Bump Update: Week 16
Now that you're well into the second trimester, you're feeling both better and worse all at once. With a little more energy and less morning sickness, you might be feeling like you've picked up a constant cold complete with congestion and a runny nose. And all the weight you've been putting on since getting pregnant is now starting to take shape in the form of an adorable baby belly! Baby is working on sensory development in her eyes, and ears, and her skin is currently see-through.
This week, you're probably experiencing a lot of congestion and allergy-like symptoms. Almost a third of all pregnant women admit to having congestion or runny nose during their pregnancy, typically starting during their second trimester. It's so common that there's a perfectly horrible medical term to describe the annoying things you're going through: rhinitis of pregnancy. The cause? Those pesky hormones are to blame once again. An increase in estrogen, as well as increased blood flow all throughout the body, is causing the swelling of your nasal passages and upping the mucus. Expect some stuffy, runny, bloody noses from here on out. Do your best to stay sane by using saline drops, using humidifiers, or sometimes even exercise can help to open up those airways. For most women, weight gain during pregnancy is not a problem, and most gain consistent and appropriate weight. You'll probably be able to see a little tummy peeking through your shirts by now, your girls are sure filling out your bra nicely, and don't be surprised to see weight gain in places you have never thought you could gain weight before; I gained weight in my calves. The recommended amount of weight gain is between 25-35 lbs, but make sure and check with your doctor about the range that is best for you and your babe. Do your best to stay active, now that your first trimester sickness has (hopefully) passed. Remember to do your best not to overeat or overindulge too often to keep from gaining unnecessary weight.
Your little cutie is measuring in around 4.5in long and 3.5oz--roughly the size of an tomato! This week, babe is making some big leaps in sensory development. Baby's eyes are working, and though they're still sealed, they are moving and responding to light and even loud sounds. This is thanks to the working facial muscles (complete with adorable eyelashes and eyebrows) that are allowing them to smile, frown, and squint. Baby can also hear sounds, and responds particularly to mama's voice (melt your heart much?). If you haven't already, you can start talking to babe, and get used to having one-sided conversations for a little while. You can also play music (some of our babes will even start to move and dance when they hear a song they love), and make sure that daddy gets in on the convo too! There is, of course, still work going on inside babe's bod. Her organs will continue to develop, her skin is currently transparent and thin, and her body is prepping her to put on more fat as she grows.
Start buttering up that belly! Well, your whole bod actually. Now that you're seeing weight gain, it's a good idea to apply a nice moisturizer to try and keep the stretch marks, and itchy, stretched skin at bay.