You are 16 Weeks and 6 Days 162 days to go…
Your baby is practicing his breathing movements, which are vital to develop his chest muscles and enable his lungs to grow.
Your baby often brings his hands to his face and sometimes sucks
his thumb at this stage; however, the sucking action is not well
coordinated and the thumb is more likely to enter the mouth by luck than
design. The arms are now in proportion with the rest of the body.
Your baby today
While he’s in the uterus,
your baby is practicing his breathing movements and this also aids his
lung development. When he breathes in, the diaphragm moves downward and
the chest wall moves inward.
Each “breath” the baby
takes lasts less than a second. Breathing might only happen occasionally
at this stage and when it does it can be either regular or irregular.
Your baby might also
open his jaw and swallow at the same time as making a breathing
movement. A single breathing movement with a large movement of the
diaphragm may resemble a sigh.
For the chest wall movements to be effective, there must be adequate amniotic fluid (see You are 15 Weeks and 6 Days). This is especially true for the critical time of lung development, from 16–26 weeks.
By the 24th week of
pregnancy, your baby will spend approximately three hours in a 24-hour
period practicing breathing movements, and around eight hours in a
24-hour period in the last eight weeks of pregnancy.
While most unborn twins grow at much the same pace, from now on some don’t.
Your babies are
almost certainly developing all the right organs at the right time, even
when there’s a size discrepancy. If, however, a scan detects a growth
difference between your twins, you’ll have additional scans to monitor
growth. Lesser degrees aren’t usually a problem. Doctors aren’t usually
concerned unless there’s a growth difference of more than 15 percent.
Why am I beginning to get brown patches on my face?
As many as 70 percent of pregnant women find the color of
their skin changes. You may notice brown patches appearing on your
forehead, cheeks, and neck, known as chloasma or the “mask of
pregnancy.” Darker-skinned women may develop lighter-colored patches.
caused by an increase in the production of melanin, the pigment that
gives the skin and hair its natural color. It will gradually fade after
the birth. To minimize the patches, stay out of the sun as much as
possible, use a high protection sunscreen, and wear a hat outdoors. Try
covering larger patches with a tinted moisturizer or foundation and use
concealer on smaller patches.
When a pregnant woman smokes, it reduces the number of times her baby practices breathing movements.
In a British Medical Journal
research study, the proportion of time that the baby practiced
breathing movements was found to fall within five minutes of the mother
beginning to smoke her cigarette.
You are 17 Weeks Exactly 161 days to go…
While your energy levels are at a peak, make the most of eating out but choose your meals wisely.
Every part of your baby has an enhanced blood supply bringing
nutrients for growth. Blood vessels are easy to see on scans because the
skin is still quite transparent, with little fat yet deposited beneath
Your baby today
Being pregnant doesn’t have to cramp your lifestyle,
and it’s perfectly possible to eat out safely. You may, however, have
to ask what’s in particular dishes to avoid eating foods that aren’t
recommended during pregnancy, such as soft cheeses, shellfish, and raw
Don’t be afraid to
ask questions about what exactly is in a dish and always request that
your meat and fish are cooked to well done, to avoid any possible
contamination. Check that all cheese and milk products, including
yogurts, included in recipes, have been pasteurized.
You may find that fatty foods upset your stomach and cause heartburn (see … Health),
and, if so, stick with foods that have been grilled or steamed, rather
than fried. Beware of accompaniments such as pickles and chutneys that
may not be entirely fresh. Pâtés and terrines should also be avoided.
Your nails are likely to be stronger and healthier than ever, due to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.
Since your nails are in
good condition, you can simply file them and they’ll look nice even
without nail polish. If you do decide to have a manicure, make sure it
takes place in a well-ventilated room. Avoid using nail polishes that
contain dibutyl phthalate (DBP), an ingredient that is linked to birth
defects in animals.
I’m a vegetarian but keep craving meat. Is this normal?
When you’re pregnant, it’s common for your body to crave
things that might be missing from your diet. You may be craving meat
because you are low in iron or protein, for example, both of which are
required in higher quantities during pregnancy.
pregnant, it’s particularly important to ensure that you’re getting the
nutrients you need. If you don’t eat meat, you can get iron from
whole-grain cereals and flours, leafy green vegetables, molasses,
legumes, such as lentils and kidney beans, and dried fruit, such as
raisins, and apricots. It helps to have a glass of orange juice, or
another drink or food high in vitamin C, such as peppers and other
citrus fruit, with your meals, since this encourages the absorption of
Protein is also
crucial to your baby’s development. Legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds,
eggs, and dairy produce all contain good quantities of protein. Try
adding some quinoa—a protein-packed grain—to your diet. Quinoa is a
great alternative to rice and is one of the few plant sources of protein
that contains all the essential amino acids. It’s also high in omega
oils, which will encourage the development of your baby’s nervous system