• Nutrition

16th Week of Pregnancy

Embryo Development

Baby's First Hiccups Ahead!

Baby's Growth and Development at 16 Weeks Pregnant

During your 16th week of pregnancy, the muscles throughout your baby's body are beginning to work.

  • Your baby is about 12.70 cm – about the length of a large pear.
  • Your baby's skeletal and nervous systems connect enough to allow them to co-ordinate movement.
  • When you’re 16 weeks pregnant, developed facial muscles make it possible for your baby to squint, frown, or try other facial expressions.
  • As back muscles strengthen, your baby is able to straighten their posture a little.
  • Your baby now has eyelashes.
  • By your 16th week of pregnancy, your baby's eyes move side-to-side and even perceive some light, although their eyelids are still sealed.
  • Your baby's bones build and strengthen with the help of your body's calcium!
  • Your baby might already be having tiny hiccups, although when you’re 16 weeks pregnant, your baby is not large enough for you to feel them yet!
  • Having a girl? Within your baby's tiny ovaries, millions of eggs already are forming, giving her the chance one day to have babies of her own!

Your Changing Body at 16 Weeks Pregnant

A hand with a sticky note

By your 16th week of pregnancy, hopefully, you are finding the recent changes in your body much easier than the first few months of pregnancy.

  • Forgetting something? It's normal during pregnancy to become forgetful, even if it's not usual for you. It will pass.
  • By your 16th week of pregnancy, your body's bones, joints, and muscles have probably adapted to the extra stress of carrying a baby.
  • As you begin to ‘show’, your navel may protrude.
  • At 16 weeks pregnant, pressure from your uterus on the veins that return blood from your legs may lead to leg cramps, especially at night.

Wellness and Nutrition at 16 Weeks Pregnant

A lady drinking water

In addition to your healthy diet and exercise program, by the 16th week of pregnancy, you might want to address common symptoms of pregnancy during the second trimester.

  • Get your iron on! Iron is especially important during these weeks of pregnancy to produce the red blood cells your body needs. Without enough iron, you may become anaemic. This can make you tired and more susceptible to illnesses.
  • Avoid the nosebleeds. Interested in caring for congestion, stopping the stuffiness, or even stopping the nosebleeds? By your 16th week of pregnancy, you might have found that a runny nose is a usual part of being pregnant. If you're lucky, you may not have had any stuffiness at all. Either is normal, but if hormones and your body's extra blood volume wreak havoc with your nose, take a look at these suggestions:
    • Try saline drops (with your Healthcare Professional's approval).
    • Drink enough liquids to keep nasal passages moist.
    • Try a humidifier, particularly when you sleep.
    • Dab petroleum jelly around the edges of your nostrils to further moisten and protect the skin.

Fit Tip

Replace any fluids you lose when you sweat during exercise. For every half hour of exercise or vigorous activity, be sure to add an extra glass of water or liquid to your daily total.

Healthy Eating Reminders

Increase your intake of:

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Low-fat, nutrient-rich proteins
  • Unsaturated fats

Decrease:

  • Saturated and trans fats
  • Sweetened beverages and other refined sugars

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