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It’s your sixteenth week of pregnancy, and your baby has now grown to the size of an avocado! Along with its increased size, your baby has further developed its hearing abilities and is able to hear your voice as you chat with and sing to them. Among the other sensations, you will be feeling are slight kicks from your baby as it wiggles around in your womb.
Still undergoing its development, your baby’s nervous system is settling into place. During this time in the sixteenth week, your baby’s nervous system is advanced enough to enable the muscles within their itty-bitty limbs start to flex and contract.
On the verge of a considerable growth spurt, your baby will significantly increase in size over the coming weeks from its current measurements of about four and a half inches long.
Along with the intense growth spurt, your baby will undergo a range of new developments as it continues to explore, practice, and perfect its newest skills.
Read on below to learn more about the sixteenth week of pregnancy and all of its many fascinating aspects!
Your Physical and Emotional Health
16 Weeks Pregnant
Often occurring in or around the sixteenth-week mark of pregnancy is a phenomenon referred to as pelvic girdle pain (PGP). Pelvic girdle pain is a result of pregnancy hormones easing the ligaments in your pelvic area and subsequently creating improperly working joints that are uneven and put astrain on many of your other joints and muscles.
Symptoms of pelvic girdle pain can range from aching hips, pain in the groin, discomfort in getting up from a sitting position or getting in and out of automobiles or even standing for extended periods of time.
If you do in fact have pelvic groin pain, it is prudent to seek help for it as soon as possible. As your pregnancy term goes on, the condition can significantly worsen and create intense discomfort. Recognizing and addressing the issue early on can help mitigate any further discomfort and pain symptoms.
Backaches in week sixteen of pregnancy are extremely common and are an effect of ever-shifting pregnancy hormones. To help mitigate backaches and body pains, engage in yoga, stretching, or other forms of low impact exercise to help relax and strengthen your body.
Other Common Symptoms Occurring in Week Sixteen Can Include the Following:
- Breasts that are continuing to increase in size and are on their way towards being ready for breastfeeding
- Brain fog and forgetfulness. Colloquially referred to as “pregnancy brain,” women will commonly become increasingly forgetful and absent minded during this time in their pregnancy
- Constipation issues can abound due to the continuous pressing of your uterus pressing up against your intestines. Ensure that you integrate plenty of fiber foods in your diet and drink ample amounts of water to keep your system well lubricated
- Eye issues: One of the many conditions that result from pregnancy hormones, sensitive eyes that are dry and itchy may begin to affect your daily life. Consult with your healthcare provider about using eye drops to help moisten the eyes and alleviate discomfort
- Thick, lustrous, shiny hair will be present on most pregnant women during this time in their term
- Fingernails that grow exceptionally fast occur concurrently with the sudden beneficial change in the condition of hair
Your Baby’s Health and Status
16 Weeks Pregnant
At 16 weeks pregnant, your little “avocado” is roughly 3.5 ounces in weight and measures about 4.6 inches in length. On the precipice of an immense growth spurt, your baby’s heart has now become incredibly efficient and is pumping nearly twenty-five quarts of blood per day.
During this time, your baby’s head is slowly becoming more erect and upright, while their delicately fragile skeleton undergoes a hardening process, transforming from spongy cartilage to durably hard bone.
It’s interesting to note that while your baby’s bones and skeletal system undergo a hardening process, the bones will still remain malleable enough to facilitate an easier expedition out of the birth canal.
Meanwhile, the umbilical cord has undergone full maturation and is comprised of a single vein and dural arteries that are fully protected by what’s referred to as “Wharton’s jelly,” a thick, and viscous substance that renders the umbilical cord slipper enough so that it can move easily around your baby without any kind of hindrance.
Tips, Tricks, and Knowledge
16 Weeks Pregnant
- Antenatal appointments are vastly important to attend as they check urine to ensure that your body is not experiencing increased protein levels which can result in conditions like preeclampsia
- When you go to your doctor visits, bring your notes with you so that you can easily ask questions and write down important information to remember
- If you are experiencing a craving for sweets, stock up on healthy fruit and yogurt
- Salty cravings can be alleviated by string cheese and lightly salted nuts such as almonds
- Both your body and baby will benefit from the protein and calcium found in cheese, so feel free to reach for a convenient stick of string cheese anytime a salty craving strikes
- At your upcoming sixteen-week ultrasound, if all is well, your chances of experiencing miscarriage officially drop to a diminutive one percent!
Week 16 To-Do List and Reminders
16 Weeks Pregnant
- Schedule your sixteen-week second antenatal visit – this visit takes a look at your baby’s overall development, and progressions in size and weight
- Schedule your twenty-week prenatal visit
- Schedule a mid-pregnancy ultrasound
- By now your morning sickness symptoms should have abated completely. Make sure to take advantage of this opportune time (if you haven’t already) to instill healthy eating habits and employ strategies for well-being and overall health
- Make sure that you are getting 30 minutes of exercise per day. Great for both you and baby, exercise provides myriad benefits. Low-intensity activities such as swimming, yoga, walking, and stretching are perfect for pregnant women
- Begin researching baby furniture, equipment, and accessories such as car seats, strollers, cribs, baby monitors and more.
- Keep an eye out on sales for any high-dollar baby items (ex. Baby monitors) that you will will need in the future
Antenatal: Antenatal may sound like a complicated term but it simply just refers to your pregnancy term; the period before birth. An antenatal exam is simply just a medical examination that pregnant women go to throughout their pregnancy term
Cool Things to Know
- Your baby’s coordination has now developed to the point where they can adorably clasp their hands together in front of their body!
- Pregnancy weight gain is not solely related to food intake. The amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby weighs nearly two pounds, and the placenta weighs in at about a pound a half. In addition, the surplus of blood pumping within your body in conjunction with significantly enlarged breasts, and increased fluid weigh in at a combined seventeen pounds
- At this point in your pregnancy, your uterus is roughly the size of a papaya fruit, with the top of the “fruit” at the halfway mark between your navel and pubic bone.
- Chat as much as you want to your baby- sing to it, converse with it, talk to it as much as you can. Believe it or not, your baby will recognize your voice at birth and will be instantly soothed by the sound of your voice as it experiences its first moments outside the womb and in the real world
Ready to find out what’s next in your pregnancy journey?