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Week 16 Pregnancy (2nd Trimester): Symptoms, Baby Development (Size & Weight), and More

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It is week 16 in the 2nd trimester, and by the end of this week, you will accomplish 4 months of your pregnancy, and you have 5 more months to go. Every week of pregnancy, you realize that your baby is growing and growing. Your weight also increases, and so does your nutritional intake.  

By the last week of the 4th month of pregnancy, all the baby’s vital organs are in place, ready to be matured and functional. The baby’s muscles, bones are strengthening, and the mother-to-be can flaunt the most awaited pregnancy glow.

This article further explores the pregnancy symptoms and the fetal growth events lined up this week. 

Also Read: 15 Weeks Pregnant (2nd Trimester): Symptoms, Baby Development (Size & Weight), and More

Baby’s development @ Week 16 of Pregnancy

At week 16 of 2nd trimester, the baby weighs around 100 gms and measures between 10-11 cms from the head to bottom. The baby’s eyes and ears get into their positions where the eyes are shut but yet can feel the light. The other developing features seen in the baby this week include;

The baby is gaining muscular strength.

The baby is as big as an avocado this week. The muscle mass of the baby develops below the translucent skin and blood vessel layer of the fetus this week. The back muscles are forming, giving more strength to the neck and holding the head straight up. 

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Eyes are sensitive to light.

The eyes are well placed in the eye sockets, gaining their functions and ready to see the outside world. Though the eyelids are closed tight, the eyes will soon perceive light.

The growing blood vessel network

As the blood vessel network extends through the baby’s skin, the heart pumps nearly 25 quarts of blood a day

Also Read: NT NB Scan During Pregnancy: What is It, When is It Done, What Will You Find Out from the Scan?

Mom-to-be @ Week 16 of Pregnancy

At week 16 of pregnancy, when some would-be mothers have pronounced baby bumps, some are yet to show their distinct pregnant tummy. Pregnancy symptoms noticed this week are;

  • Constipation with painful bowel movements, abdominal bloating, and gas.
  • Enlarged veins in the legs with increased blood flow- Varicose veins
  • Swelling in hands and feet
  • Leg cramps and lower back pains
  • White milky vaginal discharge or leukorrhea prevents the urinary tract and vagina from being free from infectious pathogens.
  • Unusual aversions and cravings for foods
  • Weight gain
  • The continued growth of breasts without soreness
  • Occasional bleeding of nose and congestion
  • Mood swings, high sensitivity to smell
  • Oily spotty skin – Chloasma, or ‘mask of pregnancy’ observed on the face and the neck regions.

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Should I worry about the white vaginal discharge during pregnancy?

Milky white vaginal discharge during pregnancy increases with pregnancy progression that is normal, harmless, and not a cause of concern. However, you will need to consult your doctor immediately if your vaginal discharge has abnormal thickness or consistency, bad smell, and is yellow, gray, or green in color. 

Things to consider @ Week 16 of Pregnancy

As you move into week 16 of pregnancy, and with the increasing fundal length (distance between the upper uterus region to the top of the pelvic bone), weight, and fetal growth, you will need to take care of certain things this week, such as;

  • Less impactful or intense workouts such as gentle yoga asanas and pilates can help alleviate lower back pain, stretch and relax the back muscles, help improve posture, labor, and delivery. 
  • Suffice your unhealthy food cravings with small potions or choose the healthier options instead. 
  • Fiber-rich foods, plenty of fluids, fresh, green leafy vegetables can help ease constipation and uneasy bowel movements.  
  • Make sure to keep yourself away from carbon monoxide produced majorly from cigarette smoke. Even passive inhalation of carbon monoxide increases the likelihood of developmental deformities in the baby.  
  • Foods high in protein, calcium, and vitamins must be an essential inclusion. Prescribed prenatal supplements must be regularly taken without a miss.
  • Use humidifiers, or moisten the nose often to avoid nose bleeds and stuffy, irritating nose. 

Are there any tests or consultations during the 4th month of pregnancy?

Along with regular blood pressure checks, urine and blood tests are done to eliminate HIV, Hepatitis B, and Syphilis. Iron and protein content in the body is also measured. Low iron levels can increase anemia risks, while the high specific protein in the urine can develop the risk of causing preeclampsia- a sudden increase in blood pressure after week 20 of pregnancy.   

Conclusion

After week 16 of pregnancy, you will begin the 5th month of your pregnancy term. This week, the baby’s muscles strengthen, with eyes and ears being placed in their position. The baby can not only hear you but can recognize you from within you. Pregnancy symptoms like lower backaches, chloasma, etc., may need to be managed. For any abnormalities during pregnancy or pending tests and evaluations, connect with your consulting obstetrician at the earliest. 

Reference

Overview | NHS

Pooja N Swamy (M.Sc Biomedical Sciences)
Pooja Holds Master's Degree in Biomedical Sciences from Vellore Institute of Technology. She believes in strong research and clear understanding over the subject. Always determined and focussed with a thirst to learn new things. Hardworking, flexible and grounded to align with the goals.

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