16 weeks pregnant: Pregnancy tips and nutrition
At a glance
You may start to feel ‘butterflies’ as your baby starts to move inside you
Fight your food cravings – keep everything in moderation
How to get your vitamin A balance just right with certain foods
Now’s a good time to start attending ante-natal classes
Baby's development at 16 weeks
The retina of your little one’s eyes start to work this week. But, don’t try and expose your belly to bright lights. The neural circuits aren’t mature enough yet, and the sensory organs are still too fragile for that kind of stimulation. You might feel baby move for the first time, if you haven’t already. These movements will still be very light, so don’t expect big sensations. Look out for what feels like butterfly wings inside your belly, or small bubbles. It’s wonderful. But don’t worry if you haven’t felt it yet, every baby grows at a different rate.
Been wondering if you’re getting cravings due to a lack of nutrients? It’s nothing to do with that, just a hormone-related side effect of pregnancy. You've probably noticed that certain foods taste different or less appetising. But others can become completely indispensable. Welcome to your body while pregnant. Increased water retention dilutes blood volume, causing the body’s cells to swell. This, combined with increased levels of hormones, causes change to things like your tastebuds. Just do your best to keep everything in moderation. That way you can balance those cravings with a healthy pregnancy diet for you, and your little one.
It’s important to have Vitamin A while you’re pregnant, but only if you have the right amount. It’s best to avoid vitamin supplements that are not pregnancy specific as they may contain too much Vitamin A. You should be able to get all the Vitamin A you need from a healthy pregnancy diet. So make sure you eat enough dairy products like butter, milk or cheese, as well as eggs (especially the yolks ). Bright yellow or orange fruits and vegetables are a great source of Vitamin A too, like tomatoes, carrots, oranges apricots, melons and mangos.
You and your partner may decide to go to an ante-natal class to start preparing for baby’s birth. Especially if this is your first baby, or if your first baby was born a while ago. You will learn about birth, and pain relief, breathing, and relaxation techniques. A visit to a delivery room, tips for doing exercise while pregnant and lots of other useful stuff might also be part of the program.
Antenatal classes are the ideal opportunity to meet other mothers or couples as well. And there’s no one better to share your experience with than other mums and dads to be.