16 Weeks Pregnant - What pregnancy symptoms can you expect?
Over upcoming week, you will likely begin to feel your baby's movements. This is called the quickening. It will probably start as a feeling of light fluttering in your stomach. While it might feel similar to gas bubbles initially, it will become definite pokes and kicks. If this your second or subsequent baby, you will probably feel these movements a touch earlier than you did in your first pregnancy. Everyone describes these feelings differently—like gas bubbles, or popcorn popping, or flutters.
Your 16 weeks pregnant belly
You may have a bump, or you may not, every mum is different. Some mums have definite bellies at 16 weeks, particularly if this is not the first baby. Don’t compare your bump to anyone else’s; genes, previous pregnancies, and how the uterus and baby are placed all affect the size and shape of the bump.
Migraines and headaches when pregnant
Many women suffer from increased headaches and migraines while pregnant. The causes can be hormonal, due to the increased blood flow, dehydration, the extra pressure on your back from the weight being carried at front, or stress. Also, if you’ve suddenly developed an aversion to coffee, it could be caffeine withdrawal.
It can be challenging to manage headaches when pregnant as many pain or migraine medications are contraindicated. Regular medications such as Codeine are not allowed when pregnant as they may harm the baby. Speak to your healthcare provider about ways to manage your headache pain.
Headaches can also be a cause for concern if they are related to blood pressure. If your headaches start suddenly, speak to your midwife or obstetrician. They can check your blood pressure and advise you how to manage the pain.
16 weeks pregnant vaginal discharge
If you’ve noticed increased discharge from your vagina, or a change in texture, colour, or smell of discharge, don’t be alarmed. It’s normal—and actually beneficial. It’s called leukorrhea, and it’s a thin, milky white discharge that is common throughout pregnancy. Many women get it in the first trimester, and then it continues and gets heavier as your pregnancy progresses.
The cause is increased oestrogen which causes more blood flow to the pelvic region. This stimulates the mucous membranes and leads to more vaginal discharge. This increase is very useful, as it is designed to remove dead cells from the vagina, protect the birth canal from infection, and can help to create a healthy bacteria balance.
If you are experiencing discharge that is yellow, green, brown or pink, or that is lumpy or has a bad odour, then check in with a doctor or your midwife. These discharges are not normal and could be a sign of infection or a problem such as thrush.
Diet at 16 weeks pregnant
After not being able to enjoy any food with morning sickness, it can be a huge relief to be able to eat again. Unfortunately, some women develop aversions to certain foods after the first trimesters, often that last long beyond the pregnancy.
For now, focus on choosing foods with lots of nutrients. While it’s tempting to reach for chocolates and other craving-worthy snacks, think about providing lots of good things for you and your baby. Smoothies, home-made bliss balls, apple slices with peanut butter, cheese on toasted wholegrain bread or just plain fruit are great options.
It can be difficult to find a balance, you don’t want to go overboard and try to eat super healthy when all your body seems to want is macaroni cheese and other bland, stodgy foods. You are the best (and only) person to judge what you can and can’t eat.
Soups are easy to make and usually are good at dealing with whatever is in the vegetable drawer or leftover Sunday roast meat. Also try to include lots of leafy greens in your life if possible. These not only have lots of fibre to help your digestive system, but are packed with nutrients like calcium and iron, which women commonly have shortages of when pregnant. Your baby needs all these nutrients to grow and will literally take all that you have and leave you with nothing.
How big is my baby at 16 weeks pregnant?
Your little one weighs about 80g and is 11.5cm from head to rump. That’s about the size of an avocado—which, by the way, is super healthy to be eating when pregnant, as they are full of good fats and nutrients.
16 weeks pregnant baby growth
Your baby's skin is present now. It is transparent but appears to be red due to the blood vessels seen beneath. It will be a while before it becomes solid and start resembling normal skin. Fine lanugo hair has appeared, covering the baby’s head and entire body to keep baby warm, but this will mostly disappear by the time baby is born.
Baby's kidneys are functional and are able to pass small amounts of urine. The circulatory system is starting to function and is able to pump about 25 litres of blood each day. Your baby is starting to take on a more human-like appearance and although the head is disproportionately larger than the rest of the body, the rest is starting to catch up. The eyes are in place, and are beginning to make small movement, and can possibly see light, although the eyes themselves are still closed. The ears are in place and the baby can likely hear your voice.
Your baby may be starting to suck his or her thumb, as well as the beginnings of facial expressions like squints and frowns.
How many months is 16 weeks pregnant?
If you are 16 weeks pregnant, you are in the fourth month of pregnancy. Almost halfway there.
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