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Home   2nd Trimester   16 Weeks Pregnant
 

You’re 16 Weeks Pregnant!

What’s Happening This Week?

Week 16 of your pregnancy brings more exciting changes. Your Baby is a little over 4 inches long from the top of the head (the crown) to the end of the spine (rump ) and is about the size of a large avocado.

Nervous System

Baby now holds his or her head a little more erect. The arms and legs are continuing to develop and because the nervous system is starting to function, Baby can now use muscles to kick and punch, responding to stimulation from the brain.

The bones have started to harden with calcium, a process called ossification. If you were to have an ultrasound at this stage, you could see baby moving their hands and kicking their legs. You can see the heart beating and baby swallowing. Baby’s head to body ratio is starting to even out and although this can’t be seen on an ultrasound the Baby has finger and toe nails.

Your Baby continues to practice all kinds of facial expressions such as yawning and squinting. Baby’s eyes are moving closer to the front of the face and the ears are also moving to their final destination.

Your Baby’s scalp has begun to form fontanels and sutures (membranous gaps between the head bones or bones of the skull). Sutures are structures that connect the cranial bones, these flexible bony structures of the Baby’s head are forming in such a way to allow the Baby’s brain to develop and grow without cranial pressure and also allows these bones to be compressed and sometimes even over lap during Baby’s passage through the birth canal at the time of birth.

Baby’s tiny heart is now pumping about 23 liters of blood each day,  this amount will continue to increase as your Baby continues to develop.

Baby’s skin still looks pretty transparent and the veins and arteries are clearly visible from beneath the skin. At 16 weeks, not much baby fat has developed just yet.

If your baby is a girl, her uterus is fully developed and the ovaries already hold primitive egg cells.

What are Mom’s changes?

The top of your uterus is about halfway between your pubic bone and your navel. You may still experience pain as the ligaments that support your growing uterus are stretching. You may find that you can’t quite fit into your regular clothing any more and looser fitting clothes are more comfortable.

Some women gain weight gradually while others may put on more weight one week and none the next. During your second trimester you may expect to gain 1 to 2 pounds or .5 to 1 kilo per week.

Your may feel a better sense of well-being as your pregnancy symptoms from the first trimester fade away, but always remember that changes and feelings can be different from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy.

Although some women feel their Baby moving or “quickening” as early as 16 weeks, many don’t feel their Baby move until about 18 to 22 weeks. Quickening is a term used to describe the early fetal movements within the womb. These feel like flutters. Your Baby is moving around quite a lot at this stage but because they are not strong enough and surrounded by amniotic fluid you may not feel the moments for a few more weeks.

Medical Tests During This Week:

About this time your doctor will offer you a serum screening blood test and depending on results may offer you an amniocentesis.

 
 
 

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