Note: The length, weight and size mentioned below are only a guideline, as these vary from baby to baby and from one pregnancy to another.
What is going on with your baby during week 16?
From crown to rump your baby measures at 4-5 inches, and weighs about 3 oz or 80 gm. At this point baby can fit in the palm of your hand
With a girl baby millions of eggs are forming in her ovaries this week
Starting now baby's eyes are sensitive to light
Baby's hiccups are becoming common although these cannot be felt at all - since her trachea is filled with fluid and not air, the hiccups do not produce the typical sound.
Your baby can now swallow and hiccup, kick and swim.
Eyebrows, eye lashes and fine hair begin to appear.
Week 16 Fetus
Changes in you at this stage Week 16
It is time to invest in looser outfits now as your clothes start to feel tighter.
Your kidneys are processing 25% more blood than usual.
Your uterus is getting about 5 times more blood as compared to the pre-pregnancy stage.
Extra blood and mucous will make you more prone to nasal congestion.
You may notice you are breathing slightly faster this month; you may also be having shortness of breath.
Your uterus is higher and more forward and this is altering your center of gravity.
Your navel is starting to protrude - this is because of the pressure from your growing uterus.
There is about 250 ml of amniotic fluid around your baby, about a cupful.
Good to Know in Week 16
By this week your baby's taste buds resemble a mature adult's.
The best guideline when it comes to exercise is making sure you can have a full conversation at the peak of exercise. If you can't, then you are doing too much. Don't forget to keep yourself well hydrated.
When taking calcium supplements, it is best to take smaller amounts a couple of times a day to allow for the best absorption.
Pregnancy and infancy are the two stages you do not have to worry much about cholesterol. This is because your pregnant self and your growing baby both need extra cholesterol. Baby's growing brains need it and so do you as cholesterol is a building block for pregnancy hormones. Pregnancy hormones manufacture and metabolize cholesterol causing it to rise during pregnancy anyway, but you shouldn't concern yourself over this right now because it is not harmful.
The placenta and umbilical cord develop only in man and in those animals that do not hatch from eggs.
Wholesome Advice in Week 16
Exercise helps you sleep better, boosts your energy and cuts stress. Walking, yoga, swimming are great low-impact choices. Yoga helps you prepare physically and mentally for delivery. Go slow and build your strength up.
Snack on fresh fruit and wholegrain cereals as these are more nutritious than processed foods and sweets; these help alleviate constipation you might be having because of a sluggish system. Dried fruits help deal with constipation and is a good source of iron as well.
Your actions can impact your baby's growth at this stage
When looking for a calcium supplement read the label carefully. Ideally the label will list how much elemental calcium is in each tablet. If elemental calcium is not stated the following chart can help you figure out.
Elemental calcium accounts for these percentages of the following compounds: 40% calcium carbonate; 21% of calcium citrate; 13% pf calcium lactate; 9% of calcium gluconate
Supplements that contain calcium citrate can be taken on its own without food while calcium carbonate has to be taken with food for optimal absorption.
Many antacids contain calcium carbonate which is a more convenient and affordable way to ingest your calcium.
Avoid the natural source calcium pills such as those produced from oyster shell or bone meal as they may contain lead or other toxic metals.
If you taking both calcium supplement and iron supplement, be sure to take them at different times of the day. Each mineral will be better absorbed on its own.
Ways to reduce Swelling
Magnesium: Fast absorbing capsules of magnesium sometimes help when taken with meals. Check with your doctor first.
Natural diuretics: These include watermelon, parsley, cilantro and cucumbers. Natural fluid reducers help the body excrete excess fluid.
Keep off your feet: Avoid standing for long periods; keep your feet elevated at work so to prevent the pressure at the back of your legs.
Warm baths: Baths in warm water help to compress your tissues and reduce swelling
Eat more protein foods: Increase in protein will increase the protein pressure of your blood and draw the fluid from your tissue back into your bloodstream
Lie down: Lying on your side can help your body to reabsorb extra fluid by taking pressure off the main veins
Swimming: A great form of exercise for pregnant women, and the water pressure helps with your circulatory system.
Common Concerns in in Week 16
Do all babies develop at the same rate in the womb?
All babies grow at about the same rate up until 12 weeks. After that there are a lot of changes proving that every baby is unique. Your baby's growth and size at birth depends on genes, whether he is your first baby or not, whether there are maternal factors at play, your diet and lifestyle.
If all my baby's organs are already formed do I still need to be careful about avoiding certain foods?
Keep to the same food regime as before: wash all fruits, salad ingredients and vegetable well, avoid raw and undercooked meat and unpasteurized dairy product as there are potential dangers to your baby even in the latest weeks of pregnancy.
Can problems with my blood sugar cause dizziness?
Pregnancy affects blood sugar; either high blood sugar or hyperglycemia or low blood sugar or hypoglycemia can make you feel dizzy or faint. Pregnant women are routinely checked for problems with blood sugar.
What can I do if I have a problem with blood sugar?
You can avoid the problem or improve it by eating a balanced diet; do not skip meals and go for a long time without eating. If you need help see a dietician and if your test shows diabetes your doctor will be able to guide you further.
Weekly Nutrition advice in Week 16
The good news is - pregnant women should snack more, more so during the second half of pregnancy.
You should have 3 to 4 snacks a day in addition to your regular meals. There are a couple of catches though.
Firstly snacks must be nutritious.
Secondly your meals must be smaller and only then snacking makes sense.
Your goal should be eating enough so important nutrients are always available for your body's use and for use to your growing fetus.
Quick and easy snacks are preferable, especially now.
Planning and effort will be necessary to make your snacks healthy and easily. Preparation in advance is the key.
Cut up fresh vegetables for later use in salads and for munching on low-cal dip. Peanut butter, pretzels, popcorn (low salt/sugar variety) are good choices.
Low fat cheese, yoghurt is another one to go for. Fruit juices and fresh cut fruits are good and refreshing. If fruit juice is high in sugar, cut it with water.
Salt and Swelling
Excess salt is not to be blamed for the swelling pregnant women face. Don't restrict your salt intake unless advised by your doctor. Salt does cause your body to retain fluid but your fluid requirements will double up to support the increase in blood volume and to replenish the amniotic sac. So don't ignore the craving for salt as it is nature's way of ensuring your body gets some. Choose iodized salt over sea salt.
Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.