Pregnancy Week by Week

Pregnant Week 16

Your Baby

At Week 16 in pregnancy your baby is the size of an avocado

Your baby is about the size of an avocado as opposed to an apple in week 15. Your baby is growing rapidly and his or her muscles are growing stronger as the weeks go by.

Your baby relies on you for nourishment, since all his or her energy needs to be directed towards growing bigger and stronger. Eat well! All the nourishment your baby receives goes from you, through the placenta, then straight to your baby. So, remember your baby gets everything you eat or drink.

Your baby’s eyes have grown much bigger and continue to move closer together and develop, but they still remain firmly sealed shut. The retinas are sensitive to light and may be capable of detecting the beam of a flashlight (or any bright light) if you hold it against your belly. If you do this, your baby may actually move his or her hands up to shield its eyes from the glare.

Your baby’s hearing capability is developing now. The bones of the inner ear and the nerve endings from the brain have developed enough so that your little one will hear sounds such as your heartbeat, your stomach growling and blood moving through the umbilical cord. He or she may also be able to hear noises from outside your body, including your voice. He or she will begin to recognize the voices of you and your partner as your due date nears, even though your baby won’t be able to understand what you’re saying for quite a while. Loud noises may startle your baby and make him or her jump a little! You may want to start singing to your baby or playing soothing lullabies (if you haven’t started already), which he or she may even recognize after birth.

By the end of this week, your baby will begin developing sleep and wake patterns. Your baby will be sleeping and waking similar to how he or she will after delivery. These periods are relatively brief and until you can feel your baby moving and kicking, you won’t be able to distinguish when these periods are. Your baby’s sleep and wake cycle will get more and more predictable

Your Body in Pregnancy

Your regular clothes may be getting too tight to wear, since your belly has most likely altered the way they fit now. You can probably feel your expanding uterus about 3-4 inches below your belly button because it?s popping out above your pubic bone. Your doctor or midwife will use the position of your uterus to check the progress of your pregnancy, during your prenatal visits, measuring the distance from the top of your pubic bone to the top of the fundus. You are losing your waistline and looking more and more pregnant with every week that goes by! If you put on maternity clothes now, it may be obvious to other people that you’re pregnant!

You may be starting to experience some constipation. The most common cause of constipation during pregnancy is hormones. Pregnancy hormones can be held responsible for relaxing your bowels muscles, causing them to work less quickly. Also, the added pressure that your uterus places on your bowels plays another role in making you constipated. This annoying problem may increasingly get worse as your due date draws closer. Some lucky women are completely unaffected by constipation, as all women?s bodies are different and react to pregnancy differently. Make sure you are getting an adequate amount of fiber-rich foods in your daily diet and you are drinking enough fluids. At least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is recommended.

During the second trimester, usually beginning around this week, heartburn may strike. Heartburn is the painful burning sensation you may be feeling off and on, which seems to be coming from your heart. It actually has nothing to do with your heart. In fact, it occurs when food from your stomach backs up into your throat (or esophagus). The acid from your stomach causes the burning feeling. In the third trimester, your growing baby pushing all of your internal organs upward can be partly to blame for heartburn. It may end up getting a little worse, before it gets better or goes away for good. Some tips for avoiding heartburn include: stay away from foods which are hot or spicy, remember not to eat right before you go to bed (give your food a minimum of two hours to digest before lying down), don’t lay flat (instead prop your head up with pillows) and when you eat; take small mouthfuls and chew your food thoroughly. Check with your doctor or midwife before taking any over-the-counter antacids, to make sure they are safe to take during pregnancy.

 

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