Is it just us, or are the weeks flying by at the moment?! At 16 weeks pregnant, your baby is in a period of rapid growth. They’ll now be measuring around 12cm (4.5inches) long from head to bum — about the same as an avocado — and will be weighing in at about 5oz.
Here’s the lowdown on what to expect at 16 weeks pregnant.
16 weeks pregnant symptoms
You’re in the fourth month of pregnancy, with five still to go, and these funny pregnancy symptoms are still changing. You might even be experiencing some long-awaited positive side-effects of pregnancy, like thicker hair and stronger nails — hooray!
There are a range of common 16 weeks pregnant symptoms, which might look a little bit like this:
Shortness of breath
That flight of stairs really takes it out of you these days, huh?! Your growing uterus is cramping your lungs and the pregnancy hormone progesterone is tricking you into breathing more often, so it’s common to feel a little out of breath sometimes.
If you’re constantly battling brain-fog, you’re not alone! Pregnancy can seriously affect your cognitive function (you’ve got a lot on your mind, after all) so cut yourself some slack and roll with it.
Have you noticed your boobs looking bigger than usual these days? Your milk ducts are swelling to get ready to feed your baby, so you may need to invest in some comfy new maternity bras.
Elevated progesterone levels and pressure from your uterus can slow the passage of food waste through your bowels, so you can easily get blocked up. Try to stay hydrated, and eat lots of fibrous foods, to keep things moving as best they can.
Can you feel the baby at 16 weeks pregnant?
Yes! Well, maybe! It’s common to start feeling your baby move between weeks 16-22. At this early stage, it might be hard to tell though — especially if this is your first pregnancy and you’re not quite sure what you’re looking out for.
They’re most noticeable if you’re lying down, and may feel like a muscle twitch, or even gas. If you’re not feeling them yet, don’t worry. If you have an anterior placenta (a placenta that develops at the front of the uterus) it may make it harder to feel these early movements, but is generally nothing to worry about.
What can your baby do at 16 weeks?
Your 16 week fetus is nailing some pretty important skills, like pumping blood through their heart and circulatory system — around 25 quarts (24 liters) a day!
They will also;
- Have a working liver and pancreas
- Have functioning taste buds and will be developing preferences for certain flavors through the food you eat
- Be getting stronger - their backbone and muscles are strong enough to lift their neck and head now
- Have teeny tiny toenails! OMG!
- Be able to hear noises from the outside world. Time to start practicing those lullabies!
What to expect at 16 weeks pregnant
The top of your uterus is about halfway between your pubic bone and belly button, so your 16-week pregnant bump might be getting a few more second glances from passers-by. Not only is your baby stacking on the kgs right now, but it’s common for your weight gain to ramp up too.
If you started pregnancy at a healthy weight, expect to gain around 1 pound a week for the next few weeks. Embrace this ever-changing body of yours, mama. You are looking great!