Hey, you look wow! Congratulations. Your baby bump is now fully visible, and there is no waiting for it anymore. Indeed, from this week going into others, you will be very surprised at how fast the baby bump will grow. The baby is growing rapidly and by the 16th week, he/she is slightly over 4.5 inches long and about 3.5 ounces. In a couple of weeks, the baby will double the weight and increase a few inches in length.
Baby’s growth and development in week sixteen
By the close of the week, the baby facial muscles have been developed, eyes settling in position, and nose already in place so that he/she can make some facial expressions. The baby can frown, grimace, or other expressions right in the amniotic sac. However, note that these expressions are involuntary, and it will be that way until the last trimester when full controls will be fully developed.
The baby’s fingers and toes continue to develop further so that the fingers are completely differentiated. The baby can be seen sucking the thumb most of the times. However, just like the facial expressions, sucking the thumb is also a reflex action that the baby does not have control of. The toes of the feet have also developed further so that they are differentiated, and the joints can be seen more clearly.
The body has grown very fast by the end of the 16th week and surpassed the head. For some parents, the body might be the same size with the head. This is a great development because the baby is finally taking the complete shape of a human being and taking after the parents.
An additional layer of the cells us seen developing under the thin skin by the close of the 16th week. However, the skin is still transparent and all the internal organs easily visible. Besides, hair that started growing on 15th week will continue growing on the thin skin. Despite this, it is still difficult to tell what color the baby will be until during delivery.
By the close of the week, there is a critical shift in the baby’s development to the circulatory systems. Though the network of blood has started forming from week 15, further developments that will culminate to blood flow, lymphatic flow, and other fluids movement will come in the next weeks. This is an important notion so that you can increase intake of iron, essential amino acids, and other minerals.
Changes to expect in Mom’s body during week 16
Quickening: 16th week is a very important stage because it is at this point that you start feeling the baby. The kicks are becoming intense, and you can now start feeling the fluttering inside the amniotic sac. This is called quickening (feeling the fetus movement). Though some women indicate they start feeling these movements earlier, you are sure of getting them candidly by the end of 16th week. At first, the movements feel like water bubbles but will keep becoming stronger with time.
Distinct pregnancy glow: Even as the baby bump keeps growing, your face will change and take a remarkably more attractive outlook. Close family members, colleagues, and workmates will start telling you that you look more beautiful. This is because of extra blood supply to the skin that causes cells to become supple and more attractive.
Faster toe and fingernails development: The high quantities of blood circulate to all parts of the body and deliver more nutrients that bring about elevated growth. You will particularly experience faster growth of finger and toenails from the 16th week henceforth. For others, the nails could become brittle and risk getting damaged when subjected to little pressure.
Weight changes: By the end of the 16th week, you will be about 7-8 lbs more than when you were conceiving. Remember that it is okay even if you are gaining weight faster than the average woman. People are different and respond differently to body hormones, diets, and exercises. If you feel that you are putting too much or too little, it is always a great idea to talk to your doctor.
Things to do during the 16th week
- Plan for a babymoon: This might be the best time to go for a perfect retreat before everything becomes difficult again. As the second trimester advances, the baby bump will become bigger, you will tire often, and going out for holiday will be a tall order. Things will even get busier in the third trimester and after birth when all attention shifts to the new baby. Therefore, plan for one last babymoon to enjoy all the thrills you have ever thought about.
- Ensure to take all the tests of the second trimester because they help to strengthen the mother’s body and that of the baby. One simple test is the alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test that evaluates the risk of the baby having natural defects. The blood test helps to identify anomalies such as;
- Neural tube defects like spina bifida.
- Abdominal walls defect in the unborn baby.
- Chromosomal abnormalities such as Edwards Syndrome.
- AFP is only one type of tests to be done in week 16 of two weeks later. Other tests will evaluate pregnancy hormones levels including human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), estriol, and inhibin-A among others. Note that if these tests show positive results, they only point that you right be at risk. In such a case the doctor will commence appropriate remedial treatment to help keep the mother and baby safe.
- Take time to read through books that are related to pregnancy and others in different fields. Because you are required to stay from the daily routines or scale them down. Make sure to select your favorite books and read them every time you want to relax.
- As blood vessels and blood start forming, you need to take foods that can support them. For example, you should include more Omega-3 fats, vitamins A, Vitamin B, and Vitamin D among others on the food.
- Continue with approximately 30 minutes of daily exercises. You can be achieved without knowing by participating in common chores.
- Purpose to relook at your finances again and even seek the assistance of a professional to guide you plan well. You could also consider investing in short-term equities as opposed to keeping the money in the bank account.
- Shop for maternity clothes and some baby toys.