16 weeks pregnant: what can I expect?
By now you would have had at least a couple of check ups to determine the health of your baby. Your doctor would have given you some shots to increase your immunity. If you haven’t had your shots make sure they are up to date. Ask your midwife when you meet her.
This is not a compulsory test. But if your doctor feels you are a high risk candidate or there is a chance your baby might have chromosomal problems he or she may recommend a CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling) test or Amniocentesis. Having this test can be physically and emotionally exhausting for you. CVS can be done earlier than an Amniocentesis. CVS can be done as early as 10 to 12 weeks of pregnancy and is more reliable. Amniocentesis is usually done around 14 to 16 weeks of pregnancy.
If this is not your first pregnancy, by the time you are 16 weeks pregnant, you might want to make plans for your baby’s older sibling. Who is going to take care of your baby while you are at the hospital? You could arrange for your mum to come stay with you for a while so that you won’t be too exhausted.
Physical changes in you during this week
- When you’re 16 weeks pregnant, the top of your uterus also known as fundus will be around 16 cm from your pubic bone. People might be calling up to congratulate as you may start to show signs of being pregnant.
- Pregnancy hormones will make your gums bleed and this is no time to avoid the dentist. Bacteria in your mouth can reach your baby through your blood. To prevent bleeding gums brush, floss and use mouth wash twice a day. No skimping on oral hygiene during pregnancy.
- Constipation will continue to be a thorn in your side throughout pregnancy. Don’t be disheartened continue drinking water and eat oats. Have fruits like pear, bananas and watermelon. They are rich in fiber. Try to have bran cereal. Nothing relieves constipation like bran.
- Extra vaginal discharge is common during pregnancy. It’s usually milky white in appearance and smells no different than your regular discharge. Use panty liners to combat that wet feeling. Your vaginal discharge help keeps infection at bay. If it itches and makes your vagina sore consult your doctor as it could be a yeast infection.
- Pelvic pain during pregnancy is common. This is called as the round ligament pain. This usually occurs during the right side of your pelvis. It’s caused by the stretching of the round ligaments. A ligament cramp usually triggers a sharp pain. Applying a heating pad will help relieve the pain. Lying on the opposite side will also help relieve your pain.
Emotional changes in you at week 16
- By the time you’re 16 weeks pregnant, you might start to feel your pregnancy has taken over your whole life. You might not be able to work at your normal pace. You might start to feel forgetful, anxious and stressed. Don’t take too much load at work. Speak to your boss and they might be able to come up with a solution to relieve your work load. Don’t get stressed, talk to people. You will find people are willing to help you at this delicate stage.
- If your pregnancy was unplanned, by week 16 you will start to feel excited and start thinking positively. Don’t bother about other people’s reactions to your pregnancy. You have made your choice and it’s important that you are happy. Nothing is more important than you and the baby at this stage.
- Having a baby will make you more accepting of your parents. If you had arguments with your parents when growing up you will start to feel more sympathetic and understanding towards them. You will understand that parents do the best they can for their baby.
How’s my baby doing?
- Your will be amazed that your baby is now approximately around five inches long.
- Your baby will be active and will like to play by grabbing the umbilical cord. Don’t worry about your baby restricting blood flow, they will soon let go of the cord.
- You might start to feel the baby moving around. It will feel like a light flutter.
- The baby’s eyes can make sideways movement.
- Your baby can start to move its tiny mouth and lips at this stage.
Useful tips for when you’re 16 weeks pregnant
- The months June to September is prevalent for runny noses and colds. Ask your doctor about getting a vaccination for colds. Pregnant mums are vulnerable to cold than others.
- Your skin will be sun sensitive. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen with high SPF.
- If your baby has older siblings now will be a good time to tell them about the new arrival and prepare them. Siblings are usually excited to have a younger baby in the house.
- Don’t forget to add ultrasound pictures to your pregnancy scrapbook for memories. You can also add pictures of your growing belly to this scrapbook. When you are feeling down you can have a look at this scrapbook. This will remind you how excited you felt at the first ultrasound and you will be glad you made the scrap book.