16 Weeks Pregnant
16 Weeks Pregnant
Reaching 16 weeks of pregnancy means that you’re nearing the halfway mark. You’re well into the second trimester now, which means that the likelihood of miscarriage has reduced dramatically, and the harsh early symptoms of pregnancy will have reduced.
Behind the scenes, your body is working overtime on the development of your incoming baby, who is progressing at steady rate. All of your baby’s vital organs have been developed, and everyday they are getting stronger and stronger. This article aims to answer any queries that you may have about being 16 weeks pregnant.
16 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms
Pregnancy symptoms at week 16 are likely much less taxing than during the first trimester. Yet, developing another human life is bound to have an impact on your body, regardless of which week you are in. Here are the most common signs of pregnancy at week 16.
- Lower back pain
A common fifteen-week-pregnancy symptom for many women is lower back pain. This can have a great impact on the quality of life and it is estimated that 50% of pregnant women will suffer this symptom at some point throughout the gestation period. The best treatments for this include relaxation, physiotherapy, and nerve stimulation – consult your doctor about the best way to move forward if you are experiencing back pain.
- Enlargement of breasts
Pregnant women often find that their breasts get bigger during pregnancy, and they can feel tender and sore. This often starts at towards the end of the second month of pregnancy and will continue until the birth of your baby. Don’t be surprised if your breasts have increased by a whole cup size or more by the time your baby arrives.
Hormonal changes can cause intense headaches and migraines in pregnant women, particularly during the last 2 trimesters. Strangely, women who often experience migraines during their menstrual cycle are less likely to show this symptom during pregnancy. If your headaches become too frequent and debilitating, consult your medical practitioner for medical advice.
At 16 weeks pregnant, “pregnancy brain” may become a problem for you as you start forgetting things and find yourself feeling discombobulated on a frequent basis. Hormonal fluctuations manifest themselves in various ways, and this is one if the unfortunate side-effects that many pregnant women deal with.
- Glowing skin
It’s not just a cliché that pregnant women have a certain glow about them – it is a common pregnancy symptom. At 16 weeks, your pregnancy hormones have begun to change your complexion and your skin will start to radiate with a healthy shine. A lot of pregnant women also report their hair looking stronger and shinier, too.
Your Body at Week 16
Hiding your pregnancy may not be possible anymore at 16 weeks pregnant. As your baby grows, your womb expands and, subsequently, your belly becomes more distended. The rate at which this happens is not set in stone – some women will have very large, noticeable 16-week baby bumps, while others may not have even started to show yet. If you are worried about the size of your bump, you can talk your doctor about scheduling a check-up.
Aside from the bump that accompanies the baby growth, you’ll also be putting on weight. As long as you are eating a balanced and varied diet, this is not something to be concerned about.
On the inside of your body, the placenta is growing and nearing completion in preparation to take over from the corpus luteum in producing progesterone and estrogen to fuel the pregnancy. It normally reaches full development by weeks 18 to 20, just a few weeks away.
Baby Size at Week 16
Your baby at 16 weeks will now be the size of an avocado. It will weigh over 100 grams and be around 10-12 centimetres in length. What was once a tiny little embryo has grown into avocado-sized 16 weeks old fetus, which is growing at an alarming rate on a daily basis.
This week, your baby’s eyes start to function a bit better, perceiving light and making little movements behind the eyelids – the eyes are still fused shut at this point. The skin is still transparent and the tiny hairs growing all over the body continue to sprout up in new places.
On a week-by-week timeline, your baby is almost doubling in size and eight, and it is now so big that its heart is functioning more efficiently. Ins the womb, your baby at 16 weeks may also be able to hear and recognise your voice, as its senses become stronger and reflexes continue to develop.
Week 16 Pregnant Ultrasound
Some people will have a 16-week ultrasound, though it is not usually common. If you do have a 4-month prenatal appointment, the medical practitioner will likely measure your belly, ask for a urine test to check for the possibility of gestational diabetes, and perform a physical examination. You’ll be able to hear a strong heartbeat at this stage, which will be beating at a rate twice as fast as yours, and you may be able to find out the gender of your baby.
The early symptoms of pregnancy will have subsided, and your stomach should feel at ease on the inside. It may be firm to touch from the outside.
You can expect to feel relaxed at 16 weeks pregnant, as you continue to enjoy the “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy in the second trimester.
It’s possible that you could feel full of energy, or slightly lethargic. Hormonal changes manifest themselves in different ways in pregnant women.
There will likely be the beginnings of a baby bump at the sixteenth week of pregnancy, and your stomach progressively begin to protrude.
Tips for Week 16 of Pregnancy
Stress hormones can potentially hamper the development of your baby at 16 weeks in the womb, so it is imperative to try and relax as much as possible. Take time out to enjoy a nice massage or take a leisurely stroll in nature – do whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed.
- Schedule a mid-pregnancy ultrasound
Time can move very fast when you’re pregnant and you might want to pre-plan and schedule your next ultrasound now. The mid-pregnancy ultrasound is often the time when you will discover the sex of your baby.
- Get plenty of rest
As with all stages of pregnancy, getting sufficient rest is vital. This will give your body the strength and recuperation time it needs to provide optimal conditions for developing your baby.