16 Weeks Pregnant – What To Expect?
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It is still an early stage in your pregnancy but by now your full focus is on the baby. But you do need to take care of yourself too, so just in case you have not got the specialised blood tests done, do consult your obstetrician because it is important for you and your baby's health.
Your physical changes this week
This week it becomes obvious that you are pregnant because the 'fundus' (the top of the uterus) is approximately 16cm from your pubic bone.
Inflammation of the gums or Gingivitis, is one of the causes of premature labour, so, oral hygiene is of high importance. But do not worry! Use a soft toothbrush, and keep changing your toothbrush at regular intervals. Also, brush twice daily, floss everyday and make sure that you brush the back of your tongue where decay causing bacteria breed. At least one dental check-up is important during pregnancy.
Drinking plenty of water, eating sufficient roughage, fruits, vegetables, grain based cereals and doing some exercises can resolve constipation and slow bowel movement, if that is a problem you are facing.
It is common to have an increase in vaginal discharge but until and unless it is itchy and smells bad, it is not an infection. The mucous secreting cells in your vagina protects from infection.
Because your uterus is increasing in size, the muscles and ligaments on the sides of your tummy gets stretched and strained causing pain. Avoid sudden, jerky movements and don't stand for too long.
Your baby's changes this week
The surprise this week is that the muscles which control the eyes of the baby has started to work and so your baby can move its eyes sideways. Baby reacts to the bright light which comes through the abdominal wall, though even now its eye lids are sealed over the eyes.
Mostly by this week, your baby has detected the umbilical cord and has started holding on to it. But do not be concerned as this will not hamper the blood flow to the baby.
The baby is completely cushioned and protected in the cup of amniotic fluid that it rests in.
Hints of the week
It will be necessary to get either a CVS - (Chorionic Villus Sampling) test, or Amniocentesis if you are in the category of having a baby with chromosomal problems. CVS can be done before week 12 of pregnancy or later. Amniocentesis is usually done between 14-16 weeks of pregnancy but again, can be done at a later stage of pregnancy. Both these tests are to check where the placenta and the baby are positioned in the uterus.
Have you noticed your freckles and moles have become darker? Well, this is caused by the darkening pigmentation (melatonin) on your skin. To protect from further darkening use sun blocks daily and re-apply frequently throughout the day. Choose the sun block which protects from both UVA (the aging rays) and UVB (the burning rays).
It might seem premature at this stage but probably now is the time to start taking some practical decisions such as your maternity leave, planning where the nursery will be in your house.
Although your baby can ‘see’ the light during this week, her peepers aren’t fully formed until week 20 and the eyes will first open between weeks 26 and 28.