Sixteen Weeks Pregnant: Pregnancy Week By Week
You’ve made it to week sixteen. Hopefully you have a little more energy now than you did a few weeks ago. Now that you are feeling a little less tired and a lot more pregnant, you may be ready to start decorating your baby’s room. If you haven’t started decorating your baby’s nursery, you will probably want to start on it soon. There are so many choices for baby bedding, window treatments, and wall decor that you may be having a tough time choosing the right theme. You may be waiting to find out what your baby’s gender is before you set off to decorate his or her room. In this week’s newsletter we are going to help you narrow down your nursery ideas and give you some tips on saving money on decorating your baby’s nursery.
By pregnancy week 16 your waist has probably all but vanished. It will come back again so don’t be too sad. Even though most women’s abdomens stay a bit stretched out after delivery, over time you will notice a marked improvement in your appearance if eating a healthy diet and exercising when you can.
You are probably actually enjoying the roundness of your shape at 16 weeks pregnant. Many women look and feel their best during pregnancy. There is a reason for the term pregnancy glow after all. It isn’t all about your face. Your growing, round and voluptuous body is a symbol of your fertility and inner beauty.
Maternity fashions are changing. Women aren’t expected to hind behind large flowing gowns these days. In fact, short and fitted maternity wear is all the rage for pregnant women young and old today. I actually found throughout my pregnancy that fitted maternity clothing was much more flattering and comfortable than loose and ill fitting wear. So keep this in mind if shopping for pregnancy clothes around this time.
Changes With Your Body
You may begin to feel the baby move at 16 weeks pregnant. However, many first time mothers do not recognize fetal movements until 22 to 24 weeks. These first movements are called “quickening.” You may also begin experiencing a stuffy nose and nosebleeds, bleeding gums, pain in your abdomen from stretching ligaments and swelling of your feet.
For some women, nasal congestion and nosebleeds are a side effect of pregnancy. This is due to altered levels of hormones, which may cause the mucous membranes in your nose to swell. Increased blood volume and softening of the tissues also contributes to this. Unfortunately, it may continue throughout your pregnancy. A vitamin C deficiency may cause nosebleeds, so an increase in your consumption of vitamin-C-rich foods may help. Do not use nose drops, other than saline, unless recommended by your care provider.
Between weeks 16 and 18 of pregnancy, your health care provider may offer you the maternal blood screening test, also known as a “triple marker” test or “triple screen,” which measures the levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), a protein produced by the fetus, and the pregnancy hormones hCG and estriol in the mother’s blood. The results of the triple marker test can tell whether your baby is at risk for common pregnancy complications like neural tube defects such as spina bifida or chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome. The tests will only tell you if there is a risk, not if your baby has the abnormalities. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and advantages of this test.
Week sixteen is an important week in pregnancy, if you have any genetic history now would be the time to mention it to the doctor. This testing is very important to the pregnancy. Discuss your fears and concerns with your partner as well as the doctor. Stress is not good for you or the baby. Stay on track with taking your vitamins and eating right.
Make sure that you keep on going to your appointments. You should be enjoying the sonograms and hearing the heartbeat every time you go. Seeing the baby’s growth is something very amazing. The heartbeat is the best sound in the world. Enjoy this while you can, it really is an exiting time not for the new mom to be but for the dad to be as well.