By the time you reach the 16 week stage, your baby will have already started to develop its very own taste buds. Has your “pregnancy glow” appeared yet?
Your Baby at 16 Weeks
At just 16 weeks, your baby will already have grown considerably. It will have reached around 4.6 inches in length and will weigh 3.53 ounce approximately. For a relatable size comparison, at 16 weeks, your baby will be a similar size to a Hacky Sack.
Other things to consider at 16 weeks:
- Your baby
- Your general life
- The 16-week ultrasound appointment
- The difference between bumps at 16 weeks
Your 16 Week Developing Baby
It is at this stage when your baby is going to be able to start hearing your voice, so if you have been talking to your baby, it’s a good idea to continue doing so to increase your bond. But what else will be happening at 16 weeks?
- Taste buds: The taste buds of your baby are beginning to develop by the time they reach 16 weeks gestation. This is the time at which the minuscule pores on the tongue start to appear and the action of swallowing is beginning to be practised within the womb. Although you will not realise this, your baby is already swallowing and tasting the amniotic fluid which will be salty to the taste but this is all in preparation for your baby swallowing its meals in the future.
- Toenails: Between 16 and 34 weeks, your baby’s toenails will develop. They have already started to grow but will not finish growing for another 18 weeks.
- Umbilical cord: This has now fully developed and is the reason your baby is looking so healthy and growing so well. Generally, the umbilical cord will have one vein and two arteries to help your baby to grow as well as possible and these are insulated by Wharton’s jelly which is a thick gel substance.
- Hearing: As we have already mentioned, your baby can now hear your voice and the tiny bones inside its ear are developing away. You keep talking and your baby will keep developing. Sounds like a good deal to us!
The 16 Week Ultrasound
Now that the second trimester has begun, you may have noticed that there are all sorts of different things happening with your body. Your hair might be feeling thicker, your nails could be growing faster and you might have increased bra size in what feels like overnight. This is actually the milk ducts getting ready so that you are able to give your baby its first meal as easily as possible when it is born. But what else is your body doing to prepare itself for motherhood?
- Glowing: Due to the increase of blood flow and a specific hormone called the human chorionic gonadotropin, there are many women who look absolutely fabulous when their body combines these two attributes. This is known as the “pregnancy glow” and it makes you feel fabulous.
- Skin: It is not uncommon for expectant mothers at this stage to experience breakouts in their skin. It is exactly the same to contributing factors that cause a “pregnancy glow” to occur that can also cause acne to begin during pregnancy. If you are thinking about using any acne products whilst you are pregnant, it is important that you check them out with your doctor before you begin to use them. Most are fine but it is important that you check this out.
- Breath: You may start to feel as if you are not getting enough air as your pregnancy goes on. This is caused by the levels of progesterone in your body which makes you feel as if you need to breath more often and deeper to be able to get the quantities of oxygen that your body needs. This might make you feel as if you are a little winded. This feeling will also be enhanced as your baby gets bigger because the space for your lungs decreases as your baby’s size increases. This will mean that it is more difficult for you to be able to take in a full lung full of air as there is a baby in the way. Don’t be too hard on yourself during this time – take a break, go a little slower, take a bit longer to get things done – your body is working in overdrive to grow a new human and sustain you at the same time.
- Sinuses: There will be many times when you feel as if you are getting a cold but the chances of this actually being the case as slim. What this feeling actually is is more likely to be pregnancy rhinitis. It is a common symptom of being pregnant and affects as many as 18% to 42% of pregnant women. It is caused by the increase of oestrogen which makes the nose feel congested or runny because the nasal passage has swollen which creates an increased amount of mucus. You can try using a decongestant but be sure to ask your doctor about this before you use it. There are also multiple advantages to using a humidifier or having a steam shower, along with propping yourself up in bed when you sleep. Alternatively, you can talk to your medical professional about using a nasal spray or saline drops to see if that will help to clear or decongest your nasal passage.
- Memory: The idea of “baby brain” is not just an excuse used by expectant mothers, there actually is such a thing. The brain changes during pregnancy so that you start focusing on your baby and not on other things. It’s not an excuse you can use for everything but it might help you explain the things you would normally find easy to remember.
Pregnant at 16 Weeks Mummy
The first four months of your pregnancy could have gone by very quickly or it may have dragged. However, you are finding the situation you are in, try and embrace the concept of being pregnant and see if meditation can help you to stay calm and centred.
- Treat Yourself: Why not head out to the cinema just because you can and make the most of the time you have for yourself before your whole world is centred around a little human. Get the full works – the popcorn, the M&Ms, your favourite drink, and if you are really feeling like treating yourself, why not watch multiple films. It’s your time to relax, unwind and treat yourself as your body is working so hard.
- Baby Shower: Baby showers occur in many different ways and there is no right or wrong way to throw them. Before you start planning your shower, think about what you would like the final outcome to be. Consider whether tradition or the lack of is more important to you, the time of day you feel best, the people you want around you, the size of your party dependent upon how much energy you have got. All of these things make a big difference to how you will feel about the shower and about the concept of having a Baby shower, but the main thing is that you feel loved, supported and cared for by all of your close family and friends.
- All the gear: By this point in your pregnancy, your breast should have ceased to hurt and begun increasing in their size. Your bra is likely to be feeling tight, and nursing bras are expensive to keep buying when you are not sure of the final size you are going to need. The best thing to do in this situation so that you are as comfortable as possible is to buy an extender. They do not cost very much money at all and will give you some much need breathing space. Make yourself as comfortable as you can for as long as you can and buy yourself an extender.
- Relaxation: Decreasing any levels of stress, anxiety or panic is always good but when you are pregnant this is an essential thing to do. One of the most popular techniques is to use meditation to help calm and centre your thoughts, increase your wellbeing and stop you from worrying. There are all sorts of apps you can use even just for a couple of minutes here and there when you can slot this into your other daily activities.
16 Week Mum Tum
When your 16 week appointment arrives, the size of your bump will be measured by the medical professional you are seeing. This measurement is called the fundal height and it is gained from measuring the distance between your pubic bone and the top of your uterus. It is not painful, in fact, you won’t even know that this measurement is being taken as it is not invasive at all. This measurement is needed to ensure that your baby is growing correctly, at the desired level, and that the amount of amniotic fluid is correct. In an ideal world, the fundal height should correlate to the number of weeks pregnant you are, with a two centimetre leeway either side. This would equate to a measurement between 14cm and 18cm.
Over the next couple of weeks, your baby will be having a growing session so your bump is going to grow quickly too. This is the time when you will start to feel your baby moving, often for the first time, which is nothing to be alarmed by. At first, the movements will not be totally recognisable but it won’t be long before you are able to identify every single move.