Your uterus is expanding big time—meaning that bump might show up any day now (if it hasn’t already!).
Some pregnant people can feel baby move as early as 16 weeks. If this isn’t your first pregnancy, you’ll easily recognize (and more readily identify) those signature kicks, jabs and rolls. FYI, early movement is called quickening.
Amniocentesis is an elective test that happens between 15 and 20 weeks gestation. It can diagnose neural tube defects, chromosomal abnormalities and other genetic disorders. It’s generally considered safe, but comes with a very small increased risk of miscarriage.
Now that you’re 16 weeks pregnant, things are getting pretty exciting. You may have another prenatal visit this week, where you will get to hear baby’s heartbeat again. Even more thrilling will be feeling baby kick, which could happen starting this week, so pay attention to those subtle feelings in your 16 weeks pregnant belly. Another cool fact? Baby is starting to be able to hear your voice—and they’ll recognize it at birth—so feel free to chat baby up any chance you get.
Baby at Week 16
Inside your 16 weeks pregnant belly, baby is listening to your voice, thanks to tiny bones forming in their ears. Your 16-week fetus is growing hair, lashes and eyebrows, and their taste buds are forming.
What is baby doing at 16 weeks? Growing! Baby develops a lot during the second trimester, and a 16-week fetus is no exception. The muscles and bones are taking shape, the liver and pancreas start working, lung tissue forms, toenails appear and legs develop. It’s a big week for baby!
How big is baby at 16 weeks pregnant?
At 16 weeks pregnant, baby is the size of an avocado, measuring 4.6 inches long and weighing in at 3.5 ounces.
16 weeks pregnant is how many months?
Sixteen weeks pregnant is four months pregnant—but remember, most doctors track your progress by week, not month.
16 week ultrasound
You’ll probably have a four-month prenatal visit around the time you’re 16 weeks pregnant. As usual, you’ll likely have a urine test; your OB will be checking your urine for signs of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. You may have a 16 weeks pregnant ultrasound at your appointment, too.
3D Views: My Baby, My Body
See their progress for yourself with our 3D interactive tool.
See My Baby in 3D
See My Body in 3D
Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 16
More reason to celebrate: There are some 16 weeks pregnant symptoms that are actually good. For example, some moms-to-be find their hair and nails grow faster. Your hair might actually look thicker and more lustrous and your skin might look radiant, too. Woohoo! Here’s more of what you might be feeling at 16 weeks pregnant:
Your aching back is a side effect of pregnancy hormones. To ease backaches, make some time for low-impact exercise. Sit and stand up straight and regularly stretch your body.
Your breasts have probably gone up several cup sizes by now and should be completely prepped for breastfeeding by the end of the second trimester.
Getting, um, stopped up is an unfortunate result of your uterus starting to press on your intestines. Load up on fiber-rich foods and drink lots of water to keep things moving.
This is also known as #PregnancyBrain. No one knows for sure what causes pregnant women to become more forgetful. It could be biological or it could just be a result of having lots on your mind!
Dry, itchy, sensitive eyes
Blame the hormones once again! Some moms-to-be find themselves dealing with itchy, watery eyes, especially if they have allergies. You could try over-the-counter allergy medications or eye drops for dry eyes, but be sure to consult your OB before choosing one.
Finally—that pregnancy glow that people are always talking about. Va va voom! Keep your skin looking its best by knowing what products to use—and what ingredients to avoid. Avoid Retin-A and salicylic acid containing products.
What should you feel at 16 weeks pregnant?
As the second trimester continues, you should be gaining more energy. Many moms-to-be enjoy glowing skin, thanks to a combination of more blood pumping through your body and hormones increasing oil production in the skin. On the flip side, you may still experience symptoms you’ve been dealing with for weeks now. Bleeding gums, leg cramps, aches and pains, skin discoloration and swelling are all common occurrences for women who are around four months pregnant.
If you’re 16 weeks pregnant with twins, your symptoms probably won’t be different than they would be for a mom carrying one baby at this point. You definitely want to keep your doctor posted on all your symptoms, though, since a twin pregnancy is considered higher risk, so your doctor will want to keep close tabs on you and your babies.
Your Pregnant Belly at 16 Weeks
Pretty soon, you’ll start feeling baby moving around in your 16 weeks pregnant belly. At first, those moves might feel like gas or a muscle twitch, but over time, as baby gets bigger and stronger, they’ll be unmistakable. If you’re 16 weeks pregnant with twins, you won’t feel kicks any earlier than a singleton mom-to-be will, but over time, twin moms definitely feel more kicking sensations.
Of course, feeling those movements comes with other issues, like having your lungs crowded by your growing babe. That could make it seem tough to catch your breath from time to time.
Should you have a baby bump at 16 weeks?
Your bump is probably making its appearance around 16 weeks pregnant, if it hasn’t popped already. There are a few different reasons behind the size of your 16 weeks pregnant belly, which include your expanding uterus and possible bloating from excess fluid in the body. And of course, your growing baby is taking up space too!
“Nothing sweeter than week 16. Around now is when that first trimester nausea has likely subsided. You may also be feeling more energetic than in the first trimester, but make sure you take it easy and get plenty of rest so you can continue to exude that beautiful pregnancy glow. “ - Rachel Miller, MD, an ob-gyn and owner and founder of Pocket Bridges.
Tips for 16 Weeks Pregnant
Here are some things to do this week.
Prevent acne breakouts
The extra oil your skin produces during pregnancy can lead to pimples, so control flare-ups with oil-free products that do the job while still being gentle enough for you and baby. Look for cleansers and treatment products with glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide and avoid retinols, but always consult with your doctor before using an acne treatment.
Pregnancy brain can be frustrating, so get ahead of it by making to-do lists. Whether you have a digital planner or use old-fashioned paper and pen, jotting down all you have to do—and it’s probably a lot right now!—helps you keep track of everything without missing a step.
Update your bra drawer
By now your breasts have probably grown quite a bit, and suddenly the bra spillage is real. Skip the sexy lingerie section and invest in some high-quality maternity or nursing bras to best support the girls.
Find a chair with good support
If you’re working through your pregnancy sitting at a desk, it can intensify any backaches you have. Try placing a support pillow behind your lower back, or find a comfortable ergonomic chair that keeps your back straight, not hunched over.
Pregnancy Checklist at 16 Weeks Pregnant
Reminders for the week:
Week 15 Pregnancy
Week 17 Pregnancy
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16 Weeks Pregnant | Pregnancy
Your baby is growing quickly and about to have another growth spurt. You will probably have put on some weight over the past few weeks too.
What's happening in my body?
You may see a midwife around now, who will weigh you and discuss how you're getting on. You might get to hear your baby's heartbeat for the first time. You will also get the results of any blood tests that you had during your booking appointment.
You will probably have been offered a test for 3 infectious diseases: HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis. If an infection has been picked up, then your midwife or doctor will talk to you about the best ways to protect your health and reduce the risk of passing on the infection to your baby.
Your blood pressure will be checked and you will need to provide a urine sample. This will be checked for signs of protein that could show if you're at risk of developing a dangerous condition called pre-eclampsia.
Constipation is common in early pregnancy. It's when you find it really hard to poo, it can make you feel bloated, sick and give you tummy ache.
eat foods that are high in fibre, such as wholemeal bread, fruit and veg, beans and lentils
drink lots of water
avoid iron supplements (but talk to your doctor or midwife before ditching any medication)
Read more about easing constipation in pregnancy on the NHS website.
Carbon monoxide alert
You can not see, smell or taste it – but carbon monoxide gas is a killer. You can come into contact with it through faulty or poorly ventilated cooking or heating appliances. If you've already got a carbon monoxide detector, then check that it's working.
There's usually a test button – if it does not beep, the battery may need replacing or you need a new detector. You can pick one up at most supermarkets.
You can also become exposed to this harmful gas through breathing in cigarette smoke.
2nd trimester pregnancy symptoms (at 16 weeks)
Everyone's pregnancy is different but if you feel unwell and it's getting you down, speak to your doctor or midwife.
Your pregnancy symptoms may include:
swollen and bleeding gums (week 13's page has information about gum health)
pains on the side of your belly, caused by your expanding womb (known as 'round ligament pains')
feeling bloated (read how to cope with bloating on week 10's page and constipation)
indigestion and heartburn (read about dealing with indigestion and heartburn on week 25's page)
swollen hands and feet
vaginal infections (week 15's page explains about how to treat vaginal infections)
darkened skin on your face or brown patches – this is known as chloasma or the "mask of pregnancy"
greasier, spotty skin
thicker and shinier hair
You may also experience symptoms from earlier weeks, such as:
morning sickness (read about dealing with morning sickness on week 6's page)
weird pregnancy cravings (read about pregnancy cravings on week 5's page)
a heightened sense of smell
mood swings (week 8's page has information on mood swings)
a white milky pregnancy discharge from your vagina and light spotting (seek medical advice for any bleeding)
Read Tommy's guide to common pregnancy symptoms.
What does my baby look like?
Your baby, or foetus, is around 11.6cm long from head to bottom, which is the size of an avocado. The weight is around 100g, which is the same as a medium bag of salad.
Your baby is starting to pull faces now, but any smiling or frowning will be completely random, as there's no muscle control yet. The nervous system continues to develop, and this enables your baby to start moving their arms and legs. Your baby's hands can form fists and they may start punching around inside you too. You might be able to feel your baby kicking from week 17 onwards.
Many women will tell their employer after they've had their first pregnancy scan at around 12 weeks. Once you tell your employer, you have maternity rights and can attend antenatal appointments during paid work time. You can also ask for a risk assessment of your workplace to ensure that you're working in a safe environment.
It's a good time to tone up your pelvic floor muscles. Gentle exercises can help to prevent leakage when you laugh, sneeze or cough. Get the muscles going by pretending that you're having a wee and then stopping the 'urine' midflow. Visit Tommy's for more ideas about pelvic floor exercises.
Ask your midwife or doctor about online antenatal classes – they may be able to recommend one. The charity Tommy's has lots of useful information on antenatal classes and preparing you for birth.
Even if you've had children before, they're still worth going to as you can meet other parents-to-be. The NCT offers online antenatal classes with small groups of people that live locally to you.
To keep bones and muscles healthy, we need vitamin D. From late March/early April to the end of September, most people make enough vitamin D from sunlight on their skin. However, between October and early March, you should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement because we cannot make enough from sunlight.
Some people should take a vitamin D supplement all year round, find out if this applies to you on the NHS website. You just need 10 micrograms (it's the same for grown-ups and kids). Check if you're entitled to free vitamins.
It's recommended that you do 150 minutes of exercise a week while pregnant. You could start off with just 10 minutes of daily exercise - perhaps take a brisk walk outside. Check out Sport England's #StayInWorkOut online exercises (scroll to the pregnancy section). Listen to your body and do what feels right for you.
There's no need to eat for 2. You don't need any extra calories until the third trimester, which starts in week 28. Try to eat healthily, with plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and avoid processed, fatty and salty foods. You may be able to get free milk, fruit and veg through the Healthy Start scheme.
You and your family should follow the government and NHS guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19):
read government guidance on how to stay safe from COVID-19
get NHS advice about COVID-19
use the NHS COVID-19 app for England and Wales – it's the fastest way of knowing when you've been exposed to COVID-19
To find out about about COVID-19 and pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, have a look at advice on the:
World Health Organization
16 weeks pregnant - what is happening, fetal development, feeling, what the belly looks like
At the 16th week of pregnancy, the length of the fetus will reach 11 - 11. 5 cm, and weight - 80 g. All life processes are actively going on in the body of a little man: the heart is working hard, the kidneys are regularly excreting urine, the development of the central nervous system continues. By the period of 15-16 weeks of pregnancy, the composition of the blood of the fetus has already taken shape: it, as it should be, consists of lymphocytes, erythrocytes and monocytes. It contains fetal (or "fetal") hemoglobin: it is needed for a better supply of oxygen to cells, and in a newborn its share is about 80 - 85% of the total. However, already at this time, “adult” hemoglobin also appears - within six months after the birth of a child, it will replace the fetal one.
By the 16th week of pregnancy, the baby's muscles have already grown strong enough, he has learned to hold his head evenly and turn it from side to side, move his fingers and legs. Your baby is very active: he smiles, frowns, yawns, swallows, spits, sucks his thumb and even tries to play with what he finds nearby: he grabs the umbilical cord, touches his arms and legs. And if there is more than one baby in the mother's belly, the children communicate with each other.
During the 15-16th week of pregnancy, the uterus grows and stretches the muscles and ligaments in the lower abdomen, due to which you may feel slight pain. Now the uterus has grown so much that it is already palpable: to do this, empty your bladder, lie on your back and relax. Now try using your fingertips to carefully examine the area in the middle of the abdomen just above the pelvic bone. The protruding zone is your unborn child. If all else fails and you do not find the uterus, ask your doctor to teach you how to do it right.
At the 16th week of pregnancy, due to squeezing the intestines, problems with going to the toilet "in a big way" may appear. If it were only about discomfort, it would not be so scary, but prolonged constipation can increase the risk of miscarriage. Therefore, it is necessary to reconsider your diet and include in it products that have a laxative effect. To prevent problems with peristalsis at the 15th - 16th week of pregnancy, it is advisable to perform simple physical exercises daily and take a walk in the fresh air, it is also a good idea to visit the pool.
Your breasts continue to grow, the areolas become even larger and darker. The hormonal surge is over, and your appetite has increased. However, we must try not to overeat and constantly control body weight. Normal weekly weight gain varies from 300 to 500 g.
And at the stage of 15 - 16 weeks of pregnancy, your temperature may rise by 1 - 2 degrees. Do not worry: the body "overheats" due to intense work, and with the help of increased sweating and a feeling of heat, the body cools itself. The amount of vaginal discharge may also increase. Increased secretion is a kind of preparation of the genital tract for childbirth.
In general, the 16th week of pregnancy is a period when the emotional state of a woman normalizes and energy returns to her. There is a thirst for vigorous activity: I want to start repairs, large-scale shopping or even moving. But the expectant mother should be careful not to lift weights and not overwork, because this can adversely affect the health of her baby.
If pregnancy develops without pathologies and complications, there should not be any special unpleasant sensations at this time. With prolonged physical exertion, you may experience pain in the lower back or legs, but in no case in the lower abdomen.
At the 16th week of pregnancy, the risk of developing iron deficiency anemia increases. This is due to an increase in the volume of circulating blood and a decrease in the number of red blood cells in it. To compensate for the lack of iron, the gynecologist may prescribe medications containing this element. Also, in the blood of the expectant mother, when the period has reached 16 weeks of pregnancy, a lack of calcium and magnesium is often found, which is fraught with the appearance of cramps in the legs (most often at night). In this situation, special magnesium preparations will help, and to fill the daily need for calcium, it is enough to eat a little cottage cheese every day and drink a glass of kefir or milk.
Allocations for a period of 16 weeks of pregnancy are white or yellowish, practically do not smell. When they cause itching, have a pungent odor and turn green, these may be symptoms of a genital infection that must be treated. And if the discharge turns brown, pink or red, this is a cause for serious concern. In combination with cramping pains, a feeling of tightness in the lower back and a “petrified” abdomen, they can be a sign of uterine hypertonicity. Take a supine position and immediately call an ambulance.
At the 16th week of pregnancy, in addition to a complete blood and urine test, you may have to donate blood for a coagulogram (to determine its clotting), free estriol, AFP and hCG. In diseases such as Down's syndrome, craniocerebral hernia and anencephaly, the level of these substances will deviate from the norm.
Usually, an ultrasound scan is not done at 16 weeks of gestation, but if it is prescribed, the expectant mother will be able to observe on the monitor not only the movements of her baby, but also his facial expressions. This time, using a conventional ultrasound machine, you can also determine the sex of the child, unless, of course, your baby turns to the right side.
In some cases, an amniocentesis is prescribed at the 16th week of pregnancy. For this study, the amniotic membrane is punctured and a small amount of amniotic fluid is removed with a needle. A diagnostic test allows you to determine with almost absolute certainty whether the fetus has this or that pathology. With this study, several hundred genetic defects can be identified. But this procedure is not safe: according to statistics, in one case in a thousand, infection occurs, and the risk of miscarriage as a result of amniocentesis is approximately 0.5 - 1%. Therefore, without extreme necessity, it is better not to do a puncture of the amniotic membrane at the 15th - 16th week of pregnancy.
For the 16th week of pregnancy, the recommendations remain the same. Now it is important for you to monitor weight gain. And in order to avoid obesity, it is necessary to exclude “fast” carbohydrates from the diet (buns, cakes, chocolate, sweets). Extra pounds can lead to complications and negatively affect the process of childbirth. When you are already 16 weeks pregnant, eat right: do not give up breakfast, choose nuts, fruits, biscuits, natural sugar-free yoghurts as snacks. And at night you can drink herbal tea with honey or a glass of kefir;
Some pregnant women are interested in the question of whether it is possible to visit a bath or sauna for a period of 15 - 16 weeks of pregnancy. You should not do this: like a hot bath or shower, bath procedures can harm the child, because if your body temperature rises even for a few minutes, great damage will be done to the baby's body.
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16th week of pregnancy: sensations, size and development of the fetus
Your baby is almost 13 cm long and moves around a lot, alternating periods of activity and rest. This helps the growth of the baby's muscles and the formation of connections in the nervous system - between the brain, spinal cord and muscles.
By the 16th week of pregnancy, you have probably already visited the doctor a couple of times. First trimester screening includes specialized blood tests. For your health and the healthy development of your baby, it is important that the laboratory checks your blood type, its characteristics and immunity to certain diseases.
If you are at high risk for a child's chromosomal disease, you may be referred for a genetic test using a chorionic biopsy or amniocentesis (amniotic fluid sampling). Chorionic biopsy can be performed up to 12 weeks or later. Amniotic fluid analysis is usually performed between 14-16 weeks of gestation, but sometimes later. When conducting any of these tests, the doctor controls his actions with the help of ultrasound in order to understand exactly where the placenta and the baby are located in the uterus.
So, what should I do now?
The practical, mundane phase of your pregnancy begins. Your energy levels are back to normal and you can focus on something other than your tiredness.
Now is the time to study the legal aspects of maternity leave and calculate how you and your partner will live on the same salary and benefits you are entitled to.
If you are planning to send your child to kindergarten, it is time to start research on this issue. It may seem premature, but in some places you need to book well in advance.
Consider redecorating your home. Where will the nursery be? Will your child live with you, apart from you, with a brother or sister? All these issues require time to be discussed, considered and resolved.
Physical changes at 16 weeks of gestation
The fundus (top) of the uterus is approximately 16 cm from the pubic bone this week. Perhaps your tummy is already visible, and it is obvious to other people that you are pregnant.
You may find that your gums become sensitive and bleed a little when you brush your teeth. Use only brushes with soft bristles and change them regularly. Brush your teeth twice a day, use dental floss, don't forget to brush the back of your tongue - bacteria that promote decay breed there. Visit the dentist at least once during pregnancy. Gingivitis i.e. Inflammation of the gums is one of the risk factors for preterm birth, so oral hygiene is now more important than ever.
You may still have constipation and lazy bowel syndrome. Water, roughage, fruits, vegetables, grains, and exercise are all natural and effective ways to keep your bowels functioning properly.
You may have increased vaginal discharge, which is annoying but not necessarily a sign of infection. During pregnancy, the discharge is usually clear or milky white, but if it is not accompanied by itching or odor, there is no cause for concern. Cells that produce mucus protect the genitals from infections.
You may sometimes feel sharp pains in the sides of your abdomen. The ligaments and muscles that support your expanding uterus are now actively working, and sometimes they can react to overload. Try not to make sudden movements, do not stand for a long time, sit when possible. If your job doesn't allow this, talk to your supervisor and ask for adjustments to your job responsibilities.
Emotional changes this week
You may feel as if the child is taking over your body, not to mention your mind! Sometimes it can be difficult for you to concentrate on work and household chores. Do not think that you are the only woman with such problems - this is a common occurrence during pregnancy.
If your pregnancy was not desired, now you have most likely changed your mind. By the time the baby's movements begin to be felt, many women are already getting used to the fact that they will have a baby. Don't worry if you're not overwhelmed with motherly love. At this stage of pregnancy, it is only important that you take care of yourself and not expose your body to unnecessary risks that may affect your health or the health of your baby.
The birth of a child can change a woman's attitude towards her own parents. Most likely, you will remember your childhood, analyze what was good and bad in it, how it affected you. All these thoughts are completely normal and demonstrate the importance of raising children for a woman.
What happens to the baby at the sixteenth week of pregnancy
Your baby's eyes can move left and right. Although the eyelids are still closed, the muscles that control the eyes are already starting to work. The child squints his eyes when a bright light penetrates your abdominal wall and he sees a reddish glow.
Your baby is actively moving. But, if this is your first pregnancy, you still don't feel anything.
The baby opens its small mouth and moves its tiny lips. He often makes respiratory and swallowing movements, so the amniotic fluid constantly passes through his small body. There isn't much of it around - just a glass or a little more - but it's enough to protect the baby and provide him with his own warm bath.
Your baby has probably found the umbilical cord this week and is holding onto it. Don't worry that he will squeeze it so hard that he will restrict blood flow - before that happens, the baby will open his fist.
Tips 16 weeks
If part of your pregnancy is during a flu epidemic, consider getting vaccinated. The vaccine will not harm your baby and is recommended for pregnant women. Discuss this with your doctor if you are not sure.
Consider taking photos and videos of your pregnancy so you can see your belly growing.