This could be the week you’ve been waiting for eagerly. Watch out for the fluttering sensations in your stomach. It is your baby’s first kick or jab. And, there’s more news for baby momma and daddy. Your little ones started making faces too. As for you, the 16th week is crowded with positive and not-so-sexy pregnancy symptoms. Take a look.
The fetus has grown to a length of more than 4.5 inches from the crown to the rump. It has gained weight too. It weighs approximately 3.5 ounces. It can fit in the palm of your hand.
The skeletal structure is developing and getting stronger. Most babies at this age can hold their head up. The strengthening of the back muscles also straightens the fetus’ posture. The facial muscles continue to develop. If you take a closer look at your little one’s face you can see him making faces – wincing, grimacing, frowning – expressions you’ll die for in the coming months.
Let’s get to the main development of this week – the first kick. It is often mistaken as a muscle twitch or a stomach gas. Baby movements are first experienced at 16 weeks. However don’t worry if you have not felt them during this week. They occur early for some and later for others. First movements may occur any time between 16-20 weeks. These baby movements feel like a butterfly like flutters, a gentle tap or like popcorn popping.
You can start chatting up with your little one. His sense of hearing has still not matured, but he can hear weak sounds. The hair on the head, lashes and eyebrows gets thicker. The baby also continues to form taste buds. The baby’s eyelids are sealed, but they are able to sense light.
At this point the baby also starts breathing lightly. It inhales and exhales tiny amounts of amniotic fluids. The skin starts getting thicker. The baby’s body has also started forming fat deposits below the skin. The kidneys produce and excrete urine and the heart pumps blood. Your baby might even be able to grasp. If this is so he or she is probably playing with the umbilical cord.
Changes to Your Body
The growing baby pressing up against the lungs may cause breathlessness. You may experience sharp pain in the lower abdomen. It is called round ligament pain and is caused due to the growing pressure of the expanding uterus. Speak to your doctor about the pain you experience. Leg cramps and back aches are common symptoms not only in the 16th week but throughout the second trimester. The size of the breasts increases. The skin stretches and the veins become more visible. Your tummy feels heavy. It is on account of the amniotic fluid and the baby weight. You may gain a few pounds during this week.
The 16th week is not all the bad. It boasts of some positive symptoms. Your hair grows faster and thicker. It also looks more lustrous. Your nails grow stronger and longer. As a teen you did everything to give your skin a radiant glow, but all in vain. Now during pregnancy it happens naturally. The skin looks radiant.
16th Week: Health, Nutrition and Precautions
- Maternity bras and maternity clothing will help alleviate discomfort caused by the growing breasts and belly.
- Increase the intake of calcium. The baby’s body depends upon your calcium reserves for the development of its bones. You also need to take iron and folic acid.
- Exercise to reduce back aches and pains. Correct your sitting and standing posture. Stretch your legs before bed time.
- Talk to your little one.
- Make an appointment for your mid-pregnancy ultrasound. It will determine the health of the baby and detect any chromosomal defects if any.