Hey, pretty mama, you’re 16 weeks pregnant! You’re probably getting a lot of attention now as you start to get a noticeable baby bump.
You’ve got an awful lot of planning to do! (But don’t worry, you still have lots of time to sort it all out.) Don’t miss a beat, and find out what to expect from pregnancy week 16 with this helpful guide.
16 weeks pregnant: Mummy, meet your avocado
Your little one has grown a lot in just a week! He’s now between 4 and 4.5 inches long, just like an avocado! He’ll also weigh between 3 and 5 ounces. He’s getting stronger every day too, especially his leg, neck, and back muscles, which are getting good workouts as he moves around all day!
Here’s what else is happening to your little guy when you are 16 weeks pregnant:
- His eyes are functional, moving from side to side and sensing light (But they will stay closed until after birth)
- He may be able to hear sounds from the outside world
- He’s all skin and bones (and muscle!), as he hasn’t developed any fat yet
- His face is complete with eyebrows and eyelashes
- His hands and feet are also complete with finger and toenails
- His heart is working hard, pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day
- His new favourite game is playing with his umbilical cord (but don’t worry, it won’t hurt himself!)
16 weeks pregnant: Butterflies in your stomach?
With all this activity happening inside your body during pregnancy week 16, surely you must be feeling something, right? Well, not necessarily. Some women say that they have strange sensations in their abdomens during this phase of pregnancy, almost like a nervous flutter. But others say that they didn’t notice anything until a few weeks later. However, here’s what most women are experiencing at 16 weeks pregnant:
- Gaining weight! You can expect to gain 12 to 14 pounds during the second trimester.
- Your growing baby bump will also contribute to your generally larger appearance.
- With this, you also might begin to see some stretch marks.
- But the cliché glowing, healthy skin of pregnant women may also make an appearance.
- You can also expect some abdominal pain from ligaments stretching out.
- Any congestion and nosebleeds that you’ve been having may worsen a bit.
- Extra vaginal discharge is also normal; this is your body’s way of preventing vaginal and uterine infection while pregnant.
- You might also be having some constipation. Fibre, water, and exercise will help keep you regular.
16 weeks pregnant: Your antenatal visit
As you already know, there are several regularly scheduled antenatal visits that you should attend during your pregnancy. Week 16 is one of them, during which you will probably be offered an additional ultrasound, just so you can see your little one again. If you weren’t lucky enough to hear the heartbeat or find out the gender during a previous visit, now might be the time!
Get ready to have your measurements taken, to have your vitamin and nutrient levels analysed, and to review any previous tests with the doctor. The visit at 16 weeks pregnant is also another chance for you to do the triple or quadruple blood screening which, as explained in the 15 weeks pregnant article, is a way to test for genetic disorders or other abnormalities. In addition, your doctor will tell you all about the anomaly scan that you could have between 18 weeks pregnant and 20 weeks pregnant.
If your nasal congestion has been driving you bonkers for the last few weeks, you do have options. Your doctor probably won’t prescribe you the typical antihistamine or steroid medications that can help with this problem while you’re pregnant, but there are plenty of other remedies. Many people swear by netty pots and use them frequently to keep their sinuses clear. If this idea sounds a little too intense for you, try a saline spray, which naturally helps flush out some of the gunk that’s preventing you from breathing. You can also sleep with a humidifier. And, as always, be sure to drink lots of water! This helps keep mucus thin.
You’ve got a lot going on while 16 weeks pregnant: physical changes, doctors visits, planning for your baby’s arrival, and surely answering a lot of the same questions from friends and family over and over again! Even though you’re probably feeling much more energetic than you were earlier in your pregnancy, don’t forget to take the rest you need! You’ve been working hard; you deserve it.