Week 16 of Pregnancy

What happens in week 16 of pregnancy

Week 16 is also the end of the fourth month of your pregnancy – only roughly 5 more months to go!  This is also the week where you should be having your next midwife appointment – even if you’ve had to see a doctor/consultant already due to any risk factors or medical needs.

The 16-week midwife appointment is important because this is where your routine antenatal checks really begin.  At this appointment, your midwife will go over all of the results of blood tests and checks carried out so far, ensure you have had the results back of any screening tests and make sure you have had your first scan and are booked to have your 20-week scan too.

They will also: 

  • Check your blood pressure – this will happen at every antenatal check
  • Test your urine for protein and glucose – this will happen at every antenatal check
  • Discuss with you any concerns your may have
  • Find out how you are feeling and discuss your mental and emotional health.
  • Answer any questions you may have.

How big is my baby?

At 16 weeks, your baby is now the size of a decent sized but very cute avocado.  They are growing and getting bigger everyday, weighing around 100 grams, your baby now measures about 11.6 cms from the top of their head to their bottom. 

What happens in week 16 of pregnancy?

At 16 weeks your baby is already making faces inside you – their facial muscles have developed enough for them to be able to start using them and even smile, frown or grimace! These are thought to be involuntary movements, so any frowns aren’t because you baby is unhappy – just a random movement!

Your baby is also starting to move their limbs in a less jerky and more coordinated way – they are getting ready to show off their kicks to you when you start feeling the movements in the next few weeks.

Week 16 pregnancy symptoms

Constipation – is a common pregnancy symptom and one that can leave feeling very bunged up, with tummy aches and finding it hard to poo.

It’ll come as no surprise to you that pregnancy hormones – namely progesterone is the culprit behind constipation.  The hormone causes the muscles in your bowels to relax, which leads to food taking longer to work its way through your digestive tract, resulting in constipation. 

It’s not all bad news – the slower journey through your system actually gives extra time for the all-important nutrients to be absorbed into your bloodstream and be passed to your baby.

However, it can also leave you feeling bloated and not great. You don’t need to suffer though – there are lots of things you can do to help ‘relieve’ yourself of constipation:

  • High fibre diet including foods such as wholemeal bread, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, pulses and beans.
  • Get moving – regular exercise, even a gentle walk, will help get things moving.
  • Stay hydrated – one of the best ways of relieving constipation is to drink lots of water, which is essential for your digestion.   Water keeps the food you eat moving through your intestines, softens your stools and ensures your intestines remain smooth and flexible.

If all of the above doesn’t help and constipation is a real issue for you, speak to your midwife or GP.  They can advise further and may suggest the use of laxatives.  Whilst there is limited scientific evidence regarding the safety of laxatives for pregnant women, certain laxatives have been used to treat constipation for many years without any evidence of harm caused to a developing baby. However, always seek medical advice – your GP/midwife can advise on what is safe and best for you to take if necessary.

Week 16 pregnancy tips

  • Prepare for your midwife appt – have a think beforehand of any questions you may have or things you aren’t sure of before you meet your midwife, it’s always helpful to jot down anything – your midwife won’t mind at all
  • If your constipated – try out the lifestyle changes above and bring up the issue with your midwife too
  • Have you started thinking of antenatal classes – they can get booked up quickly, so think about what kind would suit you, when you’d like to attend and where?  Head over to our page on antenatal classes that cover all things pregnancy, birth and beyond for more information,

Written by: Amina Hatia.

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