When you’re pregnant, the fact that there’s another life inside can leave you with a profound feeling. You’ll be bringing a child into this world and that’s a miracle. With the many changes you go through, you’ll also feel the baby growing and developing inside you.
By the time you’re at the 16th week of your pregnancy, you may start to feel the baby move. This is an exciting time especially for first-time mothers. The first movements of the baby are known as “quickening” and can be used to help determine your due date. It’s most likely that you’ll be putting on quite a few baby pounds by now. Your baby too will weigh 3.5 ounces and his eyesight will also have developed by this time, along with the eye-lashes.
The Changes in Your Body That You go Through
At this stage of the pregnancy, your body will go through many changes and you may feel a lot of discomfort.
1. There are many women who go through congestion of the nose and even nosebleeds. This occurs due to altered levels of hormones and this in turn may cause the swelling of the mucous membranes. For some, it continues throughout the pregnancy. Another reason for this could be increase in blood volume and softening of the tissues. Expectant mothers who are deficient in Vitamin C could also suffer from nosebleeds. It would help to increase your intake of foods that are rich in this vitamin. Nose-drops should be avoided unless it’s been recommended by your doctor.
2. When you gain weight, it can make you feel uncomfortable and it can be tough to look at yourself at times. Just remind yourself that it’s good weight that you’ve put on and it’s for a good reason. It shows that both you and your baby are healthy. You shouldn’t worry about how fast you’ll lose the weight after your baby is born or whether you’ll lose any at all. Eat right and try to take 30 minutes or so out of a day to do some light and moderate exercises. No matter what, you’ll be fine. No two women are the same. While some lose the baby fat fast, there are others who need to work a bit harder for it. Whichever type you are, your first priority should be the baby and sooner or later, you’ll lose the weight and get fit again.
3. At this stage of your pregnancy, you can feel your uterus below your belly button and it’s more than likely that you’ve gained about 5-10 pounds. This is a good time to learn to sleep on your side, as lying directly on your back isn’t a good idea. When you lie directly on your back, you can place the uterus on top of major blood vessels and this can decrease circulation of blood to your baby. It’s not a very good idea to lie on your stomach either. It will put pressure on your growing uterus. This could be a great time to invest in a pregnancy pillow so that you get good support while you’re sleeping.
This is a crucial time for any mom-to-be. The changes that go through your body can sometimes make you feel conscious. It’s like you have a whole new body. To show your new body your love, you can buy yourself a treat-a pretty dress that makes you feel and look good or an accessory like a necklace.
Symptoms That You’ll Be Going Through
There are a few symptoms that you’ll be going through during your 16th week. Let’s take a look at some of them:
1. Your breasts will still be growing and this could overwhelm you. However, there’s no need to panic. Once you’ve given birth and start to wean the baby, if you breastfeed him, your breasts will go back to the size they were before you got pregnant.
2. Constipation is something you’ll still be going through at this stage of your pregnancy. There will be some pressure on your bowels from your expanding uterus and pregnancy hormones will also be causing your gastrointestinal tract to be slow. All these cause you to get constipated.
3. There will be an increase in vaginal discharge and this will cause you a lot of discomfort. It’s not a bad thing as it protects the birth canal from any infection. You could be tempted to try out different intimate wipes and washes but the genital tract can be irritated, causing infection; so don’t give in to the temptation.
4. Backaches will occur due to strained back muscles. Your belly gets bigger with each passing week and to accommodate the load, your lower back curves more than it usually does. A warm bath or shower can help quite a bit. You could also ask your partner for a gentle massage or go to a professional who can give you a prenatal massage that will relax you and take away the strains from your body.
5. Do you gums bleed after brushing? Don’t let it alarm you. Pregnancy hormones can cause inflammation of the gums. This can cause bacteria, irritation and bleeding in the gums. It’s important that you continue to care for your teeth and gums. You could also visit a dentist so that you prevent gum disease, which can cause pregnancy complications if it’s left untreated.
Diet - What to Eat and What to Avoid
At this stage of your pregnancy, your diet should be in small portions. It’s also important that it contain all the nutrients. You should avoid foods like chips, chocolate and spicy foods regularly as it will cause weight gain and constipation. You should drink plenty of water to keep the digestive tract clean.
During the 16th week of your pregnancy, there are a number of exercises you can do to relieve yourself of stress and the discomfort you feel due to the weight you’re carrying. Yoga, Kegel exercises and walking are recommended. If you were swimming in your first trimester, it’s safe to do the same during the second trimester as well. You can start now as well. Just do it moderately and don’t exert yourself.
Clothes to wear
Loose-fitting and comfortable clothes are best at this stage. Not only will they provide you with comfort, your baby will feel better as well.
Skin Changes (if any)
During pregnancy, your body produces 50 per cent more blood. This results in more blood circulation through your body and this causes your face to be brighter. Your body is also producing hormones that cause your oil glands to over-work, leaving your face shiny. Both of these things can result in a "pregnancy glow".
Recommended Vitamins and Supplements
According to research, taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy is not only safe for mother and baby, but also can prevent preterm labor and births as well as infections. Iron and folic acid are also recommended as well as vitamin C.
Your doctor will recommend the following tests:
2. Alpha-Feta Protein
3. triple test
Medicines to Be Used and Avoided
You'll need to avoid the pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, sodium salicylate, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Antihistamines chlorpheniramine, loratadine, doxylamine, brompheniramine and diphenhydramine among others are considered low risk during pregnancy. However, they can make you sleepy, especially doxylamine and diphenhydramine.
Myths and Facts
It’s a myth that getting dental treatment during the 16th week of your pregnancy. We have already mentioned earlier that you need to go to a dentist to prevent gum disease.
Your Baby’s Growth and Development
There are a lot of changes and developments in your baby during the 16th week of pregnancy.
1. Your baby will be between to 4 to 4.5 inches from rump to crown.
2. His nails will be formed by now.
3. His ears will have moved from his neck to his head. This means that he can probably hear your voice when you talk to people or sing.
4. His eyes can also make slight movements and he’ll also be able to perceive light. The developments he has made so far are astonishing.
5. While your baby is getting used to the sound of your voice, the little muscles in his tiny body beginning to gain strength. This is especially true of his back muscles, making it possible for him to straighten out a little more than he could a few weeks back.
6.The facial muscles also develop, enabling your baby to make a few expressions like frowning and squinting.
Tips for Dad-to-Be
If it’s been a few months since you and your partner have been to a prenatal meeting, it could be a good idea to go again. You can hear your baby’s heartbeat and connect with him as a couple. When you do this, not only do you connect with your baby, you connect with each other as well. Doing things together as a couple during a pregnancy is just as important as it was before you got pregnant.