16 Weeks Pregnant
You are about four months into your pregnancy, and you are probably looking pregnant by now. While your tummy is starting to “pop” your baby is about to get a lot bigger soon.
What’s happening with your body?
By week 16, you are a couple of weeks into your second trimester, and you may be feeling pretty good. Although you might still have a little lingering nausea, it is hopefully nothing as it was in the first trimester. Your boobs are still growing a little and believe it or not; they will get even bigger.
As for your tummy, you probably have a little baby bump, and it may be obvious you’re pregnant by now. You might not be fitting into your roomy pants, so it’s a good time to start looking at maternity clothes.
Since you will still get a lot bigger, you want to be sure to buy some items that will fit when you are in your third trimester. Maternity shops have fake baby bumps that you can place around your tummy to estimate what size you will need.
You may develop a few new symptoms this trimester. One symptom, which may surprise you is a stuffy nose. The mucous membranes in your nose can swell leading to nasal congestion. The technical name for the condition is pregnancy rhinitis and its affects about 30 percent of pregnant women.
You probably already guessed the culprit. That’s right. Pregnancy hormones don’t only make your belly swell, but the lining of your nasal cavity as well. The result is an increase in mucous production. Between the swelling and the mucous, you may feel all stuffed up.
Before taking any decongestants, always check with your doctor. Some types of allergy and cold medications may be a no-no during pregnancy. Saline nasal sprays contain salt water and are usually OK to use during pregnancy.
What’s happening with your baby?
Your baby is about 13 cm and the size of an avocado. He is about to experience a growth spurt in the next few weeks, so don’t be surprised if your belly seems to grow overnight.
Baby’s spine is getting stronger, and he can straighten out his neck a bit better. He already started to grow fingernails a few weeks back. Now it’s time for his toenails to grow.
Your baby’s heart is functioning well and pumping out about 25 quarts of blood a day, which may seem like a lot for a tiny avocado. But by the time your baby is born, he will be pumping out quite a bit more.
If you could peek inside your uterus, you would be able to see your baby’s veins through his clear skin. That’s because her skin is still translucent and will remain that way for several more weeks. That image may sound a little like science fiction, but rest assured, she will be a little pink bundle in no time.
Things to keep in mind
Although the birth of your baby is still several more months away, it’s not too early to start thinking about your birth plan. A birth plan is a written document that you prepare to give to your health care provider, which states how you want your labor managed. For example, your birth plan may state whether you prefer to receive pain medication or an epidural during delivery.
But a birth plan includes more than just your wishes for pain management. It can also include who you want present at the delivery and whether you want the baby placed directly on your chest after delivery or cleaned up a bit at the baby warmer. It may also include what labor positions you prefer and whether you want to walk around during labor.
There are also several others factors, which can be addressed. The hospital you plan to deliver at will likely provide you with a form to fill out months in advance regarding your birth plan.
While a birth plan is helpful so your provider know your preferences, it’s a good idea to go into it with a little flexibility. If you are delivering in a hospital, there may be certain policies the hospital has to adhere to. Everything in your birth plan may not be possible or practical. For example, if you want to burn incense and light candles during labor that may be against the rules.
It’s also important to realize that not all deliveries go as planned. There may be some situations that your birth plan cannot be carried out exactly as you wish. You or your baby’s condition may require a different course of action than what you had preferred. The medical staff is there to make sure both you and your baby are healthy, which is always the most important thing.