Week Sixteen of Pregnancy

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Your baby at week sixteen of pregnancy

At around 10cm in length and weighing around 90g, you might not yet be able to feel your baby’s movements, although it would be possible at week sixteen. Your baby is now vigorously pumping about his or her arms and legs, little muscles working furiously to enhance their size and strength. Now the size of an avocado, with fully formed limbs and joints, your baby is very active and may also have discovered the ability to suck his or her thumb!

These movements have become more purposeful as your little one’s nervous system has become more intact with their muscles. Their spine has also strengthened enough for your baby to be able to straighten out his or her head and neck slightly. Although most of the bones in your baby’s body are hardening, the cranium bones will remain flexible until after birth, so that your baby can pass through the vaginal canal. Your little one may even play with the umbilical cord in their tiny fists!

Your baby’s eyes are working too! Your baby’s eyes can be seen flickering under his or her eyelids, and if you could shine a light, your baby would likely turn away from it (although their eyelids will remain sealed shut for a few more weeks).

Your body at week sixteen of pregnancy         

You might be able to feel your baby moving about! However first time mums often mistake these fluttery feelings for indigestion or other rumblings of sorts! It is likely that you will also start to feel short of breath even after simply crossing a room, this is due to pregnancy hormones causing liquid to collect in your lungs, making deeper inhalation more difficult.

You may have also noticed that sleeping on your front or back is particularly uncomfortable, and bad for your circulation as it puts pressure on the vena cava. To reduce discomfort and improve circulation, try sleeping on your left hand side. You will find that you are now putting on weight as your baby grows; it is advisable that you try to gain weight as your baby is doing so, by putting on about a pound a week, as long as you’re averaging around four pounds a month. If you sustain a balanced, nutrient rich diet, (so not satisfying cravings for junk food!), and participate in light, regular exercise, your weight gain should be healthy and nothing to worry about.

What you may be feeling at week sixteen of pregnancy

Fluctuating emotions and mood swings may still play a part in the second trimester and affect some women more than others. At least now that people know you are pregnant it is easier. You may worry about your increasing waist size and wonder what it will feel like when your baby bump gets really big. You may be concerned about antenatal testing and healthy screening and wonder whether you wish to test or not. Some women like to be prepared for all eventualities and some women prefer to let nature take its course. Either is completely up to you. Discuss your concerns with your doctor and with your family to put your mind at ease.

Common symptoms at week sixteen of pregnancy

  • Decreasing nausea and vomiting
  • Breast discomfort and tenderness
  • Dizziness
  • A decrease in fluctuating emotions
  • Heartburn or constipation
  • Food aversions or cravings may continue
  • Increased energy
  • Swollen gums and sensitivity
  • Nosebleeds due to increased blood-flow and sensitive nasal passages
  • Shortness of breath
  • Clumsiness
  • Anxiety about your pregnancy and the birth

Tips for week sixteen of pregnancy

  • If you haven’t already, start getting comfortable with sleeping on your side. Your left side is best. As your bump grows this will be the best way for you to sleep and lying on your back can make you feel dizzy and be bad for your blood flow as your baby grows.
  • Find antenatal clothes that you like preferably that are adjustable so that they can see you through your pregnancy. Remember these will be useful too when you have given birth until your shape returns to normal.
  • Keep an eye on your weight gain and make sure that you are not gaining too fast. If you are then cut back on refined carbohydrates, sugars and fats and instead fill up on wholegrains which slow-release energy.

If you have any symptoms that concern you it is important to consult your doctor as soon as you can.

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