You are 16 weeks pregnant, which is almost halfway now! You must grow really excited to see your baby. But you know what they say, the second half is always smaller, so you should be holding your baby quite soon.
Fetus development at week 16
Your little 16 weeks pinky is now about the size of an avocado, with 5 inches (12 cm) from head to buttocks and weighing about 3,5 ounces (100 grams). As you can see your baby has doubled the weight in the last 2 weeks. That’s amazing, isn’t it?
Pregnancy at 16 weeks doesn’t come with many new developments. As I have already told you, your baby has left the rapid development stage and entered the rapid growth stage, which basically means that he or she will mostly grow from now on. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some things that will change over the rest of your pregnancy, but the baby’s main job is to grow.
Among the things that change with a fetus at 16 weeks is that fat begins to form underneath the skin. Even if your baby is nice and cozy in your womb, that does not mean he doesn’t need that extra warmth that only fat can provide. Fat has a very important role in body temperature, especially in babies. A 16 weeks fetus is no exception.
Most women find out the sex of the baby starting week 16 to week 20, so if you have a 16 week ultrasound you may find out whether you will be having a boy or a girl. Whether you need to know because of practical reasons such as baby clothes color and what color you should use when painting the nursery, or you want to know just because, you should go for a 16 weeks ultrasound. It is worth a shot, right?
If you decide to have a 3D 16 weeks pregnant ultrasound, you would be able to see some interesting and cute things. Because the nervous system is making new connections to the muscles, a 16 week fetus is now making more precise movements, he or she moves with more purpose, and reflexes are being developed too. Also, the baby learns to grasp with his or her tiny hands. The baby will often play using this new skill, usually playing with the umbilical cord. Sadly, he or she doesn’t have too many toys floating around.
When a baby is born, one of the biggest concerns is lung development. Fortunately, the lungs start to develop early in the pregnancy. At 16 weeks they already function. For example, at this point, your baby has already learned to breathe. Chest movements are the biggest sign. Your baby now inhales and exhales small amounts of amniotic fluid which is extremely helpful when it comes to lung development. You may wonder how that is possible. Your baby doesn’t have gills, breathing underwater is not possible for humans. Of course, it is not. But think for a second. Why do we breathe? Because we need oxygen. But your baby is supplied with oxygen through the umbilical cord, oxygen that comes from you, so he/she only breathes for the sole purpose of helping the lungs develop. Simple as that!
Being four months pregnant also means that the baby can hear external voices, so you should make him/her familiar with your voice, as well as your partner’s. It is one of the fun parts of pregnancy. I bet he or she is also glad to hear from you. So do your best!
Symptoms at week 16 of pregnancy
As for you, 4 months pregnant means that you gained a little bit of weight. I know that you may have liked your slim body, or if you were a very fit person you may think that all that gym work has been in vain, but I can assure you that gaining from 5 to 10 pounds is perfectly normal at this point in your pregnancy. Your body works overtime, you create life, your body figure should be the last thing on your mind. You have time to lose all that baby weight after the baby is born.
Also, you should have an antenatal appointment this week, just for some routine blood pressure check, urine and blood tests. It is recommended you should do so, just to rule out some problems. You don’t want any surprises.
Women who showed a higher risk of Down’s Syndrome at the earlier screening test must also have an appointment for an amniocentesis this week. As I said in a previous post, if done right, there is no risk for a miscarriage. So don’t worry and do what is right for you, as well for the baby.
On the bright side, your sexual libido may increase around this period of time, so you should enjoy this. It is perfectly alright to have sex while you are pregnant unless your doctor advises against it. Otherwise, there is absolutely no danger for the baby. He or she won’t see “it” or get poked or other silly myths that are out there. Just ask your doctor if you want some reassurance. But I bet he will tell you the same thing I did.