Pregnancy Calendar Week 16
YOUR PREGNANCY WEEK BY WEEK: WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WEEK 16Your baby has grown to the size of a large pear now. She’s developing at a remarkable rate with more movement, hearing and maybe some hiccupping all happening this week. For you, pregnancy hormones are finally giving you some changes you’ll actually like: a thicker head of hair, fast-growing nails and skin with that lovely pregnancy glow.Your BodyAt 16 weeks pregnant, it’s time to enjoy some long-awaited pregnancy changes that help many pregnant women look and feel their best.Thicker HairIf you’ve always wanted thicker, fuller hair, you’ve probably got it now! Hormonal changes—specifically a spike in estrogen levels—get the credit. It may seem that your hair is growing more. But, your luxurious locks are actually not growing any faster. You’re just losing less of the hair you’d normally shed.Some pregnant women also get shinier hair along with texture changes like curly hair going straight.Enjoy this wonderful perk of pregnancy while it lasts. After you deliver, you’re going to notice a completely normal increase of hair that falls out, which will stop after 1-2 months.Faster Nail GrowthDuring pregnancy, many women notice their nails growing at a quicker rate. But, some don’t. For a lot of women, their once brittle nails become harder and stronger and look beautifully healthy. For others, they see softer nails.Whatever change you’re experiencing, it’s temporary. Your fingernails and toenails will return to normal fairly soon after you give birth.Glowing SkinPerhaps the best side effect of pregnancy, you may now be experiencing the proverbial pregnancy “glow” where your skin looks healthier and brighter than normal.Hormones are bringing on this welcome change as they help rush in more blood to vessels just below the skin’s surface, which gives you an attractive facial blush. On top, more oil gland secretions give your skin a beautiful sheen.Your BabyIn the 16th week of pregnancy, so much is going on with your baby as exciting growth spurts and developments come into play:Your baby’s skeletal and nervous systems are connecting.Coordinating movement is at the top of your baby’s to-do list this week as her musculoskeletal and nervous systems begin working together. Her muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, joints and cartilage are connecting with her nervous system to move and make facial expressions.Now, and as your baby grows, you’re going to feel stronger and stronger kicks and punches and lots of rolling around. And, even at this relatively early stage of facial development, it’s quite possible that your baby is now squinting or frowning from time to time. Further along, you’ll see more complex expressions like a slight curl of her lips into a smile, nose wrinkling and eyebrow furrowing.Your baby can hear.With tiny ear bones now in place, your baby can hear what you say. Her sense of hearing will continue to develop and become sharper as she listens to what’s happening around her, which includes the sweet sound of your voice. So, be sure to talk to your baby often and include your partner, too.Soon after birth, your baby will be able to distinguish the sound of your voice and she’ll be able to tell the difference between normal and stressed voices. Keep this in mind and remember that one of the best ways to give your baby a sense of calm, comfort and security is by using a soothing voice when you talk to your little one.Your baby is hiccupping.If you’re feeling a new, gentle “tapping” sensation in your womb, you may be wondering what it is. Well, it could be your baby hiccupping. Most pregnant women feel hiccups sometime during the second trimester. But, if you don’t feel them, don’t worry. The way your placenta is positioned may be cushioning you from the feeling. Later in your pregnancy, when your baby is bigger and stronger, you’ll likely hear her hiccupping.Diet and Exercise Tips You Should FollowTo keep you and your baby healthy, follow these tips in week 16:Eat foods to help baby’s eye development. Retinas in your baby’s eyes are developing. Eat foods like carrots, tomatoes, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, and squash, which are rich in lutein and carotenoids needed for healthy eye development.Walk to reduce your stress and help your baby. Your baby is now producing stress hormones. Walking 30 to 40 minutes every day is a great way to reduce your stress and help your baby develop a calm personality.Things You Should Do
- Take the triple screen blood test.
- Start taking belly photos to capture and remember all the beautiful stages of your baby bump.
- Take time to talk to your baby regularly and be sure to include your partner.
Words You Should KnowBradley Method: A method of natural childbirth that teaches couples to manage labor and delivery through deep breathing and the support of a partner/labor coach instead of using medical intervention. This method also emphasizes the benefits and importance of diet and exercise throughout pregnancy.Height of Fundus: The top of your uterus is the fundus. Fundal height is measured from the top of your pubic bone to the top of your uterus to assess fetal growth and development.Pre-Eclampsia: Also known as toxemia of pregnancy, pre-eclampsia is a characterized by high blood pressure and an excess of protein in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy. If not treated properly, it can turn into eclampsia, a condition in which a pregnant woman has life-threatening seizures.Triple Screen: An optional blood test performed early in the second trimester that checks for chromosomal abnormalities and genetic conditions like Down syndrome.