Week 16 is mid of the 4-month pregnancy. It’s an important week as your baby can now hear you! It may show movements on scans, whenever you talk. You may start feeling the light flutters which are easily confused with gas. But in a few weeks, the kicks and turns can be easily recognized.
We would recommend you to talk to your baby, as your voice calms it. We would also recommend you to form a baby name list or plan a babymoon. You must enjoy the time traveling without children and with your doctor’s permission you are good to fly. This week’s prenatal scan might let you hear the baby’s heartbeat. It’s the most beautiful and magical sound. Sometimes morning coffee and tea can affect the heartbeat rate. Entering 16th week ensures that the pregnancy is healthy and hence chances of miscarriages get reduced.
Your Baby in Week Sixteen
Your baby is getting more active. It can kick, form fists, suck its thumb and at times hold the umbilical cord too. It has become the size of an avocado! and It’s now about 12 cm long and 1 kg in weight. Most of the cartilages are now bones and can now have reflexes. You may feel slight kicks and twists. These feeling assure you of a tiny human inside, wanting to explore everything. Your baby can now straighten and move its backbone, it no longer stays in a forward banded position.
Sing to your baby whenever you can. Research says that few babies can remember the tunes sung to them when they were in the tummy. So, choose all your lullabies and start learning them. As it can hear you now, talk to it by reciting poems or telling stories or just about anything.
Baby’s eyes, ears, and nose are all in their final positions. Its eyes are getting more sensitive towards the light. The umbilical cord is getting thicker and maturing with one vein and two arteries. These are well protected with a thick jelly-like substance known as the Wharton’s jelly, which makes the cord slippery so it can move freely around the baby. The placenta has grown in volume to accommodating more blood vessels continuously working to provide your baby blood with the required nutrients and clearing out the toxins from the amniotic fluid. Your baby’s mouth gets filled with the amniotic fluid as it often tries to drink it. Maintaining the Amniotic fluid around your baby is another reason to drink around 3 liters of water every day.
If you are having a girl baby, her ovaries have just now started forming hundreds of thousands of eggs. Some of them may turn into your future grandchildren!
Incoming weeks your doctor will recommend blood tests that might detect whether the baby is at an increased risk of certain genetic disorders. The tests would be either a triple screen or quadruple screen. These are to check certain substances in your blood. The doctors would then take a note of your age and of all the genetic family diseases. Taking all the data he would calculate the risk of your baby having a neural tube defect (NTD), Down syndrome or any other chromosomal defects.
These blood tests are recommended to every pregnant woman and carry no risk to the pregnancy. There are invasive diagnostic tests like amniocentesis or Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) in some rare cases lead to miscarriages. The invasive tests are recommended only to the mothers, who are quadruple tests indicate that there might be a genetic issue. Research says that the tests might give a false-positive result. The decision to conduct the tests is absolutely for the to-be parents to decide.
The doctor conducts an ultrasound with the quadruple screening in determining whether additional tests are necessary. He would measure certain body parts of your unborn baby like the increased thickness in the neck, size of the stomach, a shorter than average nose length and other physical clues that might help to detect any high-risk results from that of quadruple screening.