Pregnancy Week 16

(10 minute read)

Pregnancy Week 16

You are now entering your fourth month of pregnancy, when numerous changes and developments are taking place, both in your body and in your growing baby.

How Big is Baby at 16 Weeks?

Your baby (or foetus) is still growing very rapidly, and is now about 11.6cm long from head to bottom, or the size of an avocado.

Your baby will now be starting to pull faces, although any smiling or frowning he or she does is completely random, as there is no muscular control just yet.

The nervous system is developing, which means your baby can make tiny fists, and also punch and kick around quite a bit. From week 17 onwards you should be able to feel these movements too.

Your baby's bones are becoming harder and more defined, and the heart is becoming more complex and pumping more than 50 pints of blood through the body daily.

Pregnancy week 10

Your Body at 16 Weeks

The 16th week of pregnancy brings about noticeable changes in your body as it adapts to accommodate your growing baby.

Physical Changes

Your uterus is growing, so your bump starts to show more prominently. Your body is also producing more blood to support the developing foetus, which can lead to visible veins on your skin.

Weight Gain

A steady weight gain is normal and essential for a healthy pregnancy. The amount of weight gain varies, but on average, you might gain about 5 to 10 pounds by this stage. It's important to discuss your weight gain and diet with your healthcare provider to ensure you're on the right track.

Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 16

Common Symptoms

  • Increased Appetite: Your body needs more calories to support the growing baby, leading to an increased appetite.
  • Mild Swelling: You may notice mild swelling in your feet and ankles. This is due to increased fluid in the body.
  • Backaches: As your belly grows, it can put a strain on your back, leading to backaches.
  • Constipation: Hormonal changes can slow down your digestive system, leading to constipation.

Less Common Symptoms

  • Nosebleeds and Nasal Congestion: These symptoms are caused by increased blood flow and hormonal changes.
  • Varicose Veins: Increased blood volume and pressure from the growing uterus can lead to varicose veins, particularly in the legs.

Managing Symptoms

    • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids to help reduce swelling and prevent constipation.
    • Exercise Regularly: Gentle exercises like walking or prenatal yoga can help alleviate back pain and improve overall well-being.
    • Eat a Balanced Diet: Focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
    • Rest: Ensure you get enough rest and sleep to help your body cope with the physical demands of pregnancy.
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Appointment with Your Midwife

It is important at this stage that you see your midwife, who will check your weight, ask questions about how you are getting on, take your blood pressure, and perform blood and urine tests for conditions such as pre-eclampsia. You may also get to hear your baby's heartbeat for the first time.

The 16th week of pregnancy is a time of rapid growth and development for both you and your baby. Understanding these changes can help you better prepare and take care of both your health and the baby's. Regular check-ups with your doctor or midwife are crucial to monitor your baby's development and address any concerns you may have. Remember, every pregnancy is unique, so it's important to focus on what works best for you and your baby.

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