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Your pregnancy week 16

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Dental Problems and Gum Disease teeth

You



Your uterus has now grown considerably and weighs about 250grams.

You may be feeling hot in more ways than one! If the first trimester left you too sick and tired to raise a smile, let alone muster the energy for some fun between the sheets, then the second trimester may well make up for it! Pregnant women often find that the middle months of pregnancy are ones during which their sex drive goes into overdrive!

However, while an increased libido is often one of the plus sides of pregnancy, changes in blood flow and metabolism can also leave you feeling hot and bothered. Sudden hot flushes and excessive sweating can both become are par for the course.



Your baby

Your baby is around 11.6cm long and weighs 100grams. In the next few weeks he'll go through a tremendous growth spurt, doubling his weight and putting on centimetres in length.

Your baby's hearing is one of the first senses to develop in the womb. From this week onwards he'll start to be able to hear your voice and other sounds from outside the womb - albeit a bit muffled and muted. It was thought that babies couldn't hear until the ear was structurally complete at around 24 weeks, but a Belfast study of over 400 babies at just 16 weeks, saw clear responses via ultrasound when researchers beamed in a pure pulse of sound.

What to do

Go to your 16 week antenatal appointment
At every check expect to provide a urine sample, which will be tested for sugar and protein. Your midwife will take your blood pressure and feel your abdomen to check the height of your uterus which tells her how your baby's growing. Routine checks are the only way of keeping an eye on how you and your baby are doing. They're also an opportunity to discuss with your midwife any concerns you have, from health eating to the birth itself.

At this 16-week appointment your midwife may review and discuss the results of any screening tests you have had, as well as giving you specific information about the anomaly scan that will be offered around 20 weeks.

She may recommend iron supplements if your haemoglobin levels are low.

Ultrasound Scans for Twins or Multiples
If you are expecting twins and an earlier scan identified them as sharing a placenta (monochorionic) then it's recommended that you are scanned every two weeks throughout your pregnancy. Where unborn identical twins have different sacs in the womb but share the same placenta they can suffer from a rare but serious condition known as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome which requires careful monitoring.

Monochorionic twins will have an antenatal appointment and a growth scan this week. Twins who do not share a placenta (dichorionic)will not have the growth scan but will have an routine antenatal appointment.

The Quadruple Test
You could have the Quadruple Test this week.

Amniocentesis
Some women will have an amniocentesis this week.

What to think about

When you've got a diary full of antenatal appointments and a head full of information, then small matters like a trip to the dentist may not be top of your to-do-list. However, scientists have found a link between gum disease and premature delivery so it's worth paying particularly attention to your dental hygiene and health. And it's free! If you aren't registered with a dentist then you can find an NHS dentist locally by going to nhs.uk.

Tip of the week

Even if you don't fancy enrolling in an exercise class then do make time for your pelvic floor exercises. Your pelvic floor is made up of layers of muscles that stretch from your pubic bone to the base of your spine. These muscles come under considerable strain during pregnancy and child birth and can lead to incontinence issues. Talk to your midwife about pelvic floor exercises or check out this leaflet on pelvic floor muscle exercises from the The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Womens Health.

Did you know?



Carrying around extra weight in pregnancy can lead to a lowering of your foot arches and an increase in shoe size. Doctors at the University of Iowa have found the arch of the foot falls between two and ten millimetres during a first pregnancy. And, it doesn't return to normal...

Where to next?

  • Sex positions during pregnancy

  • Make-up and face products perfect for pregnancy!

    Continued below...


  • Must-see pregnancy timeline - a bump in 1,000 pictures

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