16 Weeks Pregnant

16 Weeks Pregnant : What to Expect

During the 2nd trimester there are many tests you should get done to ensure everything is going good, and that your baby isn’t showing any signs of certain chromosomal abnormalities. To learn more about these tests, visit our Prenatal Testing article.

Symptoms and Body Changes at 16 Weeks

The biggest change you will notice in your body at 16 weeks pregnant is the look and size of your breasts. Milk glands start production and veins become more visible as the blood flow increases. You may be feeling an increased weight in your womb as your waistline continues to stretch and expand. Pregnancy back pains are due to begin, as most women gain between 5-10 lbs at this point. Hang in there Mommy!

Baby’s Development

At 16 weeks old, your baby is already 4 ¾ inches long and weighs about 3.9 ounces. He or she can hold their head up all on their own with ease. The facial muscles continue to develop, allowing him or her to make all kinds of different facial expressions. It’s important you know the reason why I keep referring to your baby as a he or she, that’s because during this weeks ultrasound the doctor will be able to distinguish whether or not the baby is a boy or girl. The genitals are fully developed and can be seen with ease during the sonogram. As he or she continues to grow (he or she is the same size as the placenta at this point) you may be able to feel the movements, as these are first noticed between 16 and 20 weeks. What’s amazing is the visual acuity that comes into focus. Babies have been seen protecting their eyes from bright lights with their hands at this point. Breathing on its own, he or she is able to inhale and exhale the amniotic fluids surrounding them. Your baby also begins to build fats underneath the skin, which acts as insulation. The urinary and circulatory systems are functioning and your baby is able to pump about 25 quarts of blood daily.


Pregnancy Week 16 Tips

During your doctor visits, it’s important to remember to talk to your healthcare provider about any questions, fears, feelings, or pains and pregnancy symptoms you are experiencing. You should be having sharp pains in your side(s) due to round ligament pain. Talking with your doctor can help you rest assure that the pain is due to the round ligaments and nothing else, such as abdominal, pelvic or ovarian pain which can be caused by something much more serious. With the increase in breast size, finding more comfortable bras and maternity clothes may help pregnant women alleviate some issues. Next is pregnancy at 17 weeks.

[Page updated February 2013]