soon. Take care of yourself and enjoy every bit of your pregnancy.
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