This week, your baby is as big as an avocado.
The circulatory system of the baby's body starts to work and develops the suck reflex, the automatic act of sucking. Even though the baby's eyes are still closed, the eyes can move slightly and they can start to feel the light. marvelous!
Around the 16th week of pregnancy, your baby's reproductive organs will start to develop. You may be able to see them on a prenatal ultrasound, which can tell you your baby's gender. In addition, if you want to know ahead of time, you can use the results of non-invasive fetal chromosome genetic testing (NIPT) to find out your baby's sex and whether they have any genetic diseases.
Have you looked in the mirror and noticed that your hair and skin have become radiant, and your skin is even a little rosy? Or have skin problems such as acne and eczema? Don't worry! Both conditions are normal and are due to pregnancy hormones.
Although the baby has not yet grown fat, but the appearance is gradually taking shape, the skin is transparent, and we can see the blood vessels in the small transparent body through ultrasound.
Your baby's ear bones are nearly complete, and they’re likely to be able to hear your voice soon. Generally, babies fully develop hearing in utero by 18 weeks. In fact, studies have
found that babies can hear songs in the womb that they recognize when they hear them after birth. So go ahead and sing those lullabies - your little one is sure to enjoy them!
Breasts usually go back to normal after pregnancy, so don't worry if they seem a bit off right now. In most cases, they should return to their pre-pregnancy size after delivery or weaning.
To minimize the risk of developing varicose veins, consider the following preventative measures: avoid prolonged standing or sitting, engage in regular exercise (consult a women's health physiotherapist), and limit sodium intake in your diet.
Carrying around extra weight in your belly can put a lot of pressure on your lower back. This can make your back muscles tense up. To help ease the tension and pain, you can try getting prenatal massages, using a heating pad, or taking warm baths or showers. You can also ask your partner for help.
Bleeding when brushing your teeth is a common occurrence during pregnancy. This is because pregnancy hormones make the gums more susceptible to bacteria, irritation, and bleeding, leading to inflammation. While this is normal, it's important to floss and brush regularly. Also, see your dentist at least once during pregnancy to avoid gum disease, which, if left alone, can lead to pregnancy complications.
Increased vaginal discharge may not be the most comfortable thing in the world, but it can help prevent vaginal infections. So douching or using feminine wipes will put you at greater risk for infection.
Hormonal changes and the expanding uterus can cause constipation by putting pressure on the gastrointestinal tract. Drinking plenty of water and eating high-fiber foods will help to relieve constipation.
Blood volume will increase by about 20% during pregnancy to support the needs of the growing baby. This extra blood flow can lead to iron deficiency anemia in pregnant women.
If the results of a Down syndrome screening or a non-invasive fetal chromosome screening come back abnormal, doctors may recommend amniocentesis to get a more accurate picture. This is usually done sometime between the 16th and 18th week of pregnancy, when there is the most amniotic fluid. Using ultrasound, the doctor will guide a needle through the pregnant woman's belly and into the amniotic cavity. They will then extract 20-30cc of amniotic fluid in order to screen the fetus for conditions such as Down syndrome, Edward's disease, hemophilia, and spinal cord abnormalities.
A normal report means that the karyotype of the fetus is normal, excluding Down syndrome, Edward syndrome, and other chromosomal abnormalities. The possibility of other genetic diseases cannot be ruled out. You can make an appointment with an OT&P obstetrician or an Annerley midwife to answer your pregnancy questions.