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The 16th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby and mom

The 16th obstetric week of pregnancy – that means four months or the second trimester. Now is the 14th week of fetal development. A lot has changed, but some things have yet to undergo a miraculous metamorphosis.

Outwardly, a woman still has not lost her original appearance, although the stomach is already beginning to change its shape, acquiring roundness and the characteristic bulge. Quite possibly, a brown line may appear on the tummy extending from the navel to the pubic area. Do not worry, this is caused by the deposition of melanin and it will disappear after delivery. We will describe below what other novelties the 16th week of pregnancy brings for the mother and baby.

The size and development of the fetus in the 16th week of pregnancy

Pregnancy week 16 sizeIn the 16th week of pregnancy, the length of the child has already reached 12 cm (from the coccyx to the vertex) and the weight is about 98-115 grams. The body of the fetus has almost acquired the right proportions, although the head still looks disproportionately big. The eyes and ears practically have moved to the proper locations.

On an ultrasound, it is still impossible to say exactly whether it’s a boy or a girl, because the reproductive system is not yet fully developed.

The behavior of the baby. At this time,  there is enough space in the womb for the fetus to happily swim in the amniotic fluid, constantly trying to grab something. During a quality ultrasound we can see an active child grimacing and trying to open his mouth and eyes.

How is the fetus changing during this term?

  • bones continue to strengthen;
  • the heart is working at maximum capacity, it pumps up to 25 liters of blood per day;
  • the liver performs digestive function;
  • the gall bladder, intestines, and stomach perform their functions in a “testing” mode;
  • first feces (meconium) appear in the intestines;
  • the fetus empties its bladder every 45 minutes;
  • bone marrow is responsible for the formation of blood;
  • blood composition is fully formed;
  • the legs of the fetus are becoming longer than the arms;
  • facial muscles are being shaped;
  • the eyes open for first time;
  • the ears take their natural position.

Twins in the 16th week of pregnancy. In this term, the belly of a pregnant woman is a little bit bigger than in a single-baby pregnancy. The length and weight of the children do not differ much from the weight of a baby in the 16th week. Coccyx-to-vertex length of twins is about 11 cm, and their weight is no more than 100 grams.

Aside from that, the babies’ behaviors in utero is different. In this period, they begin to communicate with each other, trying to grab each other.

What’s going on with a mom in the 16th week of pregnancy

The size of the abdomen and weight gain

 Photos of mothers` belly at 16 weeks of pregnancy

The size of the abdomen has not changed dramatically. It’s still quite easy to hide a  pregnancy during this period. The waist has not lost its shape in the 16th week and remains the same as before pregnancy. Above, you can see a photo of mothers’ tummies in the 16th week of pregnancy.

By this term of the pregnancy, weight gain is still negligible. It is about 2.5-3 kg from the original weight. Many women notice an increase in appetite, but don’t get too excited You need to maintain proper nutrition to make sure that the weight gain is not excessive. Otherwise, the delivery may be fraught with problems, and to drop the extra weight will not be easy.

Ощущения, шевеления плода, боли у мамы на 16 неделе беременности

By the 16th week, women stop having tortuous toxemia. Although, in a pregnancy with twins this unpleasant phenomenon may still continue. Most likely, breast tenderness has disappeared by the second trimester, although the mammary glands can continue to grow and may have colostrum.

[attention type=yellow]In this period the expectant mother can already feel the movement of her baby. It is not quite like a kick, but rather a feeling of “butterflies in the stomach” or gas. Often, women do not even realize that these are the long-awaited movements of the baby. Do not get upset, in just a couple of weeks, you will feel the first “kicks.”[/attention] Pain during 16 weeks of pregnancy

In the 16th week, a woman may have low back pain caused by the growing uterus. To ease it, it’s necessary to completely give up heels, and stop sleeping on your back. Instead, rest often in a comfortable position and get used to sleeping on your side. Also massage helps to relieve pain.

If there are pains in the hand, knees and back – this is evidence of vitamin deficiency. Now that the child is growing and forming, he derives all the necessary substances from the mother. Accordingly, she has a shortage of them. In order to avoid problems in the future, it is necessary to review your diet. But more about that later.

Abdominal pain can occur due to  various reasons, not all of which are harmless and not requiring a visit to a doctor. If the sides of the abdomen have slight pain, radiating to the groin or lower back – no reason to worry. It’s caused by the growing uterus and its pressure on the organs.

Also, pain in the abdomen can be caused by constipation and the increased accumulation of gases. It’s necessary to change nutritional habits to eliminate this problem.

In the event of sharp, pulling and cramping pains in the lower abdomen it’s necessary, first, to lie down and relax; if the pain does not stop – see a doctor. It is surely caused by uterine hypertonus. Read more about the symptoms…

Possible discharge in the 16 week of pregnancy

In the period of the 16th week, the discharge  is slightly different from before. True, its volume may increase slightly (due to increasing hormones) and appear whitish in color. These changes are normal and do not require a doctor’s advice.

If the color and consistency change or a sharp odor appears – it’s necessary to consult a gynecologist. Change of the color from whitish to white, green, or gray, appearance of discharge in the form of mucus, a change in the consistency to curdled or frothy, can indicate infection in the mother. Specifically, the appearance of vaginal candidiasis, vaginitis or vulvitis

[attention type=red]The appearance of pink, brown, bloody discharge is a serious reason to sound an alarm. Especially, if it is accompanied by sharp pains in the lower abdomen. Abrupt termination of pregnancy is possible in this situation. Therefore, it is urgently necessary to call an ambulance, instead of waiting for your next obstetrician-gynecologist appointment.[/attention]

The psychological condition of the mom in the 16th week

 The psychological condition of mothers at 16 weeks of pregnancyThe psychological condition of the mother is good at this time (that is, of course, if she has no toxemia). The hormonal surge has evened out to a normal rate, moods are no longer swinging from a sharp down to a big up. She starts liking herself in the mirror – her lips become fuller, cheeks – flushed, her eyes are shining, and the breasts, preparing for lactation, have increased to the joy of both the woman and her husband.

It brings a special joy that exhausting toxemia is over, and new problems in the form of constipation, shortness of breath and increased accumulation of gases have not yet appeared.

Analyses, examinations and ultrasound in the 16th week of pregnancy

 Photo fetal ultrasound at the 16 weeks of gestation

An appointment with the obstetrician-gynecologist is still 2 weeks away. But if there are complaints or questions, you may and should seek the advice of your doctor.

Regarding analyses at this time, you need only one blood test from a vein for the “triple test”. It’s taken between the 16th and the 18th weeks, when this test is the most informative. HCG, AFP and EZ  are evaluated. According to the test results one can presume possible malformations in the fetus.

You will have to have a second ultrasound screening in three weeks (in 19-22 week), which will tell you the sex of your baby. We invite you to watch a fetal ultrasound video in the 16th week of pregnancy and, above, you can see a photo of the baby.

Possible abnormalities

Do not panic if the results of your analysis deviate from the norm. This test is not a final verdict. If necessary, additional screenings will be carried out.

The probability of a missed abortion is getting smaller with every week. Often in the 16th week the flow of  pregnancy is complicated by increased tone of the uterus, resulting from the fact that a woman’s body is under constant stress. Treatment of this problem is quite simple – avoid stress and physical exertion. The doctor will prescribe bed rest and temporary abstinence from sexual activity. Sometimes doctors prescribe medications and relaxation.

[attention type=red]If you do not follow the doctor’s recommendations there might be a chance of miscarriage. Then hypertonus of the uterus is accompanied by bloody discharge and sharp pains. In this situation it is necessary to urgently call 911.[/attention]

Nutrition and exercise in the 16th week of pregnancy

Mom`s nutrition at 16 weeks of pregnancyIn general, throughout the entire pregnancy, the expectant mother needs a complete and balanced diet. It is necessary to reduce the amount of salt consumption, since it contributes to retention of water and may lead to edema.

It is desirable to limit the consumption of sugar, pies, biscuits, cakes and other flour products. Because of the increased appetite you may not notice a few extra eaten brownies. In  instances of hunger – the best snack is an apple or other fruit.

It is necessary to avoid foods that contribute to gas buildup and to lean towards those that help to cleanse the intestines.

In addition to proper nutrition, it is desirable to take vitamin supplements, because the baby takes all the necessary substances for its development from the mother. At this time, there is a specific need for calcium and vitamin D, but do not blindly buy vitamins at the pharmacy, it’s best to consult with your doctor before taking them, if the doctor has not already prescribed them.

 Exercises at 16 weeks of pregnancyExercise in the 16th week. Why do you need to exercise during pregnancy? A little exercise brings many benefits: it reduces toxemia and duration of labor, improves blood flow to the fetus, also exercise is excellent for the prevention of obesity, constipation and muscle weakness.

In the first 16 weeks the expectant mother should:

  • prepare the heart for the increased workload;
  • engage in training the muscles of the pelvis and abdomen;
  • learn how to breathe properly;
  • learn to relax her muscles.
[attention type=yellow]The duration of exercises should be from 15 to 25 minutes. All exercises are to be performed slowly, without sudden movements. Forget about intensive loads, jumping, dismounts and etc. Also, you must give up weight lifting.[/attention]

Skin care and selection of clothes

Skin care at 16 weeks of pregnancy

Special skin problems in this period should not yet occur but it is better to take preventive care of stretch marks. If you have not started doing this yet,  now is the best time to acquire a special creams and vitamin E.

Perhaps there are pigmentation spots on your skin, and on the belly – the brown line “Linea Negra”. Do not panic. It is temporary and will fade on its own after birth.

Because the stomach has just started to grow, there is no great need to change the wardrobe just yet. What matters is that what you are wearing fits right and not too tightly. In order to avoid various problems in the intimate areas, it is wise to choose underclothing made from natural fabrics. You can start visiting maternity shops. Pants with low waistlines, or dresses with high waistlines will make your life more comfortable.

Where can I go to relax?

re you can go to rest at 16 weeks of pregnancyThe second trimester is the best time for relaxation. Recommendations for your holidays at this time are:

  • it is better to choose a familiar climate;
  • be careful with food – poisoning can cause significant harm;
  • swimming in open waters is permitted if there are no contraindications;
  • sunbathing is prohibited.

Transportation can be of any type:  plane, car, train, etc. The main thing is to create convenience for the pregnant woman while traveling. It is important not to sit for extended periods of time – do regular warm-up exercises.

Sexual activity in the 16th week

Sex in the 16th week in the absence of contraindications is allowed and even required, in order to establish closer contact with the partner. Especially since due to the poor well-being of the pregnant woman intimacy in the first trimester had been avoided.

Because the stomach has already increased, avoid strong pressure on the abdominal area during sex. This is fraught with unpleasant consequences. Therefore, you will have a greater chance to experiment. Increased female libido will only help.

Recommendations for future moms

Based on the above we can make the following general recommendations for the expectant mother:

  • Keep an eye on your nutrition – do not indulge in greasy, starchy foods and sweets.
  • Use special moisturizers.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and cotton underwear.
  • Do not sleep on your back or abdomen.
  • Avoid severe stress.
  • Spend more time outside.
  • Avoid heels.

Video about the 16th week of pregnancy

All necessary information about the ultrasound conducted in the second trimester, is included in this video guide about the 16th week of pregnancy. A physician-geneticist will comment on the possible results of the “triple test” and tell you how to proceed if the test results show abnormalities. All this is accompanied by breathtaking footage of a 3D ultrasound.

“Some women complain about the loss of interest in sex. Seems that there is no interference with anything, no contraindications, the well-being is good, but there is no sexual desire. Frankly, throughout pregnancy, I had no sexual interest in my husband: either due to the toxemia, or the stomach, or something else. Thanks to my husband we endured my peculiarities.” – Natalia D.

[attention type=yellow]What kind of “pregnancy problems” did you have and how did your soul mate deal with them? How did you manage to save the intimacy? Share your experience, it is very important to those who have yet to go through it.[/attention]

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