At 16 weeks pregnant you’re experiencing the easy stage of pregnancy.
You’re feeling good, and you’re past the fatigue and nausea of the first trimester.
And now you’re finally starting to get that ‘pregnancy glow’ everyone talks about.
How many months is 16 weeks pregnant?
If you’re 16 weeks pregnant, you’re in month 4 of your pregnancy. This your second trimester, with only 5 months left to go until your baby arrives.
16 weeks pregnant
At 16 weeks pregnant, most pregnant women now look and feel pregnant, rather than as though they’ve just put on weight.
Weight gain during pregnancy is necessary to support your growing baby. Even so, it’s challenging to watch your weight go up – especially as such a big deal is made about not gaining too much weight when pregnant.
Contact your doctor or midwife if you’re worried about your weight gain.
If you feel down about gaining weight, remember you’re building a tiny human being. Your body is doing what it needs to.
Fuel it properly with a healthy, nutritious diet and stay away from junk and processed food. Keep healthy snacks on hand so you’re less tempted to reach for sugary treats.
Drink plenty of water, and engage in some exercise.
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 for those sore back muscles.
Your body is also getting ready for breastfeeding and, as your breasts grow, you might need to go up a bra cup size.
16 weeks pregnant belly
At 16 weeks of pregnancy, your uterus is definitely growing and stretching.
You might have a slightly more rounded baby bump, but any sign of your baby could 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.
How large is my uterus at 16 weeks pregnant?
Your uterus is continuing to grow and weighs approximately 0.24 kg (8.5 ounces).
Your placenta is also growing, and your body is producing an increasing amount of amniotic fluid that helps protect your baby during your pregnancy.
16 weeks pregnant screening tests
By the time your pregnancy reaches 16 weeks, you’ve probably had several prenatal appointments.
As part of pregnancy health care, it’s usual for women to have scans and blood tests.
These 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 screening.
These prenatal screens include chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and an amniocentesis. These are known as invasive prenatal tests, because they involve taking samples from inside the uterus and have risks attached to them.
Your doctor will explain the risks and benefits in detail so you can make an informed decision about whether to have them.
CVS is usually performed between 14 and 16 weeks and amniocentesis is generally performed after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
If you find out you’re at a higher risk of having a baby with chromosomal problems, it can be very worrying and scary for you.
Making a decision to have an invasive test can be challenging as well. Discuss your options with a genetic counselor; this will help you make an informed decision.
16 weeks pregnant headaches
Headaches are among the most common pregnancy complaints.
There are a number of different reasons why women get headaches in pregnancy.
Be sure to read Pregnancy Headaches – 5 Causes Of Headache During Pregnancy for more information.
Try to get plenty of rest. Lack of sleep can make headaches worse. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and stretching will help ease muscle tension that can contribute to an aching head.
If headaches are persistent, or if they interrupt your daily life, see your doctor.
Can I lie on my stomach at 16 weeks pregnant?
During the early stages of pregnancy, it’s fine to sleep on your tummy. You can do this for as long as you find it comfortable, as there is no danger to your baby.
Some women find sleeping on their stomach really comfortable until their babies start to grow and their bellies pop out.
Sleeping on your stomach now might feel like trying to sleep on top of a basketball. It can also cause neck and shoulder strain.
If you really want to sleep on your stomach, try using a pregnancy pillow to keep you slightly tilted and off your belly.
How should you sleep at pregnancy week 16?
It’s a good idea to get into the habit of sleeping on your side now, rather than on your back.
You can sleep on either side as it allows for maximum flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta. Side sleeping also enhances kidney function, which means better elimination of waste products and less swelling in your feet, ankles, and hands.
Sleeping on your back puts pressure on major blood vessels. This can cause dizziness and possibly reduce blood flow to your baby.
Try pregnancy pillows to find a comfortable sleeping position when you’re lying in bed.
For more information be sure to read Sleeping Positions In Pregnancy – What You Need To Know
16 weeks pregnant ultrasound
An ultrasound at this time can be amusing. You can see your baby bobbing and bumping about but you can’t feel a thing.
It is a little too early for a morphology scan, which checks everything is on track with your developing baby.
If you have a scan at 16 weeks pregnant, it’s more likely that you’ll be having a late dating scan.
16 weeks pregnant symptoms
As the baby grows, your uterus begins to weigh on your intestines. Your digestive system is already slower – thanks to the effects of progesterone – and this can lead to constipation.
Increase your dietary fiber by including plenty of vegetables and whole foods. Drink lots of water (aim for 2.5 to 3 liters per day).
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 itching can be relieved with eye drops designed for dry eyes. Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before using any medication in pregnancy.
Relaxin is starting to work on your ligaments and joints, and they are loosening their attachment to your spine and pelvis. This is so your body can stretch to accommodate your growing baby and give birth.
The not-so-good result is back pain and muscle aches, and you might also feel a little unstable.
Try to include gentle exercise in your day. 16 weeks pregnant is a good time to look into pregnancy-specific exercise 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 others below to swell, resulting in varicoses.
The best way to avoid a varicose vein is to maintain a healthy pregnancy weight and take regular activity.
How common is miscarriage at 16 weeks?
Late miscarriages, between 14-20 weeks, are rare, occurring in about 2% of pregnancies. It is traumatic to lose a baby when you’ve made it this far into a pregnancy.
Symptoms of a late miscarriage are similar to those that happen in early miscarriage, but with more intense cramping and possibly clots being passed, with vaginal bleeding.
If you notice any bleeding and cramps, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Miscarriage can’t be prevented from happening before 20 weeks but it’s important you’ve looked after.
Read Late Miscarriage – Signs and Treatment for more information.
16 weeks pregnant your baby
Your baby’s tastebuds are fully formed by this pregnancy week, and she is being exposed to different flavors through the amniotic fluid.
Even though what you eat goes through your digestive system, molecules of food also pass into the amniotic fluid.
The flavors aren’t as distinct or as strong, because much of the flavor in food actually comes from its smell.
Research has found the meals you eat during pregnancy influence your baby’s taste buds in the future. This effect on the taste buds lasts for three generations.
Find out more in Eating Habits During Pregnancy Can Affect Three Generations – Study
Your baby’s hearing at 16 weeks pregnant
The tiny bones in your baby’s ears have now developed in this trimester and your baby’s development will speed up as she has growth spurts during this second trimester and the next.
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 recognize songs and voices they heard repeatedly in the womb.
You can play music for 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 recognize your voice, you can read out loud or even just chat about what you are doing.
Can you feel the baby at 16 weeks?
If you haven’t felt your baby’s little butterfly movements yet, they could occur at any time now. Some call this the ‘quickening’.
You might not recognize them as your baby’s movements at first, but they will become more distinct as the baby gets bigger.
Then there are your baby kicks. There’s no mistaking when that baby kicks!
If you haven’t felt your baby move yet, don’t worry. It will happen soon.
Many women can’t feel baby movement until they are closer to 20 weeks pregnant.
If the placenta is at the front of your uterus (anterior) you’re less likely to feel the baby moving until later.
How much does my baby weigh at 16 weeks?
When you are 16 weeks pregnant, your baby is around 11.5 cms (4.5 inches) long, and weighs about 100g (3.5 ounces). Your baby is now about the size of an avocado.