16 Weeks Pregnant
— Right period to know your baby’s sex
Mid of the first trimester is the right period for planning a vacation. When you are 16 weeks pregnant, you can take your pre-pregnancy vacation and enjoy those beautiful days. During pregnancy week 16, the uterus is now about mid-way to your bellybutton. This makes your stomach to poke out a bit.
Be sure to embrace your new figure and don’t stress over the 5-10 pounds that you have gained. The ideal weight gain during pregnancy is 25-35 pounds. Don’t worry with the weight you are gaining as it is a sign of healthy pregnancy. Healthy eating and regular exercise can help you to stay at healthy weight.
When you are 16 weeks pregnancy, you and your baby undergoes several changes. So, controlling weight gain is especially important because from week 16 onwards you will gain 1 pound a week.
Also, you may start to feel your baby moves during 16 weeks pregnant. These are really light moments and they are called as butterfly touches or butterfly moments. But most first-time mothers may not recognize the fetal moves until pregnancy week 22 to 24. So, even you don’t feel the moments when you are 16 weeks pregnant, it is completely normal and very soon you will experience those memorable moves of your little one. Here are much more exciting features of pregnancy week 16…
Symptoms experienced by a 16 weeks pregnant woman:
When you are 16 weeks pregnant, you may experience nosebleeds and stuffy nose, bleeding gums, inflammation of the feet, abdominal pain due to stretching of the ligaments and also leg veins may become more apparent.
Few women experience nosebleeds and nasal congestion as a pregnancy side effect because of changes in the hormone levels that can cause swelling of the mucus membrane in the nose. Softening of tissues and improved blood volume can also lead to this condition. For some women, this condition may persist for the whole pregnancy period. Also, your uterus is shifting so you may not have to urinate so much.
Vitamin C deficit during pregnancy can also lead to nosebleeds, so raise the consumption of foods rich in vitamin C. Apart from saline drops, usage of other nose drops is strictly prohibited unless prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Physical changes that occur in a 16 weeks pregnant woman:
As the size of the uterus increases a bit more you may feel your uterus under the belly button. With the increased size of the uterus, when you lay on the back, uterus puts pressure on the major blood vessels and causes reduced blood supply to the baby. Also, you need to avoid lying on the stomach as it can put stress on your developing baby. Keeping a pregnancy pillow between the thighs can give better support and reduces the discomfort.
As the each week passes, you will become more and more pregnant and look much more radiant.
Few women may notice a leakage called colostrum from their breasts after 16 weeks to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Colostrum is the first fluid a woman’s breasts produce. The fluid is a clear or creamy-yellow substance that is syrupy in consistency.
Fetal changes that occur in a 16 weeks pregnant woman:
When you are 16 weeks pregnant, the baby is approximately 4.57 inches long and weighs approximately 3.53 oz.
Starting around 16 weeks, external genitalia can be spotted. The 100 million neurons that form in the primary visual cortex develop between now and week 28.
By this week, the baby’s fingers and toe nails have completely developed. Your baby’s bladder is also preparing for life in the outside world by emptying approximately once every hour.
The facial features such as ears and eyes are completely developed and are properly located on the face. The baby’s eyes start to have little movements, but they are still closed. Facial muscles are well developed and the baby is making expressions like squinting and scowling. From this week, your baby’s little heart starts pumping even more blood.
Umbilical cord is attached firmly to the baby’s tummy and the little one gets all the essential nutrients from this. From this week, main focus of the baby is on the complicated circulatory matters.
Baby’s limbs grow longer also they come into normal levels that your baby will have during the birth time. The baby’s head is held elevated and limb movements occur in synchronized fashion.
During pregnancy week 16 ultrasound scan, you will also know whether the little baby is a boy or girl. Most couple wants to keep the baby’s sex as a surprise. But if this is not your first child, better know the baby’s sex to prepare the siblings for the arrival of a new baby sister or brother.
The period between pregnancy weeks 16 to 18 is the time to get a blood screening test, which is known as triple screen or triple marker test. This test is performed to measure the levels of 3 hormone levels, such as: alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), which is a protein released by the fetus, and levels of estriol in your blood and also the levels of HCG hormone.
Triple marker test is conducted to determine whether your baby is at risk of pregnancy complications such as neural tube defects like spina bifida or chromosomal irregularities such as Down syndrome. The test can only determines whether there is risk or not, but the type of abnormality can’t be determined. During your prenatal visit, you can talk with your obstetrician about the benefits and side effects of the test.
Monitor your weight and keep an eye on what you are eating. Fruits, vegetables and dairy are the most important part of your diet.
If the veins in your legs are beginning to bulge, you can use support stocking, elevate the feet whenever it is possible and exercise to improve the blood flow.
Have a wonderful journey of the pregnancy!! Go on to know more about the exciting things during pregnancy week 17…