By the time you are 16 weeks pregnant, you have probably had a couple of ante-natal appointments. As part of a series of checks conducted in early pregnancy, blood tests are included. If you haven’t already had these, or for some reason they’ve been missed, check with your maternity care provider. It is important that your blood type, blood counts and immunity to certain diseases are checked.
If you fit into a higher risk category of having a baby with chromosomal problems, you may be offered a CVS-(Chorionic Villus Sampling) test or, an Amniocentesis. It is possible to have a CVS before 12 weeks, though it is generally done between weeks 11-14. Amniocentesis is usually performed between 15-18 weeks of pregnancy, though can be done at a later. Both of these tests require an ultrasound at the same time, to check exactly where the placenta and the baby are positioned.
Now you’re in your second trimester, you will be entering a more practical, down to earth stage of your pregnancy. At 16 weeks pregnant, look for your energy to return and being able to focus on things other than how tired you feel. Now is the time to investigate your maternity leave entitlements from work, and to plan how you will manage if you need to drop your income.
This is also the time to do your research into childcare if you think you will need it. Although this may seem early, spaces at many centres are limited and often have long waiting lists. You may also want to start thinking about room allocation - which room will be the nursery? Will the baby need to share with a sibling? All of these factors need time to consider.
16 weeks pregnant symptoms
- The fundus, or top or your uterus, will be around 16cm from your pubic bone. This means your 16 weeks pregnant belly may be starting to show.
- Your gums may be sensitive and bleed easily when you brush your teeth. Change your toothbrush regularly and use a soft bristled brush. Brush twice a day and floss. Brush the back of your tongue, this is where decay causing bacteria breed. Make sure you have at least one dental check-up during your pregnancy. Gum disease is one of the risk factors for premature labour and low birth weight baby.
- You might still be prone to constipation. Water, roughage, fruits, vegetables, grain based cereals and exercise are all naturally effective remedies.
- You are likely to have an increase in your vaginal discharge. During pregnancy, discharge is usually milky white or clear, but unless it causes itching or smells, don’t be concerned. Mucous producing cells in your vagina play a protective role against infection.
- Sharp twinges of pain and cramping for a 16 weeks pregnant belly are not uncommon. Ligaments and muscles supporting the uterus are getting a work out. Try not to move suddenly, sit when you can and avoid standing for long periods.
- If the news of your pregnancy was less than welcome, you’ll have had time to get your head around it. Many women find by the time they feel their baby’s movements, at 17-18 weeks, they have accepted their pregnancy.
- Having a baby can bring about changes in a woman’s relationship with her own parents. You are likely to find yourself reflecting back on your own childhood. All of this pondering is completely normal, demonstrating the significance of parenting.
16 weeks pregnant baby changes
- This week your baby is able to make sideways eye movements. Though its eyelids are still sealed for protection, the muscles controlling their eyes are starting to work. When bright light shines through your abdominal wall they’ll scrunch up their eyes.
- At 16 weeks your baby can hear. Studies have shown babies who are accoustomed to music antenatally, respond positively to the same sounds after they’re born.
- Lots of movements from your baby this week. Unless you’ve been pregnant before, you’re may still be unaware.
- This week your baby can open its little mouth and move its tiny lips. There’s lots of practicing going on as well with breathing and swallowing movements, so that amniotic fluid is constantly being cycled through.
- This week your 16 week foetus has probably found its umbilical cord and is holding on. Don’t worry that their grip is so tight it will restrict any blood flow, the baby will let go before there is any risk of that happening.
Tips for 16 weeks pregnant
- Get your flu vaccine if you’re pregnant in autumn/winter. Influenza vaccine is safe and recommended in pregnancy. And check your whooping cough immunity as well.
- Consider taking a series of pregnancy photos so you can see how your 16 weeks pregnant belly grows in the next few months. This will be a nice keepsake and you’ll be glad you did. Video diaries are also a cute way of tracking pregnancy and the way it progresses.
- Tell your older children about the baby and show them your 16 weeks pregnant belly. This will help them to prepare and build a sense of connection with their new sibling.
- Don’t forget the sun block. Melanin in your skin will be making your freckles and moles a bit darker. Most sun blocks are safe to use during pregnancy and won’t harm you or your baby. Look for one which protects against both UVA (the aging rays) and UVB (the burning rays).
How much water is around my baby at 16 weeks pregnant?
Although there’s only a cup or so of fluid surrounding your baby, it is enough for protection and support.
At 16 weeks pregnant is baby brain common?
Being focused on the baby is a common 16 weeks pregnant symptom. This is nature’s way of preparing for a baby.
Written for Huggies by Jane Barry Midwife and Child Health Nurse on 1/05/20.
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. To reduce the risk of injury, never force or strain yourself during exercise. If you feel pain, stop and seek medical attention if necessary.
If you are in week 16 of your pregnancy...
Your baby’s due date: March 29 - April 10, 2021
Baby’s star sign: Aries
Chinese year: Ox
Famous people born around your baby's birth date:
- Al Gore
- Eddie Murphy
- Bette Davis