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16 weeks pregnant

16 weeks pregnant


The fetus’s muscular system is improving and the baby is moving its arms and legs more and more often. Nails continue to grow on the hands. The bones of the limbs grow, the body is more extended in length. Facial muscles develop.

16 weeks pregnant: what happens to the mother?

The second trimester is wonderful for the expectant mother due to the absence of toxicosis. Many women in the first week pregnancy experience an aversion to many foods and nausea after eating and vomiting worries. Now the appetite has returned and the expectant mother can treat herself to her favorite food. But still, it is worth limiting the consumption of smoked meats, pickles, flour and sweet dishes.

It is also recommended to refrain from taking products that have not undergone sufficient heat treatment. For example, raw fish in rolls can be a source of infection. You should not risk yourself and your baby, as treating infections during pregnancy can be unsafe for the baby.

Advice: Sometimes a woman who is 16 weeks pregnant has no appetite. It is useful to eat more often, in small portions, drink more fluids.

At the 16th week of pregnancy, sleeping patterns can be disturbed due to the increasingly noticeable sensations in the stomach. It is not advised to sleep on one’s back or stomach, as this is not comfortable for the mother. Additionally, the mother can feel weight gain, as the stomach has become noticeable and the pre-pregnancy weight has increased by an average of 2-2.5 kg.

To get rid of discomfort, you can lie on your side and try to bend your legs a little. Such a simple technique helps mommy to really relax during sleep, and the fetus to take the most comfortable position.

Perhaps at the 16th week of pregnancy, you do not yet have a well-defined rounded belly. But soon the stomach will become noticeable and will increase every week.

Advice: At 16 weeks pregnant, the breasts continue to grow. Choosing comfortable clothes that do not squeeze the mammary glands is recommended.

Often this period is accompanied by vaginal discharge. Normally, they should be transparent and not abundant. Discharge with a brown tint, spotting should alert the woman. Discharge with a strange smell or color may be a sign of an infection and should be attended to and consulted with a specialist.

16th week of pregnancy: what happens to the fetus?

Soon, future parents can get answers to the most important questions about their baby with the help of ultrasound. True, the 16th week of pregnancy does not always reveal these mysteries. In this period of pregnancy, ultrasound does not always allow you to determine the sex of the child. However, you may be pleasantly surprised if the 16th week of pregnancy gives you information that twins are expected.

It should be noted that the planned first ultrasound is performed at 11-13 weeks, and the second at 18-20. Therefore, a study for a period of 16 weeks is prescribed in cases where it was not carried out during the first screening, either at the woman’s request, or as prescribed by the specialist in charge of the pregnancy.

Good to know: At the 16th week of a normal pregnancy, the size of the fetus ranges from 110 to 140 mm, and its weight is 80-120 grams.

A period of 16 weeks, even a normal pregnancy, does not exclude various dangers and pathologies. Observation from specialists and the implementation of all recommendations will make pregnancy safe and enjoyable.

Good to know: At this time, the baby already has marigolds, bones, the genitourinary system and intestines are formed. The child begins to move, even if mom does not feel it yet.

We recommend proper nutrition, only light and comfortable clothes, exclusion of heels and additional loads, timely contacting a specialist for advice and passing all the necessary tests on time. This is necessary for the comfortable course of pregnancy and the baby’s proper development.

Medical examination for 16 weeks pregnant

During this period, a planned appointment with an obstetrician-gynecologist is carried out, blood and urine tests are taken. At the appointment, the specialist measures the woman’s weight, assesses the weight gain, measures the pulse and blood pressure, and determines the circumference of the abdomen and VMD (this is the height of the fundus of the uterus).

Planned ultrasound examinations are not carried out during this period only if the doctor needs additional information. During this period, a screening study is carried out – a triple test or biochemical screening of the second trimester. This study allows the diagnosis of the child’s genetic pathologies and developmental disorders. Analyzes are taken from 15 to 20 weeks, but 16-18 weeks are considered the most optimal.

Blood is taken in the morning, strictly on an empty stomach and the level of three substances is determined:

  • hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin),
  • AFP (stands for alpha-fetoprotein),
  • Estriol (female sex hormone).

Their concentration and ratio may indicate possible deviations in the development of the fetus. 

It is possible to identify Down’s syndrome through certain indicators in medical tests, yet there is a 10% margin of error. It should also be noted that fluctuations in results may be due to multiple pregnancies or an inaccurate estimation of the gestation period.

At the second screening, the doctor determines the development of the fetus and compliance with the terms of pregnancy, excluding malformations and developmental anomalies.

  • Weight measurement.
  • Measurement of blood pressure.
  • Measurement of the state of the uterus, and the height of the bottom (VDM).
  • An ultrasound at the 16th week of pregnancy is done for medical reasons, for example, if there were bad tests. You can check the cervix or ensure the baby has a heartbeat on ultrasound. This study will help to identify possible pathologies of fetal development timely. In exceptional cases, mothers in this period may not feel the baby move, especially for whom this is their first pregnancy. But on the ultrasound, you can already see the movements of the child, and sometimes even facial expressions and grimaces. If you’re lucky, the expectant mother can find out the sex of the child. However, this is not always possible – it mainly depends on the baby’s position.
  • “triple test” (prenatal screening II trimester, biochemical screening II trimesters) – a study that provides information about the child’s genetic health. The analysis is handed over for 15-20 weeks. The optimal period is 16-18 weeks. For analysis in the morning on an empty stomach, blood is taken from a vein, where the level of human chorionic hormone (hCG), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and estriol (E3) is determined. The obtained indicators will help to identify some chromosomal disorders (for example, Down syndrome) or the risk of developing heart defects. However, you should not panic if the indicators show deviations from the norm. There is always a risk of 9%–10% error. In addition, one can speak of a “bad” result of a triple test only if all three indicators are far from normal.

Things to do and not to do at 16 weeks pregnant

Usually, by the 16th week of pregnancy, women gradually rebuild their diet, daily routine, and activities to meet the baby’s needs and help the baby develop fully.

What can you do at 16 weeks pregnant?

  • Massage.
  • Breathe more fresh air, walk a lot, especially before going to bed, to keep yourself in good shape and tune in to healthy sleep.
  • Take care of yourselfand do cosmetic procedures (before that, consult a beautician to avoid toxins entering the body, and allergic reactions.
  • Have sex (the 16th obstetric week of pregnancy is a safe time for physical intimacy if there are no medical contraindications. However, you should not get involved in acrobatic poses. Remember that the spouse should not put pressure on the stomach or push it. Try to choose the most desirable and safe position)
  • Travel (however, it is worth studying the advice of experienced mothers-travelers and the recommendations of the doctor leading the pregnancy) – it is at this time that a woman is full of strength and energy to enjoy trips.
  • Visit a bath and sauna without a steam room if there are no contraindications (overheating increases the risk of miscarriage).

What not to do at 16 weeks pregnant

  • Indulge in bad habits (cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs harm the child’s healthy development) – even a spouse is better off smoking separately from his pregnant half to eliminate the risk of passive smoking.
  • Take medications and dietary supplements without the consent of a doctor.
  • Lift weights.
  • Experience constant stress.
  • Take a hot bath.
  • Clean up after pets to avoid infection with toxoplasmosis.
  • Spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen.

Twin development at 16 weeks pregnant

By 16 weeks, your twins are about 12 cm from the crown to the sacrum. Now they weigh about 100g each. Unique fingerprints have almost finished forming on the fingers, and nail plates are growing on the legs. By the way, an interesting fact: by this time, they usually begin to suck the thumb of the dominant hand. So, as a rule, those babies who suck the finger of their left hand during pregnancy are born left-handed and vice versa.

Proper nutrition at 16 weeks pregnant

Week 16 is marked by the middle of the obstetric period, the active development of the organs and systems of the fetus. Toxicosis and early discomfort are over, so paying special attention to nutrition is important. At the 16th week of pregnancy, it is recommended:

  • In the diet lean white poultry meat and beef – a source of protein, vitamins B, A, and PP.
  • Control the drinking regimen to avoid edema.
  • 2-3 times a week, use low-fat cottage cheese and drink fermented milk products rich in calcium and beneficial bacteria.
  • Exclude sweets, fresh pastries, and pastries – these products provoke flatulence, constipation, and heartburn.
  • Diversify the diet with fresh or boiled vegetables (fiber) and fruits of regional origin.

A balanced diet at week 16 compensates for the lack of calcium, magnesium, selenium, and folic acid. During this period, the rudiments of internal organs and systems have already been laid, but enormous resources are required to develop tissues successfully until the very birth. 

Cooking is carried out by boiling, steaming, and stewing – this is important for preserving useful trace elements, vitamins and organic compounds.

The goal of proper and healthy nutrition at week 16 is to compensate for the lack of vitamins necessary for fetal growth and correct weight. Normal weight gain should not exceed 150-200 g per week. Other values ​​​​on the scales are a sign of overeating/malnutrition, pregnancy pathologies, and increasing complications. A healthy diet reduces the digestive load, improves metabolism, and prevents the development of excess weight.

Checklist for 16 weeks pregnant

  1. Balance the diet, and if necessary, consult a dietitian.
  2. Regularly take blood and urine tests, and visit a doctor for timely detection of complications.
  3. Respond in time to any alarming changes during pregnancy.
  4. Eliminate the stress factor, and improve the quality of life.
  5. Take vitamins as prescribed by a doctor.
  6. Exclude self-medication for respiratory infections, inflammatory processes, of any other localization.
  7. Provide an adequate regime of rest, sleep, and wakefulness.

The 16th week of pregnancy is an important period in a woman’s life and the fetus’s intrauterine development. You can then identify various pathologies and malformations, so you should visit a doctor on time, undergo screenings, and ensure proper nutrition. Often, existing diseases in a woman come to the fore in the middle of the obstetric period, which worsens the quality of life, and requires special tactics for managing a pregnant patient.

Expert advice

  • To get all the necessary nutrients, adjust your diet. If there are reactions to food, food intolerance or excess weight, consult a nutritionist.
  • Pay attention to regular visits to the doctor and the delivery of blood and urine tests and feel free to ask questions to the attending obstetrician-gynecologist.
  • Try not to be nervous, and eliminate physical and psychological stress from your life.
  • Spend plenty of time resting, sleeping, walking, and physically active.
  • At the slightest sign of a cold, consult a doctor.