This week it looks like the baby's body is finally trying to catch up with the head, though the head still looks much larger. Her chin looks very tiny in comparison to her wide mouth and her eyes have grown much bigger but they are still closed. On the whole her face looks even more human and she has also learnt to suck her thumb.
Her eyelashes and brows have grown even longer and she seems to be developing fine downy hair all over her face and body. This is known as 'lanugo' and is supposed to protect her by regulating her body temperature. So your air-conditioner or heater will not affect her. Do not worry, you will not be giving birth to a bear. Most of this hair will disappear before birth and if at all any of it is left, it will fall off gradually.
Though the skin is developing, it is still very thin and transparent so the network of blood vessels running underneath it can easily be identified. This makes your baby look quite red even though she hasn't yet learnt to blush.
But your baby has learnt to breathe. This is apparent from the regular movements of her chest. And her heartbeat is twice that of yours or any other normal adults. All of a sudden her sex organs have matured enough for a very trained eye to determine the sex. The external genital organs can just about be made out on an ultrasound scan. But, as you know, it is illegal to reveal the sex of the baby.
If you are lucky or really very alert, you might be able to identify movements from this week on as she has begun to move around quite vigorously and is growing quite fast. But as the sac is still able to cushion her punches you are just able to sense a flutter.
Your baby measures six inches or 16cm. by this stage and weighs four and a three-quarter ounces or 135g.
Body Changes during 16th Week of Pregnancy
16th week of pregnancy means you are 4 weeks behind from the half way. Your body has already gone through many changes and you are almost to the half of the wonderful journey of becoming a mother. Your uterus is continuously growing and now you can even see the baby bump visible. By this time morning sickness is gone and you are more comfortable with the changes.
During the second trimester, there are some tests needed to be done to make sure that your baby is doing well inside. You will also come to know whether your baby is showing any sign of chromosomal abnormalities or not. Your health care provider will take care of everything. You too can educate yourself about the tests that are normally done to be surer about them.
Symptoms and Changes in the Body
One of the most visible change that you will find in your body is the look and size of your breasts. The veins become more visible and milk glands start production. You will feel the additional weight around your waist as it starts expanding and stretching. You may start experiencing pregnancy back pain by this time.
The time for continuous weight gain will start from now as your baby will grow fast from now onwards. Just keep in mind that adequate weight gain during pregnancy indicates that you and your child are in good health. So, accept your new shape and status with pride and enjoy the journey along with the changes, expected and unexpected ones.
One of the most annoying changes that you may find in your body is that of having weaker immunity. You might be feeling that catching cold, cough or common ailments has become easier and frequent. Take good care of yourself and protect yourself from infections. Eat nutritious food, maintain good personal hygiene and join prenatal classes.
Things to Do for Healthy Pregnancy
Since your morning sickness is gone, you can now focus on healthy and nutritious eating.
If you have a craving for sweet, instead of eating candies or sweets, indulge on fruits and yogurt.
Try to get at least 30 minutes of low-intensity workout daily. Make sure you talk to your doctor before starting any exercise.
You can start researching items like cribs, strollers, baby monitors, car seats and many more things to check out.
When to Call the Doctor?
Now the time has started that you remain more cautious about your child and its development. Know when to call your doctor.
If you have started feeling your baby’s movement, you need to pay attention and if there is no movement for at least 12 hours, you need to visit the doctor.
Even if you have slightest of confusion, consult your doctor because it is better to play safe when you are pregnant.
If you have not felt any movement, there is no need to panic because many women start feeling the movement by 20th week.
Although the risk of miscarriage is low, you still have to be alert at the back of your mind. Watch out for signs like bleeding, spotting or severe abdominal pain and visit your doctor immediately.
Start sleeping on your sides now. You may also start using pregnancy pillows for better support and comfort. You will experience better bonding with your partner once the movement of the child is felt by touching your belly. Do not let your partner feel left out. The more you involve him, the better things would be for you.
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- The Indiaparenting Team