Pack the Suitcase (With Prenatals), We’re Going on a Babymoon! WEEK 16

Approved by the What’s Up Moms Medical Advisory Board

Baby is 4½ inches long – that’s a donut! Facial features can now be seen, and if you have a 3D ultrasound coming up you’ll get to behold it and it’s magnificent – and a little…. alarming. Baby’s nose will look humongous, prepare thyself. Baby can also now hear sounds, which is cool, especially if you’re a shower belter! (Also, no time like the present to start repeating “mama” on a loop, right?) The external genitals are now defined, and depending on how babe is positioned, you may be able to get a peek during an ultrasound – though sometimes baby acts very modest and hides that area from view. One more thing: eyebrows are growing. Eyebrows!!

Your little acrobat’s already been moving around for awhile, but in coming weeks you’ll start to feel it, which is seriously one of the greatest, most poignant thrills of pregnancy. Baby’s movements feel like little jabs, punches, fluttering butterflies, or sometimes an undulating rolling motion, and you’ll notice these movements more when sitting or laying still. (Just wait til later in pregnancy when you can not only feel the movements, but see them on the outside of your body like something out of Alien.) You may feel cramping/tugging sensations in your abdomen, too – this is called round ligament pain, which happens when the ligaments that support your uterus stretch and thicken to accommodate your new bundle.

If you’re working, this is a good time to start thinking about your maternity leave. If you’re not yet showing you will be soon so before too long you should share the news with your employer. First, though, get as educated as you can about your company’s policies and benefits around maternity leave. Then, be sure to share the news with your boss first (in person!), no matter how close you are with your colleagues. And no need to cover all the details in this first conversation – you can firm up more logistics later (start date, end date, will you be off-the-grid or available by email?) Things will evolve in coming months and you want to give yourself as much flexibility as you can for as long as you can.

While you’re thinking ahead on the work front, don’t forget to schedule time off, too – now’s a good time to plan a babymoon. This isn’t the time to plan a safari in Africa or a hiking and camping extravaganza – and forget long travel, as the risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots) means you don’t want to sit too long. Instead, plan something low-key and restorative, since all you really want is a chance for you and your partner to veg and enjoy each other’s company before your family changes shape. Just be sure to check any travel advisories from the CDC. And, while you’re in travel mode, go ahead and plan a trip for you and your baby for when baby’s around 8 – 9 months since baby’s a great age for travel then. Ta-da! Another something super sweet on the horizon to look forward to.