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Week 16

Week 16

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The movement you feel around week 16 is due to the baby's bones hardening, although you may not notice any flutters yet. The baby is not cramped in your womb, and still has lots of room to swim around. The baby's size is about 4.6 inches long, and he or she weighs almost three ounces. Fine hair lanugo continues to grow on the head and body, but will disappear at about 26 weeks of pregnancy. You could definitely hear your baby's heartbeat steadily during a doctor's appointment. Soon, you'll be able to feel your baby move!

The baby's brain is stimulating muscles, and the nervous system is completely functioning. Your baby will also respond to stimuli outside the womb if someone pokes at your stomach the baby will move away. Your baby can hear your voice, and some parents enjoy reading or singing to their unborn baby throughout the pregnancy.

As the uterus continues to expand, you'll most likely feel those aches and pains that started a few weeks ago. You may suffer from a stuffy nose or even nosebleeds, as your blood volume is rapidly increasing to sustain your pregnancy. Your feet, fingers and hands can swell, especially at the end of the day or when you've been standing for an extended period of time. Special pregnancy support hose can alleviate some of this pain and swelling, and will also help prevent varicose veins.

While your uterus will keep expanding, it's done most of its growing already. Your uterus alone weighs almost nine ounces, and you may feel pressure from your growing belly. Despite this, you probably won't feel the urge to urinate as much as you did during the first trimester, as the uterus isn't putting pressure on your bladder.

By the nineteenth week, you'll likely have felt your baby move. It may feel very light at first a barely noticeable flutter but it will increase as your baby runs out of room and grows to his or her birth weight.

If your doctor advises further testing because of irregular results, or you are over the age of 35, an amniocentesis is recommended. A small needle is inserted into your amniotic fluid, and a small sample is withdrawn and tested for genetic disorders. There is a small risk of miscarriage associated with an amniocentesis, and some parents choose not to have it.


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