Now you are 16 weeks pregnant and this is when things really start to pick up. Your once-tiny baby has grown and now unquestionably resembles a human baby. By week 16, you have been pregnant for four months. That implies you’ve got 5 months left and are almost halfway there!
You might, for a change, actually feel some nice 16-week pregnancy symptoms in addition to knowing that your baby is growing stronger. You may be starting to actually show signs of your “pregnancy glow” now, after those irritating first trimester symptoms.
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16 Weeks Pregnant – Fetus
At 16 weeks pregnant, your baby is 4.7 in (12 cm) long and weighs roughly 3.5 oz (100 g). The baby is around the size of an orange or an avocado!
Your baby’s growth and weight are currently doubling every two weeks. Because of how big your baby has grown, its little heart is already pumping roughly 6.6 gal (25 l) of blood every day, and this amount will only keep rising.
Your baby has full joint and limb mobility in the womb at 16 weeks. It has even started to move with more intention. Additionally, their reflexes are growing, and by this point, they may even start sucking their thumbs! Even though their eyelids are still closed, their eyes function as well. They are turning away from light and moving their eyes side to side.
Their tiny ears, which began at their neck, are almost in their final position. Not only can your baby hear, but it can also hear and know your voice. According to studies, babies can even recall the songs they listened to when they were growing inside of you. The infant’s body is starting to straighten, and its head is almost up. They are beginning to make facial emotions as their facial muscles become stronger. Additionally, it is yawning inside the womb!
The fetal development stage of 16 weeks also makes the baby appear cuter. The baby’s skin is still translucent, and there is little baby fat on them. Your child appears to have unusually long legs and to be somewhat slender. Your 16-week-old baby is also growing taste buds, and its nails are starting to sprout.
16 Weeks Pregnant – Symptoms
You should already be sporting a tiny 16-week pregnancy bump. You might have put on weight during your first trimester without a noticeable baby bump. However, your pregnant tummy at 16 weeks is undeniable proof of your pregnancy.
Your uterus will expand to papaya size during the second trimester. It’s now situated midway between your pubis and navel. The ligaments that keep your uterus in place are preparing for future growth by stretching and thickening.
Your baby should increase about 1 pound (0.45 kg) per week, or 4 pounds (1.8 kg), during your 16th week of pregnancy.
One of the changes that might catch you by surprise is the continuous growth of your breasts. As your body prepares for breastfeeding, your breasts will keep getting bigger throughout the pregnancy.
On the other hand, you might also experience lower back pain as your round ligaments, which hold the uterus in place, stretch. Although this pain is usually mild, it’s important to contact your doctor if the intensity increases.
Another common issue during pregnancy is constipation. The growing uterus puts pressure on other organs, including your bowels, causing your intestinal traffic to become slower.
Additionally, the increased blood flow and pressure on the veins in your pelvis and legs can lead to varicose veins, especially if you’ve gained weight too quickly.
During pregnancy, you might also experience a phenomenon known as “pregnancy brain” or “brain fog.” This is not a made-up term, but a real symptom caused by a decrease in brain cell ratio, leading to forgetfulness and concentration difficulties. On a positive note, pregnancy hormones can also result in thicker hair and healthier nails, which can be a welcome change for many women.
16 Weeks Pregnant – Questions
1. How Much Weight Should I have Gained by Now?
The recommended weight gain for a pregnant woman at 16 weeks varies based on their pre-pregnancy weight. On average, a woman who started her pregnancy at a healthy weight is expected to gain around 1-2 pounds per week during the second trimester, which would put her total weight gain at around 10-15 pounds by 16 weeks. However, if a woman was underweight before pregnancy, she may need to gain more weight, while if she was overweight, she may need to gain less. It’s important to discuss weight gain goals and any concerns with your healthcare provider, as they can provide personalized recommendations based on your individual needs and circumstances.
2. Should I Start Thinking About Registering for Childbirth Classes or Preparing for Labor?
Yes, at 16 weeks pregnant it’s a good idea to start thinking about registering for childbirth classes or preparing for labor. These classes can provide you with important information about what to expect during labor and delivery, as well as how to cope with pain, breathing techniques, relaxation exercises, and other helpful strategies.
Childbirth classes may also cover topics such as infant care, breastfeeding, and postpartum recovery. By learning about these topics early on in your pregnancy, you can feel more prepared and confident as you approach your due date.
Your healthcare provider or local hospital may offer childbirth classes, or you can look for classes offered by independent childbirth educators. Some classes may be available online or in-person, so be sure to research your options and sign up for a class that fits your needs and preferences.
Preparing for labor also involves making a birth plan with your healthcare provider, discussing pain management options, and packing a hospital bag with essential items for you and your baby. Taking these steps can help ensure a smoother and more comfortable labor and delivery experience.