16th Week of Pregnancy: Changes, Symptoms, Food & Care

What a journey this has been! Welcome to the 16th week of pregnancy when your baby is starting to look a lot like a little human baby. Only a few months more before you finally meet your baby. In the second trimester, your baby will just continue to get bigger and stronger. 

Now that you are in your second trimester, all those irritating early pregnancy symptoms have probably subsided by now. This would be the time when expectant mothers develop pregnancy glow. Among other exciting news, this week would be the first week when you could feel your baby kicking. Also, your baby can now hear whatever you say and at birth, your baby will be able to recognize your voice.

16th Week of Pregnancy: Changes, Symptoms, Food & Care

Thus, you should start paying attention to all the subtle movements in your belly to feel your baby kick and also start to chat with your baby at every chance that you’ll get.

What can you expect this week?

  • Your breasts will start to get bigger.
  • You might face problems in the movement of bowels.
  • Fatigue, will, of course, remain your companion.
  • You can feel food cravings all the time.
  • Mood swings will also accompany you.

Common pregnancy symptoms in week 16

Add to that pile of good news: some of the week 16 pregnancy symptoms are not annoying but good. Along with the pregnancy glow, some expecting mothers report that their hairs grow faster and shinier and their nails grow longer. Chances are that from this week you will have much thicker and lustrous, and your skin will look radiant. 

Some of the pregnancy symptoms during this time include

Backache

This is a side effect of fluctuating pregnancy hormones. Try to engage in some low impact exercises to ease the backaches. Stretch often and try to avoid slouching. Try to sit and stand straight. 

Bigger breasts

By the end of your first trimester, you have probably already moved up a few cup sizes and in the second trimester, your breasts will continue to get bigger in preparation for breastfeeding. 

Constipation

As your uterus is expanding it is going to put a lot of pressure on other organs including your intestines. This pressure could lead to constipation. Include fiber-rich food in your diet and hydrate with lots of glass of water to improve the situation.

Forgetfulness

You are probably experiencing the case of what is called pregnancy brain. Most women suffer from forgetfulness during pregnancy. It could be due to stress or biological predisposition or even due to a decline in the brain cell ratio that happens during pregnancy.

Dry and sensitive eyes

This is also a side effect of your fluctuating pregnancy hormones. If it is making you very uncomfortable, ask your doctor to suggest some pregnancy-safe eye drops. 

Heavy breathing

Pregnancy hormones may cause your lungs to get filled with fluid which makes breathing difficult. This problem will later subside when your expanding uterus puts pressure on your diaphragm. 

Along with these, some of the early pregnancy symptoms such as dizziness, gas and bloating, oral problems, stuffy nose, varicose veins, increased vaginal discharge, etc., may continue.

Your Baby’s Development in Week 16

The days of your baby being the size of a poppy seed a long gone now. Your baby has by now developed facial features, tiny arms, and legs and has even started to suck on its fingers. Your baby’s head is no longer curled but is rather erect and aligned with the body. Your 16-week baby now has growing eyelashes and eyebrows.

By this week all the vital systems are in place and the organs will only continue to mature till the time of birth. The fetus will continue to get stronger and also bigger. 

Did you know that your baby now has fully functioning taste buds this week? This means that your baby will now be able to taste any amniotic fluid that enters its mouth. As amniotic fluid typically adopts the flavor of the mother’s diet, from this week onwards your baby will start to develop taste preferences in your womb. 

All the muscles and bones will also continue to grow.  Because of the bones forming in your baby’s ears, it can now listen to your voice and will hear limited sounds.

Size of your baby

Your baby has grown quite a lot and is now around 12 cm long and is the size of an apple or an avocado. Your baby weighs approximately 100 grams. In the next few weeks your baby will almost double in size and so will your baby bump. 

Your baby’s heartbeat is around 150 or 170 times per minute. Its little heart is now pumping around 25 l of blood per day and this volume will continue to increase over the next few months.

Pregnant belly at week 16

By week 16, you have gained a small pregnancy bump. Even if you could get away with your baby bump till now, you probably can’t do that anymore. During the second trimester, the uterus expands to become as big as papaya. So the ligaments in your abdomen are going to stretch and they will also thicken for childbirth. 

Depending on your pre-pregnancy BMI, your doctor will provide a recommended weight gain plan. Very soon you will be able to feel your baby kicking or moving around your belly. Initially, first-time expectant mothers mistake these baby flutters for gas on muscle twitch but soon in the upcoming weeks, you will be able to feel your baby’s movement.

16 weeks ultrasound

You could be having your 16-week ultrasound if you have scheduled your second prenatal check-up in this week. Along with the ultrasound, your doctor may perform a physical examination of measuring our belly and will also order some tests. In this appointment, again a urine test will be conducted to check for the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and more. 

Your blood pressure will also be checked and various vaccines such as vaccines for whooping cough will also be offered. Vaccination protects the baby during pregnancy and also after birth. Screen tests for Down syndrome and other birth defects may also be performed during this time.

Sex at week 16 of pregnancy

With nausea and fatigue gone, you are likely to be more energized and may experience an increase in your sex drive during this week. It can be a great time to get intimate with your partner. It is normal to worry about the little one in your womb but, if your doctor doesn’t advise you otherwise, it is safe to have sex during pregnancy. 

Tips and reminders for week 16

Here are all the tips you should follow in the 16th week.

  • Eat well and hydrate properly. These are the only remedies to constipation. Your diet should include a lot of fiber and water to help your bowel movements. 
  • Now that you have to eat at least 300 additional calories per day and your cravings are also increasing, try to find some healthy snacks. So it is better to find some healthy alternatives which are rich in protein such as dry fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds, etc. 
  • You may be experiencing shortness of breath during this time but still, it is important to keep exercising moderately. However, don’t over-exercise and if you get dizzy or feel out of breath take some rest.  
  • You should try to sleep on your side from now on.
  • Search for potential baby names and make your list. Start making a list of all your baby needs such as a diaper bag, a high chair, etc. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How many months is week 16?

In week 16, you are almost at the end of the fourth month of pregnancy. It is the first month of your second trimester. 

How many weeks to go?

Only 24 weeks to go.

Can I hear my baby’s heartbeat?

Yes, if you get your second prenatal ultrasound in week 16. You will hear very fast, almost twice than yours, heartbeats of your baby.

Can I feel the baby’s movement at week 16?

Your baby has started moving the tiny arms and jerking the legs and you may be able to feel them. However, most first-time pregnant mothers mistake the initial subtle baby flutters for gas or muscle twitches.

If you get an ultrasound in week 16, you will also see your baby moving around and probably sucking on its tiny fingers. If you can’t feel it yet, be patient, and very soon you will feel your baby moving in your baby. Most women notice these flutters around week 20.

When to call the doctor in 16th week?

You should call your doctor if you experience severe nausea, bleeding, severe stomach pains, fluid leakage, or blurred vision. Seek medical help if you feeling overwhelmed by your pregnancy or suffering from anxiety. If you start to feel your baby moving every day and then notice no movement for about 12 hours, even though it might be nothing but still it will be best to call your doctor and get a check-up.

16th Week Of Pregnancy

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