Week 16 of Your Pregnancy
Thinking of kway chap, masala thosai and mee soto? Think again! Resist caving in to your food cravings – it’s best to stick to healthy options. At 16 weeks, your baby flexing almost every muscle in its body. Here’s what baby’s up to this week.
Was that a kick? You got that right! Some of you will be able to feel your baby moving as early as the 16th week. Your baby may start flexing its arms and fingers. Its little hands may even be able to meet, form a fist and hold each other1. As your baby’s nervous system continues to develop, its range of movements will also progress1.
Your baby is now able to perceive sounds and soon will recognise your voice and respond to it. The ultrasound can now inform you about the gender of your child. Your baby is now just over 10 centimetres tall and weighs about 100 grams. By week 16, your baby’s eyebrows and eyelashes are starting to grow, and the eyes themselves can make small movements from side to side. While it is beginning to make cute little facial expressions, your baby can’t really control them yet.
You'll be preoccupied with thoughts on how you'll be filling your role as a mother. If there are young children in your social circle, try mingling with them to get a feel of how life with a child will be like. Your uterus has now grown to approximately the size of a grapefruit and contains enough amniotic fluid to carry out a test on amniocentesis. Talk to your doctor if it is necessary for you to undergo this form of prenatal diagnosis.
Strange food cravings?
Fann Wong craved for instant noodles while pregnant, while Joanne Peh wanted everything from hokkien mee to lup cheong fan (Chinese sausage rice). Whether it’s yoghurt or garlic and onions, unusual food cravings are common during pregnancy. Some believe they are due to hormonal changes, or a need for specific nutrients. However, there’s been no scientific evidence that support these theories.
As long as what you crave isn’t harmful, go ahead and chomp on it – in moderation, that is. Be sure to maintain a healthy, balanced pregnancy diet too. If you feel a sudden urge for sugary or high-fat foods, consider the following healthier alternatives!
- Swap chocolate for dried fruit
- Swap biscuits for a banana
- Swap cake for wholegrain bread
- Swap packaged potato chips for a small handful of nuts and seeds, or cheese
- Swap ice cream for a fruit-based dessert
Chalk and Cheese: Pica Cravings
Have you experienced craving to eat weird substances like clay, toothpaste or dirt? Having these odd cravings is a condition known as pica, which can occur during pregnancy. It is said that pica indicates a deficiency in a certain mineral. Whether or not this is true, pica cravings should not be indulged! If you think you may be experiencing pica cravings, speak to your medical professional as soon as possible.
1. NHS UK. You and your baby at 13-16 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-13-14-15-16.aspx [Accessed July 2014]
2. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009.
3. Gandy J (ed). Manual of Dietetic Practice. 5th ed. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014. p. 90.
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