16 Weeks Pregnant – What To Expect In Week 16

16 Weeks Pregnant - What To Expect In Week 16

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 ‘pregnancy glow’ everyone talks about.

16 Weeks Pregnant – What To Expect

At 16 weeks pregnant, most pregnant women now feel and look more pregnant than ‘fat’.

Weight gain during pregnancy is necessary to support your growing baby. Even so, it’s challenging to watch your weight go up.

If you feel down about gaining weight, remember it’s for a good cause.

Stay away from junk and processed food, drink plenty of water, and engage in some exercise.

These easy tips will help you to stay healthy during pregnancy and to appreciate your changing body.

And if you’re still feeling down about your body, maybe you could show it some love.

Check out some nice maternity wear, or even get a massage.

Your body is getting ready for breastfeeding and you might find you need to go up a bra cup size too.

Have you joined the Australian Breastfeeding Association yet? Or if you’re in the United States, have a look at La Leche League.

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Testing At 16 Weeks Pregnant

By the time your pregnancy reaches 16 weeks you’ve probably had several prenatal appointments.

As part of prenatal health care, it’s usual for women to have scans and blood tests.

They are done to identify your baby’s risk for certain chromosomal disorders.

If you’ve been identified as high risk for having a baby with a chromosomal problem, you’ll be offered further tests.

These invasive prenatal tests include chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and an amniocentesis.

Both tests involve taking samples from within the uterus and have risks attached to them. Make sure your care provider explains the risks and benefits in detail so you can make an informed decision.

It really pays to do your own research before accepting any form of intervention, unless it’s a genuine emergency and you’re unable to do so.

CVS is usually performed between 14 and 16 weeks; amniocentesis is generally performed after 15 weeks pregnancy.

If you find out your baby is possibly at high risk for chromosomal problems, it can be a very worrying and scary time.

Making a decision to have an invasive test can be challenging as well. Discuss your options with a genetic counsellor; it will help you to make an informed decision.

16 Weeks Pregnant Belly

At 16 weeks of pregnancy, your uterus is definitely growing and stretching.

You might have a slightly more rounded belly, but any sign of the baby still might be hidden if you have extra weight around your belly.

It can be a bit disheartening when you look like you’re carrying extra weight rather than a baby.

But don’t worry – your belly will be noticeable very soon. And if you don’t look distinctly pregnant yet, you soon will.

16 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

If you haven’t felt your baby’s little fluttering movements yet, they could occur at any time now.

You might not recognise them as your baby’s movements at first, but they will become more distinct as baby gets bigger.

Then there’s your baby’s kick. There’s no mistaking that .

If you haven’t felt your baby’s movements yet, don’t worry.

Many women can’t feel anything until they are closer to 20 weeks pregnant.

An ultrasound at this time can be amusing. You can see your baby bobbing and bumping about but you can’t feel a thing. 

If the placenta is at the front of your uterus (anterior) you’re less likely to feel movements until later.

16 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms

As baby grows, your uterus begins to put pressure on your intestines and this can cause constipation.

Increase your dietary fibre by including plenty of vegetables and whole foods.

Drink lots of water (aim for 2.5 to 3 litres per day); this can help avoid constipation.

You might experience dry and itchy eyes during this period.

This is because your body is producing fewer tears, which is thought to be hormone related.

Dryness and itchiness can be relieved with eye drops designed for dry eyes.

It’s a good idea to check with your caregiver, though, before using any medication.

Pregnancy 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 you might feel a little unstable – especially 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.

Movement increases the blood flow in your body. It can help reduce your chances of getting varicose veins during pregnancy.

The weight of your growing uterus puts pressure on the inferior vena cava, one of your large blood vessels.

When there’s pressure on this vein it causes other veins below to swell, resulting in varicose veins.

The best way to avoid varicose veins is to maintain a healthy pregnancy weight and take regular exercise.

16 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby

The tastebuds are fully formed now and your baby is being exposed to different flavours, through the amniotic fluid.

Even though what you eat goes through your digestive system, molecules of food also pass into the amniotic fluid.

The flavours are not as distinct or as strong because much of the flavour in food actually comes from its smell.

Research has found the foods you eat during pregnancy influence your baby’s tastes in the future. The effect lasts for three generations.

Find out how the foods you eat can affect your baby’s future health – and the health of his or her children too.

It’s a good idea to focus on eating nutritious foods. As far as possible, minimise the amount of processed grains (e.g. breads, pastas, cereals, flours) and sugar in your diet.

Protein, healthy fats, veggies, nuts, seeds and leafy greens are all great foods to eat during pregnancy.

Avoid low fat foods – including dairy – as they are usually higher in sugar to compensate; full fat foods are better.

As a guide, when you read nutrition labels on foods and drinks, check the sugar content.

Around 4 grams is one teaspoon of sugar; it’s recommended you have no more than 7 teaspoons per day.

You might like to watch That Sugar Film. It is really informative, interesting and fun to watch.

Your Baby’s Hearing At 16 Weeks Pregnant

The tiny bones in your baby’s ears have now developed.

At this stage, your baby can hear noises from her ‘inside’ world, such as your tummy grumbling and your heartbeat.

She is also likely to hear sounds from the outside world, particularly your voice, or your partner’s, if he speaks close to your belly.

According to research, after birth babies can recognise songs and voices they heard repeatedly in the womb.

You can play music to your baby by putting headphones or a speaker close to your belly.

You’ll soon get an idea of your baby’s musical tastes. Some babies kick up a storm when they hear certain music and sounds. Others might be lulled to sleep.

To help your baby recognise your voice, you can read out loud or even just chat about what you are doing.

When you are 16 weeks pregnant, your baby is around 11.5 cms long and weighs about 100g. Baby is now the size of an avocado.

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Last Updated: February 5, 2019

CONTRIBUTOR

Sam McCulloch enjoyed talking so much about birth she decided to become a birth educator and doula, supporting parents in making informed choices about their birth experience. In her spare time she writes novels. She is mother to three beautiful little humans.


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