16 Weeks Pregnant
- July 15, 2021
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hello, fellow pregnant mommas and daddies-to-be! It’s hard to believe you’ve finished your fourth month of pregnancy. Crazy, right? In around five months you’ll be bringing your baby home for the very first time. Just thinking about that makes me want to press fast forward on the next 24 weeks. However, I have to remind myself that I would be missing so much. Pregnancy is truly a marathon (or almost two marathons), not a sprint, and each mile is as important as the last. Let’s dive into Week 16!
16 Weeks Pregnant: Recurring Symptoms
16 Weeks Pregnant: Common Symptoms
Dry, Itchy Eyes
Once again, thanks to changes in hormones, you may experience dry eyes during pregnancy. A layer in your eye that acts as a protective barrier — the tear film — thins, causing lubricating glands that produce less liquid. Altogether, this creates the perfect storm for dry eyes. To counteract some of the effects of dry eyes while pregnant, try to spend less time in front of a screen and wear glasses (if you normally wear contacts). Finally, purchase some eye drops, which can help provide temporary relief for your dry eyes. I have dry eyes right now and am wearing glasses and using drops.
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Stages of Fetal Development: Baby Growth & Size at 16 Weeks
At week 16, your baby weighs 3.5 ounces and is 4.6 inches long, about the size of an avocado. At this time, your baby is gaining muscle — I guess you don’t always need a gym to get muscular. Additionally, it is believed that your baby can begin to hear you around this time; all the bones in their ears have formed! In another sense (pun intended), your baby will soon be able to sense light, as its eyes are continuing to mature.
The connection between you and your baby has never been stronger … literally. At this point in your pregnancy, the umbilical cord that is the life force of your baby has finally matured. This rope-like structure has two umbilical arteries and one umbilical vein and is slathered in a substance called Wharton’s jelly, which prevents the umbilical cord from getting stuck around the baby.
My Pregnant Belly Progression
So, this week I found that I cannot sit up straight! I have to do an awkward maneuver where I turn to the side before I sit up. Beyond that, I’ve finally had to alter my exercise routine: laying on my belly felt wrong, so I’ve stopped doing that along with upward dog. Check out my 4 months pregnant belly!
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Pregnancy Announcement to Your Kids
Read on if this is not your first baby since this section applies to parents with older children. On four separate occasions, I have had to let my children know that they were gaining a sibling. Preparing for that pregnancy announcement can be stressful since you don’t know how your older kids might react. When making the pregnancy announcement to your children, be sure to consider their age and what may be appropriate to include in your description. After this, make sure your kid(s) feel important by including them in some of the preparations for the baby. They may feel jealous about sharing time with their new sibling.
I recommend two things to combat sibling rivalry upon the arrival of a new baby. One, especially after giving birth, make sure you take some time to play with your older kid(s), who may feel outshined by the baby. I also recommend involving the older siblings in caring for the new baby so that they feel that the new baby is their baby. Below I have included a step-by-step guide to keeping your kids involved and feeling comfortable and secure regarding the arrival of their new sibling.
Your Pregnancy at 16 Weeks: Prenatal Appointments
Here’s what to expect at your week 16 prenatal appointment. This week, you likely will receive the second trimester or week 16 ultrasound.
Your 16 Week Ultrasound Appointment
During my 16 week ultrasound this past week, I received a sonogram and the doctor measured my baby. I also got to hear my baby’s heartbeat, which was incredibly quick. The images of the baby were so illustrative: my baby was rubbing their eyes and moving around and you could see the umbilical cord, arms, legs and feet. Check out this week’s video for images and videos from my 16 week ultrasound appointment.
Week 16 Prenatal Appointment
After I received the ultrasound, I met briefly with my doctor. This 16 week doctor’s appointment was perhaps the shortest prenatal appointment I have even experienced. My doctor looked at the ultrasound report and informed me that everything looked good with the baby. I asked one question about my frequent urination problem, which my doctor answered. My doctor then said “all good,” and that was it. With the prenatal testing behind me, I am feeling excited, happy, and well. That said, here are the prenatal testing options that remain available this week:
Cell-free DNA screening (cfDNA)
Second Trimester Quadruple Screening (Quad Screen)
Week by Week Pregnancy Food Guide
For more information on pregnancy nutrition, check out Week 4 and Week 5 and check back in each week for a healthy pregnancy recipe.
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How Many Months Is 16 Weeks?
Doctors typically don’t measure your pregnancy based on months because each month has a different number of days. However, 16 weeks in months means you are around 4 months pregnant.
Week 16 Pregnancy Checklist
- What to Expect & What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 5th Edition (2016)
- The Bump
- Baby List
- The Mama Natural Week to Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth (2017)
- Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – Second Edition (2018)
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists