What's happening when you are 16 weeks pregnant?

16 weeks pregnant

By the time the sixteenth week of your pregnancy rolls in, you’ve completed four months of pregnancy! How the times flies, doesn’t it? By now you may have eased into the pregnancy. The exciting news is that incredible things continue to happen within your body – with your baby’s growth and development. Curious to know all about pregnancy in the sixteenth week? Read on to find out.

Signs and symptoms when you are 16 weeks pregnant

While you may continue to feel much more relieved from all the nausea and discomfort, your body continues to prepare for the baby. Increase in blood supply coupled with stretched skin will make your veins to appear more prominent than ever before. You may also experience sharp cramps in your feet all of a sudden. Some women also experience frequent headaches, indigestion and dizziness during this time. You may also experience constipation during this week, if you haven’t already faced this in the previous weeks.

Another prominent symptom of week 16 is the strange feeling of butterflies fluttering in your stomach. Can you guess what this is? It’s your baby kicking for the first time! These early kicks are fairly subtle and are called “flutters” or “quickening”, and many moms don’t notice them until they’re in the eighteenth week. If you feel these “flutters”, feel free to celebrate, as it’s quite a special milestone!

What’s happening to the baby in your 16th week of  pregnancy?

At sixteen weeks, your baby has grown to the size of a large avocado, i.e. it’s approximately 5 inches long and weighs 100 grams on an average.

By now, your baby can clench and unclench its fist and even suck on its own thumb! This is something that you may even notice in the ultrasound, along with well-defined facial features (please note – sex determination via ultrasound or any other method is illegal in India).

All these weeks your baby’s skin has been translucent as it hasn’t fully developed. However, this week onwards, even that begins to change, as layers upon layers of cells come together to develop your baby’s soft and pink-tinged skin.

The baby’s soft and rubbery skeleton formed of cartilage is now hardening and becoming stronger and bonier. The umbilical cord is fully developed and the baby’s nervous system is kicking into function. The toenails are beginning to form, as is the hair pattern on its scalp. Your baby’s neck is now straighter and more defined, and its head is more erect.

What should the expecting mother be doing when she is 16 weeks pregnant?

Continue with your healthy lifestyle consisting of wholesome and fresh foods and enough water. Focus on steadily gaining or losing weight week by week, based on whether you’re underweight or overweight as determined by the obstetrician.

Avoid sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your side and with a pillow under your knees or hips will prove to be extremely useful too. In case you’ve been facing constipation, avoid taking any medication, and just keep drinking a lot of fluids. Cutting back on veggies that are known to cause gas and bloating, such as beans, cabbage etc. can be extremely helpful. You can continue doing light exercises during this week.
You’ll be ready for next scheduled ultrasound this week, where you will hear your baby’s heartbeats and see them suckle on their thumb!

Remember to enjoy this period of restfulness. Eat healthy and wholesome, try some light exercises and just focus on being relaxed. Good luck!

If you have any questions related to pregnancy, ask us in the comments!


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