16 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know

16 Weeks Pregnant - Everything You Need To Know

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 movements at first.

But it will become more distinct as baby gets bigger.

Then there’s no mistaking your baby’s kick!

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) you’re less likely to feel movements until later.

16 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know

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.

Most pregnant women find at 16 weeks pregnant they’re feeling and looking more pregnant than ‘fat’.

It’s challenging to watch your weight gain during pregnancy.

Even though you know it’s necessary to support your growing baby.

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 your stay healthy during pregnancy and appreciate your changing body.

And if you’re still feeling down about your body, maybe 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’re likely to have had several prenatal appointments.

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

These 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 are known as invasive prenatal tests and include chorionic villus sampling(CVS) and amniocentesis.

Both tests involve taking samples from within the uterus and have risks attached to them.

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

It can be a very worrying and scary time if you find out your baby is possibly high risk for chromosomal problems.

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

16 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body

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

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.

This is because you’re producing less tears, which is thought to be hormone related.

It can be relieved with eye drops designed for dry eyes.

But’s a good idea to check with your caregiver 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 can make you feel 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 and increasing the blood flow in your body can help to 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, causing varicose veins.

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

16 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby

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 your food pass into the amniotic fluid.

The flavours are not as distinct or as strong because much of food’s flavour is actually its smell.

Research shown the foods you eat during pregnancy influence your baby’s tastes in the future.

And can impact their 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.

My Baby’s Hearing At 16 Weeks Pregnant

Tiny bones in your baby’s ears have developed.

Which means they’re likely to hear noises, not just inside their inside world, such as your tummy grumbling and your heart beat.

But also from the outside world, particularly your voice or your partner if he speaks close to your belly.

Research has shown after birth babies recognise songs and voices they hear 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 music tastes. Some babies kick up a storm at 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.

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. Baby is now the size of an avocado.

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Last Updated: November 15, 2018

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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