Week 16 of Your Pregnancy
In the 16th week of pregnancy, the 4th month of pregnancy is almost over for you. Your baby is now romping through your belly, even though you may not be able to feel it yet.
In this week, the thyroid gland begins to work and produce hormones. These are now already important for metabolism as well as for growth. In addition, the urinary and circulatory systems are working at full speed.
Just a few weeks ago, your tummy dweller noticed that he can move around in your belly. He moves his hands, his legs turn in circles, and does one somersault after another. Since there is still enough space in the belly at the moment, the dwarf can let off steam without any problems. Again and again, your baby reaches for the umbilical cord and lets it go again. Since he is already moving, his back and neck muscles are forming. Later, these will be particularly important for learning to walk. We will show you what else is going on in your body during the 16th week of pregnancy.
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Your body in the 16th week of pregnancy
During your regular check-ups with your gynecologist or midwife, your weight gain will be checked each time and documented in your maternity record. Perhaps a small belly can already be seen in the 16th week of pregnancy? In any case, rapid weight gain is common and important from now on.
Normal-weight women gain between 26 and 35 lbs during their pregnancy. Now in the 16th week of pregnancy, that is in the second trimester, the development and the accompanying strong growth of your baby is responsible for the weight gain.
Your baby will weigh about 7.5 lbs on average at the end of pregnancy. But most of the weight is accounted for by the placenta, the amniotic fluid, the uterus, and, most importantly, the water retention and increased blood volume. The additional weight of your growing breasts should not be underestimated either. So you can see for yourself: just because the number on the scale jumps up, it doesn’t mean that you have necessarily accumulated a lot more fat. This is actually within limits, but it is an essential part of a healthy pregnancy. Especially during breastfeeding, your body should be able to fall back on reserves.
- Slowly but surely, the time will come for you when your pants no longer fit properly, even with a pants’ extension.
- The pregnancy discomforts have subsided for the most part, and you can be fitter and more active again. Therefore, it is a good time to look for a suitable pregnancy fashion, so that you feel fit, comfortable, and well-dressed in your body in the coming weeks.
- Don’t buy clothes that are too small so that you can wear them for longer, and keep in mind that your belly will grow faster as your baby grows.
- Back pain. Many women complain of low back pain during your pregnancy. Causes could be a rapidly growing uterus, the loosening of muscles (precisely also in the area of the back), the extra weight or simply a change in posture. You can try to counteract these symptoms with gentle exercise. Kinesio tapes can also be an effective measure.
- Varicose veins. Varicose veins are dilated tubular or even nodular veins. They are often found on the legs. They form as a result of the weakness of the vein walls or valves. The extra weight during pregnancy can favor the formation of power veins. However, a tendency to them may already be congenital.
- Colostrum. Don’t be surprised if some kind of fluid comes out of your breasts during this 16th week. This is what is known as colostrum (colostrum). The milk ducts and glandular tissue in your breasts are preparing for postpartum and breastfeeding while you are still pregnant. They have developed enough in the second trimester that colostrum is already present.
- Shortness of breath. Do you get out of breath even with minor exertion? Because of pregnancy hormones, fluid accumulates in your lungs, making it harder to take deep breaths. Later, the growing uterus puts extra pressure on your diaphragm, narrowing the space where your lungs normally expand.
How your baby develops during the 16th week of gestation
The fetus is in the growth phase. It is therefore growing very quickly, needs a lot of space, and will double its size and weight in the coming weeks.
Your baby is already diligently practicing breathing and “inhales” and exhales amniotic fluid in the 16th week.
Your baby’s urinary and circulatory systems are already fully developed in the 16th week. The thyroid gland develops hormones that regulate growth and drive metabolism.
Your belly is getting bigger. If you are someone who likes to sleep on your stomach or on your back, the time will soon come when you will, unfortunately, have to say goodbye to this for the time being. Right now you may still be able to lie relaxed on your stomach or back, but your baby and with it your belly are growing day by day. At some point, it will no longer be possible for you to sleep on your back or stomach.
In the next few weeks, the side position will become the most comfortable sleeping position, so it makes sense to try to get used to it now. Does this sound impossible? Then side sleeping pillows or pregnancy pillows can help you make friends with this position and make it more comfortable for you. Sleeping on your side is important because it relieves pressure on your abdomen and spine, ensuring that your baby gets enough nutrients.
Supply with minerals
From the 16th week of gestation, iron, magnesium, and calcium are increasingly necessary for the development of your baby.
It is important that you provide your body with 1000 mg of calcium a day through dairy products and green vegetables such as broccoli. Your baby needs calcium for growth and bone formation. If the body does not receive enough calcium from outside, it will be taken away from the bones and teeth.
Magnesium prevents calf cramps and premature labor. Therefore, 300 mg should be taken daily. You can take magnesium either as a preparation or through foods such as cereals, dairy products, or vegetables.
If the body does not get enough iron, this triggers a deficiency of red blood cells and a lack of oxygen can occur. Of course, this would also affect the baby’s development.
Therefore, it is important to consume about 30 mg of iron per day. This is possible through foods such as fish, vegetables or lean meat.
It is best to check with your gynecologist what your personal situation is and whether you have any deficiencies. He can advise you and, if necessary, you can adjust your diet or take additional supplements.
FAQ - Fifteenth week of Pregnancy
The sex determination becomes more and more reliable from week to week. However, the sex of the baby can only be determined exactly in the 20th week of gestation.
The size of the belly depends very individually on your own body. In addition, the size of the baby plays a role, which also varies from baby to baby. Therefore, it is difficult to determine an average size. However, the baby bump is visible in the 16th week of gestation in most women.
In the beginning, fetal movements are hardly noticeable. Expectant mothers describe the feeling as a slight tickling sensation or like the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings in their belly.