Pregnancy Week 16: Fetal Development, Pregnancy Glow, Weight Gain & Tunes for Your Womb by 30Seconds Pregnancy
Craving guacamole this week? It may not be a coincidence because your baby is about the size of an avocado now. At about 4 ounces and 4 1/2 inches in length, Baby’s kidneys are working, the stomach is secreting bile and the heart is pumping about 25 quarts of blood daily. How cool is all of that? The facial muscles are developing, which allows your baby to open his mouth and make an expression or two. The eyelids are still fused shut, but Baby can now move his eyes from side to side. It’s quite likely because of ear development that Baby can hear your voice now. Why not start playing music to your baby? But be careful what you pick, because a study found that babies recognize songs played to them in the womb.
Photo: Fetus at week 16 of development
Feel like you’re glowing yet? The second trimester is when many women report they start to feel really good and … well … glow! But is that pregnancy glow real? According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), “The specific cause for the pregnancy glow is not concrete, but there is solid educated explanations that suggest it is related to a couple of physiological changes that occur during pregnancy.” So it sounds like that glow is real. But why? One reason is skin changes.
“The pregnancy glow is one of the skin changes that is caused by the changes and increase of hormones during pregnancy,” says the APA. The skin changes are a result of the influx of pregnancy hormones. “These hormones cause your glands to produce more oil, which makes your face more shiny.” So shiny equals glowing! But skin changes aren't the only cause. Here's another reason why pregnant moms may glow!
What about pregnancy weight gain? If you were of average weight, 12 to 14 pounds is your goal for weight gain during the second trimester. Your rapidly growing baby bump probably says, “baby on board” and not “beer belly” to people who notice. Are you eating healthy? Not overeating because you’re “eating for you?” Then embrace your body’s new shape! Every woman gains weight differently and at their own pace, but if you feel you’re not gaining enough or gaining too much, be sure to talk to your doctor about it.
As we stated above, research shows that babies can hear sound in the womb as early as week 18. By weeks 25-26, they're developed enough to react to it.While there is no steadfast proof that it affects your baby's cognitive development, it's fun to know they can hear your voice. So, talk to them, read to them, heck, play a little music! Here are some fun ideas that are "age" appropriate:
- Capri by Colbie Caillat
- Your Song by Elton John
- Three Little Birds by Bob Marley
- Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Front (Yes, really!)
- Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
Here are even more music suggestions to play to your belly!
“I usually claim that pregnant women should not read books about pregnancy and birth. Their time is too precious. They should, rather, watch the moon and sing to their baby in the womb.” – Michel Odent, French obstetrician and childbirth specialist
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