When you’re 16 weeks pregnant, your pregnancy is about to get even more exciting!
If you haven’t felt the little flutter of your baby moving yet, it could occur any time now.
You may not recognise it as your baby’s movement at first, but it will become more distinct as he gets bigger.
If you haven’t felt baby’s movements yet, don’t worry – many women can’t feel movements until closer to 20 weeks pregnant. If the placenta is at the front of your uterus (anterior) then you are less likely to feel movements until later in the second trimester.
At 16 weeks pregnant you are experiencing the easy stage of pregnancy. Your hair and nails are getting thicker and growing faster, and you are finally starting to get that “glow” that everyone talks about.
You’re starting to gain some weight to support your growing baby and probably have had to upgrade your wardrobe to maternity wear.
Your body is getting ready for breastfeeding and you might find that you need to go up a bra cup size too. Many women are surprised to find their breasts getting bigger so early in the pregnancy, but it is quite common.
Have you joined the Australian Breastfeeding Association yet? Or if you’re in the United States, have a look at La Leche League.
16 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body
As baby grows your uterus begins to put pressure on your intestines and this can cause constipation. Increasing fibre in your diet (plenty of vegetables and whole foods) and drinking lots of water (aim for 2.5 to 3 litres per day) can help avoid constipation.
You may experience dry and itchy eyes during this period, because you are producing less tears, which is thought to be hormone related. It can be relieved with eye drops designed for dry eyes but it’s a good idea to check with your caregiver before using any medication.
Hormones are also causing back and muscle aches, as your ligaments and joints loosen their attachment to your spine and pelvis. This is normal but can make you feel unstable when standing up, sitting down for long periods, walking or getting out of bed. Try to include gentle exercise in your day – it might be a good time to look into pregnancy specific exercises classes or yoga.
16 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby
Your baby’s hearing is beginning to develop so now is a good time for you and your partner to start talking or singing so that he will recognise your voices when he is born.
Tastebuds are fully formed now and your baby is being exposed to different flavor through the amniotic fluid. Even though what you eat goes through your digestive system, molecules of your food pass into the amniotic fluid. The flavours are not as distinct or as strong because much of food’s flavor is actually its smell, but your baby is beginning to learn different types of tastes and foods.
Not only has research shown that the foods you eat during pregnancy could influence your baby’s tastes in the future, but his future health – and the health of his or her children too. So it’s a good idea to eat a healthy balanced diet and minimise processed grains (e.g. breads, pastas, cereals) and sugar as much as possible. Protein, good fats, veggies, nuts and seeds, leafy greens and a bit of fruit are all great foods during pregnancy.
Avoid low fat foods (including dairy) as they are usually higher in sugar to compensate. As a guide, when you read nutrition labels of foods and drinks, check the sugar content. Around 4 grams is a teaspoon of sugar, and it's recommended that you have no more than 7 teaspoons per day. You might like to watch That Sugar Film, which is really informative, interesting and fun to watch.
When 16 weeks pregnant, your baby is around 11.5 cms long and weighs about 100g, and is the size of an avocado.