Pregnancy Week 17 – Prenatal Parenting

What’s happening this week?

16 weeks pregnant

16 weeks pregnant

  • Baby’s crown to rump length is 11-12 cm or 5 inches. Baby weighs about 100-150 grams or 3.5-5.3 ounces.
  • Baby’s eyes and ears are in their proper place now.
  • Baby’s circulatory system is completely functional.
  • Baby’s sweat glands or developing.
  • Fluid is pushed out of the lungs as the baby practices breathing movements.
  • Curling and stretching, arms and legs flailing, the baby is constantly changing position, lying first head-up and then head-down.
  • The baby’s rapid heartbeat, easily distinguished from mom’s, may be strong enough for a doctor to detect with a handheld probe.
  • Baby’s mouth opens and shuts regularly, it can swallow, yawn and may hiccup.
  • The expanding uterus is now pushing up against mom’s other abdominal organs.
  • Moms may have back pain during pregnancy. Try wearing a support belt.
  • Eating high fiber foods such as fruits, veggies, and bran cereal may help with constipation.
  • Watch out because a mother’s stress can be transmitted to the baby. The level of the stress hormone cortisol in the amniotic fluid matches that in the mother’s blood. Cortisol is thought to adversely affect fetal development.

This week I started playing music directly to my belly – no particular observations so far.


I decided to learn everything there is to know about prenatal bonding and the book Prenatal Parenting: The Complete Psychological and Spiritual Guide to Loving Your Unborn Child seemed perfect, judging from the title. Unfortunately it contained very little valuable information on how to bond with your baby and is basically a lecture on what the author believes in when it comes to God, love, self-esteem, etc. The title is deceiving. If I wanted a self-help book I would have read one (and here’s one I highly recommend!).

But now I want to learn about prenatal bonding, here’s what this “Prenatal parenting” taught me:

  • “Everything you think, feel, and do while pregnant has a profound impact on your child both before and after birth.”
  • “Within minutes of seeing his mother a newborn can pick out her face from a gallery of many faces.”
  • “Infants can pick out the sex of other babies by the way they move even when dressed.”
  • “The human brain growth continues at the fetal rate for the first two years of life.”
  • “Fetal love messages teach your developing child to expect love from her environment.”
  • “A six-week-old term infant can smell his mother as soon as she opens the front door of their home.”
  • “If you decide to breast-feed your infant and have to leave her, I suggest you place your used lactating pads or a worn bra in the infant’s room as an odor reminder of your presence.”
  • “Newborns can see colors and are more interested in them.”
  • “Decorate his crib and mobiles with pictures of you and your husband.”
  • “By age ten, a child can’t learn to speak a foreign language without an accent.”
  • “If the dad has been actively involved in the reading and singing [during pregnancy], his child will turn his head toward him, looking for the source of the sound [when father speaks after birth].”
  • Baby likes to be held close to mom’s heart.
  • After 23 weeks of pregnancy you can soothe your baby by rubbing your uterus.
  • It’s important to stimulate your unborn baby by reading, singing and speaking to it.
  • “Children whose mothers talk with them frequently have better language skills than children whose mothers seldom do.”
  • “There is no other time in your child’s life when you have as much influence over his emotional development as during pregnancy.”
  • “The critical period for emotional development is just before birth and for the next two years.”
  • “The mother’s mood is contagious. Infants begin to reflect it by the age of three months.”
  • The most effective prayer is “Thy will be done”.

And I also loved this old Islamic tale quoted from Dr. Dossey’s book:

“A poor old man lives very humbly with his son, and their prized possession, a horse, runs away. Then men in the village come to visit and sympathetically say to the old man, “Too bad your horse ran away.” The old man responds, “Perhaps.” The next day the horse returns leading a beautiful black stallion, and the neighbors return to congratulate the old man on his wonderful fortune and he replies, “Perhaps.” The next day the son, trying to train the majestic stallion, breaks his leg. The neighbors give sympathy and the old man gives his usual response, “Perhaps.” The following week the army rides into their village looking for conscripts and they pass by his son with the broken leg.”

“The wonderful lesson of the story is not to place too much significance on the ups and downs of day-to-day life. It is wiser to take a long-term perspective, to say that no matter what happens today, you will be right because your universe is safe.”


You might also like:

Pregnancy Week 18 – First Kick

Growing Pregnant Belly Week By Week

5 Lies Pregnant Women Like To Tell

Pregnant and Bored? Make Money!

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Categories: Pregnancy Book/DVD/Product Reviews, Pregnancy Week by Week

Author:Alinka Rutkowska

Alinka is a best-selling and award-winning Children's Author.


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