Pregnancy week by week

Baby

Toddler

Week 16 of Pregnancy


This week signifies the beginning of a very exciting phase of your pregnancy. Around this time, you will begin to feel your baby move. This is more likely to happen if you had a previous pregnancy. This is referred to as “quickening” and occurs between 16 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Your baby is no longer a little lump in your tummy, but a little person you can feel moving every day from now on. However, don’t be disheartened if you don’t feel anything yet. It is not uncommon for first time mothers to not recognise foetal movements until 22-24 weeks.

You may undergo some tests this week to check the baby for genetic problems. The doctors may test for triple markers and if the levels are high then you may be offered an amniocentesis. This is to ensure that there are no genetic defects and the baby is overall healthy. Refer to our section on antenatal tests to know more about the different tests offered during pregnancy.



Your body

As your belly continues to grow, it will soon begin pushing other organs around to compensate for the growth of your uterus and baby. The top of the uterus is starting to look more rounded and is lengthening.

You may notice some swelling in your feet and ankles. This is perfectly normal but if you are getting excessive swelling in your hand and feet, contact your doctor. You may start feeling the milk in your breasts. Veins of the breast start showing too as more and more blood gets pumped into them. Your heart has enlarged to cope with the increased blood volume. Consequently, this will put a lot of pressure on your small blood vessels which can cause bleeding gums and minor nose bleeds. Other symptoms you may experience this week are fatigue, insomnia, decreased attention span, forgetfulness and mood swings. You may also become susceptible to flu and other infections as your immune system is compromised. Refer to our section on symptoms of second trimester to know more.



Your baby

By the end of this week, your baby measures 12 cm and the weight is 110 g. Your baby has grown from the size no bigger than the head of a pin to the size of an avocado.

Your baby now has his head in proportion to his body. His face has both eyebrows and eyelashes. He is still very skinny looking since there’s no baby fat yet. He has begun to grasp, suck and swallow. This week your baby’s legs are moving often, with both voluntary and reflexive movements. They will kick, twist, flex, and bend.

The baby’s liver, kidneys, stomach, and gall bladder glands are all working well. By the end of this week, the roof of your baby’s mouth will be completely formed. His eyes have moved closer to the front of the head. His ears are close to their final position. The patterning of his scalp has begun though his locks aren’t recognizable yet.

By now your baby’s facial muscles have developed slightly to enable her to open his mouth, squint or frown. With the development of the neck, the torso is starting to look more separate from the rest of the body. The legs are longer than the arms and the finger nails are well formed. He has fingernails and individual fingerprints. He has all joints and limbs in place.


Remember

There will be times when you feel you can’t cope. Like other mothers, you may become stressed about the big changes that are happening in your life. You may be worried about the baby, finances or work. It’s important to keep worries in perspective and maintain an emotional balance because being stressed isn’t good for your health or that of your baby. Find ways to distress; talk to friends and family about any concerns. Remember, a mother’s stress can be transmitted to the foetus. You can also join our due date club and meet other mums-to-be who are in a similar stage as you are.



FAQs

1) Why do I feel tired and weepy all the time?

The first few months of pregnancy can be very tiring as your baby is developing so fast and using lots of your energy. Your emotional turmoil is due to the pregnancy hormones that are creating havoc with your body.

Make sure you are eating well and taking plenty of rest. Don’t try to overexert yourself and accept any help that comes your way. Rest assured, this phase will pass off as you enter your second trimester.  If your symptoms don’t improve as the pregnancy continues, you may need to see your doctor. Some women become depressed during pregnancy and need help. These depressive outs can prove harmful to both you and your baby. Don’t keep your emotions to yourself and don’t hesitate to consult your doctor if your symptoms continue.

 

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