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Pregnancy Week 16: What You Should Know About Couvade Syndrome

By Published On: May 15th, 2013

This week, Baby is fine tuning their senses and the chances are good that they can, for the very first time, actually hear your voice. Why not let that happy milestone offset any anxieties and unhappiness – that are perfectly normal – you are feeling about your now rapidly changing shape?

Your Baby in Week 16 of Pregnancy

Up until now, Baby has lived in a silent little cocoon. Now the delicate inner ear bones should be almost fully formed though, so Baby will begin to be able to hear things that are very close to them – like their Mum’s voice (and yes, music if you place headphones in the right place, but only slightly.)

At the same time as they are becoming accustomed to all of these new sounds they are also gaining muscle strength in their spine, so they can straighten and stretch out even further than they have ever been able to before.

Finally, although their little eyelids are still sealed tightly shut, Baby’s eyes are beginning to get ready to function, sensing what little light is around them and the eyeballs are beginning to make small movements from side to side.

If you are wondering about size at this point on average, babies weigh between 85 and 140 grams, but variation between these numbers if fine.

Your Body in Week 16 of Pregnancy

Now is the time when most women really start to feel rather unhappy about the whole weight gain issue. However many times you keep telling yourself that it is not fat (which it is not for the most part) and that this is all for a wonderful cause (which it is) and that you will regain your former figure after Baby arrives looking in the mirror can still be a bit of a downer at times.

Cheer yourself up by going out and splurging on something that looks amazing, even if you already have a wardrobe full of new maternity gear. Not something practical, not something for work, something that makes you look and feel glamorous and beautiful.

Possible New Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 16 of Pregnancy

Those pesky pregnancy hormones are now going to begin to make the mucus membranes in your nose swell. This will often mean that you are snuffly and sniffly even if you are otherwise perfectly healthy. Carrying a simple saline spray and using it as needed can help a lot. Wearing one of those funny looking nose strips at night, the ones designed to stop people snoring, can help you breathe better when you are sleeping as well.

Tips for Your Sixteenth Week of Pregnancy : Kill off These Bad Eating Habits Now  – These days, many women are meal skippers from an early age. Often we get into the habit of skipping breakfast because we don’t have time before rushing to school/work/meetings, or opting for a less than nutritious fast food style lunch because that is quick and easy. Some of us even skip a proper dinner because we are just too tired after a long day to be bothered to cook.

These bad eating habits are not really good for anyone, but they are especially bad for a woman in her second trimester of her pregnancy. You are eating for two now, and so if you skip a meal so does Baby. Baby is growing and changing every minute of the day (it is hard work being a growing fetus) and so any dip in ‘fuel’ can be a problem.

Old habits die hard though, even with the best of intentions. Here are some tips that might help:

Skipping Breakfast – Do you skip breakfast because you are just not a breakfast person? Well, the good news is that Baby has no idea right now what a breakfast food is, so they will not care if you hate cereal but can manage a turkey sandwich in the morning instead. They will not even care if all you actually feel like eating is some left over dinner from last night. As long as you ‘fuel up’ for the day on a food that is relatively healthy what that food is just does not matter.

If time is your issue then taking a few minutes to prepare a quick and easy breakfast the night before is a good idea. A better idea is to let your other half do it for you, so that you can get to bed on time and he can continue to hone his culinary skills.

Little Meals Versus Big Meals – Even though you are probably not as fall asleep anyplace tired as you were in your first trimester, fatigue is still probably an issue for you. maintaining a blood sugar that is as steady as possible an go a long way to combat that though.

To do so you should rethink the way you eat. Three big square meals is not the best eating plan for expectant Mums. Instead 4 or 5 smaller meals is a much better idea. Some research has even shown that women who adopt a four or five meal day schedule are more likely to carry to full term than those who do not.

Eating this way can take some getting used to, especially if you are a former meal skipper. Take it slowly and your tummy will get used to the idea quite quickly though.

Eating at Work – Work is where most of us skip meals, or eat junk. Now that you are eating for two you have to make time for lunch, and snack times as well. Even if lunch is at your desk make time to actually stop and enjoy it. A better idea however is to try to get out of the office and eat in complete peace (and maybe take a nice walk afterwards)

For Dads – Have you been feeling a bit off yourself recently? Are you craving foods right along with your lovely other half, or experiencing twinges of abdominal pain? Turns out that the medical world has a name for this – “Couvade syndrome” – referring to men who experience pregnancy symptoms similar to their partner’s.

The causes are believed by many to be mental rather than physical. Many men just wish they could feel their wife’s pain, so their brain arranges it for them. For others it is caused by the stress that they are feeling about becoming a new Dad. Some doctors also feel that some of it stems from feelings – albeit unconscious ones – of jealously and a little bit of attention seeking.

There is some biology behind Couvade syndrome. Researchers have found that there is a slight in surge in female hormones in the bodies of male mammals, humans and otherwise, when their partner is pregnant, and especially later on, right after delivery. Maybe it is Mother Nature’s way of forcing the nurturer out of even the ‘toughest’ of men (something that maternity staff can attest happens very often.)