Only four weeks until the half-way mark! Here is a list of pointers to help you through this week.
Pregnancy Week 16: What changes are occurring with your body?
Your uterus is continuing to grow and weighs approximately 8 ½ ounces. Your placenta is also growing, and your body is producing an increased amount of amniotic fluid that helps protect your baby during your pregnancy. Right now your body has about 7 ½ ounces of amniotic fluid surrounding your baby.
Pregnancy Week 16: When you are pregnant, your body produces 50% more blood, resulting in more blood circulation through your body. This increase in blood circulation causes your face to be brighter. Your body is also producing hormones that cause your oil glands to work in over-drive, leaving your face shiny. Both of these things can result in a "pregnancy glow". What can you do about it? If your skin becomes too oily, you can use an oil free cleanser to clean your face. Other than that, do nothing but smile!*
Pregnancy Week 16: How big is your baby?
By the end of week 16, your baby is approximately 5.31 inches (CRL) and weighs 2 ½ ounces.*
Pregnancy Week 16: What is happening with your baby?
Your baby is preparing himself/herself for a growth spurt over the next several weeks. Your baby’s head is more erect now than it has been in the previous weeks of pregnancy. His/her ears and eyes are situated in their final positions. These three things are giving your baby a more “normal” appearance than he/she has had up to this point.
Several of the more complicated body systems are also beginning to function including your child’s urinary and circulatory system. Your baby’s heart pumps around 25 quarts of blood per day. However, by week 40 this amount will increase to 1,900 quarts per day!*
Pregnancy Week 16: What should you plan for this week?
Your next prenatal appointment may be in the next several weeks. During this visit, your health care provider may recommend some screens or tests including:
Your healthcare provider may also want to discuss such things as:
Pregnancy Week 16: Tips for making your pregnancy better
You can begin to feel your baby’s first movements between 16 and 20 weeks. If this is your first pregnancy, it may be 20 weeks before you feel your baby move. These first movements are often described as fluttering or gas bubbles. You may have felt these sensations and not even realized it was your baby. The amount of movement and when it occurs can vary from one pregnancy to the next, so it is not helpful to evaluate your current pregnancy experience on what you experienced in previous pregnancies.
Sleeping on your side is becoming even more important since many health care providers will tell you that you should not sleep on your back once you reach 16 weeks. This is why it is important to begin using pillows to support your body to help ensure that you do stay on your side during the night.
Pregnancy Week 16: Tips for mom’s partner
Mom will begin feeling the baby’s first movement sometime during the next several weeks. This can increase the bonding experience between mother and child, but sometimes the partner can feel left out. Eventually you will also be able to feel the baby move, but until then you can bond with the baby by talking with him/her on a daily basis. If you are not sure what to say, you can read or sing to the baby.