As your pregnancy progresses, although you are feeling great, don’t underestimate your body’s need for rest. With all the changes that you and your baby are going through, any chance for relaxation should be grabbed, almost as a way of making up for what is to come. Even with the cushiest of pregnancies, nobody warns you about the emotional outbursts and itchy and blotchy skin. So go get some rest, you deserve it.

What’s happening with you

week 16 of pregnancyWhile you might be able to smell the pav bhaji that is cooking 12 doors down, you may also be battling nasal congestion like you have never seen before. Some women even experience severe nosebleeds during this second trimester of pregnancy. Don’t worry about this excessively, as it is more an inconvenience than anything else. Both the nasal congestion and the nosebleeds will stop right after you give birth. However, if you find yourself feeling lightheaded during these nosebleeds, check with your doctor as it may indicate high blood pressure.

Your breasts are still enlarging and probably filling up with colostrum as we speak. Your breasts may be painful to the touch and that is perfectly normal. If your growing breast tenderness is causing you to sleep on your back, then think again. This is the time to consider a new sleeping position as you learn to avoid putting pressure on your ruling uterus. This pressure might impede important blood vessels from circulating blood between you and your baby.

What’s happening with your baby

If your baby is a girl, her uterus is fully developed along with rudimentary egg cells in her ovaries. The baby may be practicing all kinds of facial expressions like grimacing, yawning and even squinting.

The baby’s skin, like an old man or woman, is wrinkly and fairly translucent. As more fat accumulates under the skin, the baby will have a plump appearance. Your baby is pumping as much as 25 L of blood a day. Along with this, you baby’s bladder will empty itself almost once every hour! And those eyes that were located on the sides of the face have moved closer to the nose and are located where they would be when the baby is born.

Your baby is now capable of holding his or her head somewhat erect and shows more muscle control in the neck than ever before. At 4 1/2 inches long and about the size of a stapler, your baby exhibits more muscle control overall. Did you know that projecting lights directly to the abdomen, will show an increase in your baby’s heart rate on a Doppler machine? At this stage of the pregnancy, your baby will demonstrate light sensitivity.

If an amniocentesis is recommended for you either due to age or family history; this is the week when you should be heading out for the test. So if you have one scheduled, keep the appointment as you will get very valuable information from this testing.