Pregnancy week 16

In week 16, you will complete four months of your pregnancy. Probably this stage and the coming months of your second trimester are the smoothest days of your pregnancy.

Let’s find out what happens to you and your baby in pregnancy week 16. 

Your baby at pregnancy week 16 

At week 16, your baby measures around 4-5 inches i.e., crown to rump length, and weighs about 3-4 ounces. It’s as big as an avocado now. 

The developmental changes in week 16 are:

  • Your baby’s umbilical cord is now completely matured, and it is vital for supplying nutrient and oxygen rich blood to the fetus and eliminating toxic waste. 
  • The bones are becoming stronger, especially the backbone to support its head and neck 
  • The eyelids remain closed, but the eyes can sense light very well and can make sideways movements 
  • It can make facial expressions like frowning and squinting 
  • Its taste buds are developed and are functional. 
  • Very tiny toenails will appear in this week 
  • Bones develop inside the ears to make hearing more capable 
  • Your baby has developed sucking motion very well in this week 
  • The heart is beating very fast – it ranges between 120 and 160 beats per minute

Prenatal tests 

Your doctor may recommend the Multiple Marker Test (MMT) to rule out fetal abnormalities like Down syndrome, trisomy 18 syndrome, and spina bifida. This test can be done anytime between the 15-20th of pregnancy. MMT test is a blood test and will be conducted at the health care clinic. 

Your body at pregnancy week 16 

Varicose veins – You may (or may not) have come across this symptom in the previous months. The veins stretch due to increased blood supply in your baby, and they become visible on your skin. 

Leg cramps – This usually happens in the night time, again due to increased blood flow. 

Nose bleeds and gum bleeds – Quite normal in the second trimester, you can experience nose bleeding and gum bleeding during this time of your pregnancy. 

Baby fluttering – Your baby is making a lot of movements. So you may begin experiencing typical fluttering sensations inside your tummy. It feels like the bursting of gas bubbles. But do not worry if you haven’t sensed them yet. Wait for a little longer. 

Baby bump- Your baby bump may show up now. However, it varies for different body types. Some women start looking pregnant by six months or so.

Food aversions, morning sickness, and other discomforts that you have been experiencing in your early months of pregnancy will settle down by now. 

Self-care tips at pregnancy week 16

The following tips will be beneficial for you at week 16 of your pregnancy.

  • Give relief to your aching legs. Soak them in warm water for 15-20 minutes at least two times a day, preferably before bedtime. 
  • Your doctor will advise you not to sleep on your back or tummy this week. The best sleep position is – lying on the left side—Tuck in a soft pillow between your legs. 
  • Do not stay on an empty stomach or skip your meals. If you are a working woman, you should carry snacks in your bags, and they have to be healthy. Keep fruits, dry fruits, nuts, salads, etc. Yeah, once a while, you can enjoy a chocolate or ice cream of your choice.
  • While going out, always carry an extra piece of undergarments, panty liners, napkins, tissues, and sanitizer in your baby to ensure personal hygiene.  
  • Since your baby is developing hearing sense, make sure you listen to music. You can sing to your baby and allow him/her to perceive calming sensations. 
  • Stay active. Walking is the best choice for all to-be moms.