16 Weeks Pregnant: Baby Update

This week, the bones deep in the ear that allow her to hear sounds—like your voice—are now formed. Right now, everything is pretty muffled in there. But, by her first day of life, she will be so attuned to your voice that she will be able to recognize you singing over someone unfamiliar.

Her intestines are starting to produce meconium, the tarry, black-green-colored poop babies pass during the first few days of life.

And while her face is almost fully developed, she’s only beginning to layer on the baby fat that’ll protect her from temperature changes and give her energy after birth.

16 Weeks Pregnant: About Your Body

Did you just feel something? Your baby’s first little kicks started months ago, but around this time you can definitely feel them. Doctors call these flutters “the quickening.” And it is often an astonishing and surreal feeling!

Watching your belly grow is exciting! Seeing stretch marks pop up might not be. Stretch marks usually begin to appear in the second trimester and up to 90% of women get them. They first look like thin red or purplish lines. Those are little cracks in the dermis, the middle layer of your skin…under the epidermis. Stretch marks often start on the underside of the belly, but may also occur on the breasts, hips, upper legs and behind.

Stretch marks happen when your skin stretches too fast. Can you prevent them? No one knows for sure. Some nutritionists recommend collagen-rich foods, such as bone broth, as well as zinc, vitamin C and plenty of water to keep your skin firm and hydrated.

Some people swear by moisturizing creams, but doctors are not convinced. Applying oils or balms can’t hurt and they sometimes ease the itching that can come with all that stretching.

Bottom line: Stretch marks are totally normal and most mamas have tiger stripes! But, there are some post-pregnancy options for trying to reduce them, if that’s what you decide to do. Treatments range from topical creams, microdermabrasion and peels to pulsed-dye laser therapy and micro-needling.

A To-Do List for Your 16th Week of Pregnancy

  • Take a hospital tour: If you plan to give birth in a hospital, make sure to schedule a private tour of the facilities. Bring along a list of questions. You may want to know things like:

    • Where will I be examined when I arrive?
    • What is your C-section rate?
    • How many people will be allowed in the room with me as I birth?
    • Can I move around while in labor?
    • Can I eat and drink while in labor?
    • Is there a separate baby nursery?
    • Are private rooms available?
    • Can I labor or birth in water?
    • Is there a NICU?
    • What sort of breastfeeding assistance do you offer?
    • What is the hospital’s attitude towards natural birth?
  • Begin a baby registry: If this is your first baby, you’re probably starting from square one. It can feel like there are a thousand things to buy, from the small (burp cloths) to the big (stroller). Draft a list divided by task: sleeping, eating, pooping, bathing and transporting the baby. Then add in the fun stuff like clothes, toys, mobiles and more. Think about adding SNOO Smart Sleeper, the safest baby bed ever made (created by our very own Dr. Harvey Karp!)

  • Get some sunshine: Just 10-20 minutes of sun a day can help improve your mood and your baby’s health.

Video: Are Water Births Safe?

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