16 weeks pregnant

16 weeks

Dear mom,

Believe it or not, as of this week, I’m listening! My ears are almost in their final position on my head, and I can start to detect the sound of your voice (plus others that are leaning down to say hello to your belly). My legs are still growing while my back is straightening out, and I’m even growing toenails to go with my fingernails. Although I’m still pretty small – about the size of an avocado – over the next few weeks I’m actually going to double in size and length. As I grow, so will the amount of blood I pump. Right now I’m producing about 25 quarts per day!

Although you’re likely settling into pregnancy and feeling pretty good around this time, you’ll also probably have gained a noticeable amount of weight. A lot of women have questions about how much they ‘should’ be gaining and how much they ‘should’ be eating. The truth is, it’s different – like many things with pregnancy – for every woman. During the first trimester, you’ll probably have gained somewhere between 5 and 10 pounds. Over the next few weeks, you should aim to gain an additional 12 to 14 pounds. And don’t fret – that weight is healthy and necessary for my development. As long as you’re gaining weight by eating healthy, nutrient-rich food, all’s good.

Still worried about that extra pregnancy weight? Here’s a few ideas to help keep your body on track. First of all, you probably only need to munch on about 300 extra calories per day to keep me healthy and growing. Try writing down what you eat each day, and see if there are any junk foods or wasted calories you could swap out for healthier choices. Do not skip meals or go on a low-calorie diet – just aim for more nutrient-rich foods in your meals. If you didn’t start on a fitness regime earlier on in your pregnancy, consider picking one up now. Light or moderate exercise – even something as simple as taking a walk around the neighborhood – can help manage your weight gain while also making you feel great.

Mom, seriously don’t worry about that weight. “Feeling fat lasts nine months, but the joy of becoming a mom lasts forever.” – Nikki Dalton (Artist)