At week 16 of being pregnant, both you and your little one are growing big. This means that you are gaining more weight and at the same time, your baby is in his way of developing more mass. Learn more about your baby’s development inside your womb, as well as the symptoms you will experience when you are 16 weeks pregnant.
How is Your Baby at 16th Week of Pregnancy
Your sixteen week-old fetus has a length of 4 to 5 inches and has a weight of 3 to 4 ounces. Most probably, he or she is as big as the placenta by now. Babies at this gestational age are able to hold their heads up easily and on their own. Also, their facial muscles have developed and so they are able to make various kinds of facial expressions including frowns and smiles.
One of the most exciting occurrences at this phase is that the baby’s genital is fully developed. The genitals can be seen clearly enough during a sonogram. In this case, you will be able to know whether you are carrying a baby boy or a baby girl. Another wonderful happening at week 16 is that you may already feel your baby’s movements. It is during this time that fetal activities are first noticed.
Furthermore, your baby’s eyes are starting to function. His or her eyes can make little side-to-side movements. Babies this old have been seen covering their eyes with their hands when stricken by bright lights. Aside from sight, his sense of hearing is beginning to become clear as well. It is because bones are already positioned in his ears. This means that your baby is able to hear your voice while you sing or talk to your husband or someone else.
Your baby is also able to breathe on his or her own. He or she can inhale and exhale through the surrounding amniotic fluid. Fats are also built under the skin. These fats act as the baby’s insulation. Lastly, both circulatory and urinary systems are working. As a result, your baby pumps about twenty five quarts of blood every day.
How is Your Body While You are 16 Weeks Pregnant
For some women, seeing themselves gain weight is heart-breaking. However, in pregnancy, it is inevitable not to obtain weight. During this week, you will notice that you continue to get heavier. Though it is challenging, remember that there is a great reason behind it and it is none other than your baby. Just make it a point that you are eating right, meaning less junk and more nutrient-dense foods and getting a good exercise. In this way, you will adapt to weight gain easily. Apart from earning extra pounds, there are other things that you should be ready about during this week of pregnancy.
1. Nasal Congestion
Pregnancy hormones make the mucous membranes in your body to inflame. One of the mostly affected of these membranes is the nose. When nasal congestion occurs, along with irritation and nose bleeding, using a saline nasal spray or nasal strip can provide you comfort and relief. You can also take a warm bath every morning in about 20 minutes. Utilizing a humidifier can aid in clearing the stuffy nose, too.
Additionally, if nasal congestion causes you headaches, avoid ibuprofen or aspirin because they can have negative effects on your baby’s development. The best medication is acetaminophen which is commonly contained in Tylenol.
2. Bleeding Gums
You will notice that your gums bleed after brushing. It is due to pregnancy hormones which make the gums swell and more prone to bacteria and infection. Although it is a normal occurrence, it is still essential to brush and floss on a regular basis. In addition, visit your dentist once or as many times needed during the course of your pregnancy to treat gum diseases that may cause complications when left untreated.
3. Breast Growth
Your breasts will continue to grow as it prepares milk for your baby. Do not get overwhelmed about this because after delivery, especially if you opt to breastfeed your baby, your breasts will get back to its normal size. In the meantime, you can use brassieres that are larger in size, as well as maternity clothes that are more suitable for your frame.
As your uterus continues to expand, the lower portion of your back accommodates the additional load by curving more than the usual. Due to this, muscles on that area can be strained. A prenatal massage and a warm shower are good ways of soothing these tensed muscles.
Again, it is these pregnancy hormones that lead to delay of gastrointestinal activities. Aside from this, your growing uterus slows down your bowel movements by putting significant pressure on the involved body parts. To combat constipation, it is important that you take in lots of water and other liquids.
6. Increased Vaginal Discharge
Your vaginal discharge provides benefits to your body. It is essential in protecting your birth canal from getting unnecessary bacteria that cause infection. However, during pregnancy, the amount of your vaginal discharge increases and this can sometimes be uncomfortable. Although using feminine wipes or douches can bring you relief, they are not recommended because they induce genital tract irritation and infection.
7. Varicose Veins
For some women, varicose veins become clearer at this stage of pregnancy. One thing you can do to constrict these veins is to maintain a gradual and healthy weight gain. You also have to keep up with the range your healthcare provider recommended. Obtaining weight in a fast pace can adversely affect your circulatory system thus, lead to swelling of veins.
Salient Points for Moms-to-be Who are 16 Weeks Pregnant
Each time you pay your healthcare provider a visit, do not hesitate to ask questions, and talk about your experiences and feelings, including any pains, fears, and symptoms. If there is anything that is bothering you at this point, make sure that you speak to your healthcare provider about this so will be equipped about the proper thing to perform.