Your baby at 16 weeks pregnant
Your baby is the size of a small apple.
Thanks to strengthening muscles, your little one is working on lifting his or her head and neck from the curved position.
Baby is pumping those little arms and legs furiously this week. Sometime between now and 20 weeks, you may be able to feel movement for the first time. That said, your little one is still very small – about 11.5 to 12 cm (4.5 to 4.75 inches) long and just under 85 g (3 oz) – and the cushion of amniotic fluid can make it difficult to feel movement just yet.
Your pregnancy at 16 weeks
As you might have noticed, sleeping on your tummy is pretty much impossible at this stage. It's also thought that lying on your back can increase pressure on the vena cava, the blood vessel that returns blood to your heart, so lying on your left side is best. Sleeping in this position increases your circulation, which can help to minimise your chances of developing oedema (swelling) and varicose veins.
Out of breath crossing the room? Pregnancy hormones cause fluid to collect in your lungs, making it harder for you to draw big breaths. Later on, your growing uterus will compound the problem by placing pressure on your diaphragm and reducing the space in which your lungs can expand.
Now is the time to speak with your healthcare provider about the pros and cons of the AFP (alpha-fetoprotein) test. This is a simple blood test that screens for birth defects like Down's syndrome and spina bifida, and must be performed between weeks 16 and 18.
Did you know?
Are you feeling your baby moving? Those well-developed little arms and legs are moving frequently now, so you’ll notice baby’s activity in the next few weeks. Your little one is also beginning to hear, so these movements may be in response to sound.
Quick tip for mums:
Now is the time to enjoy being pregnant! Those bothersome symptoms of early pregnancy have probably gone, and you are likely to have more energy. Enjoy this time by staying active with walks, a swim or a yoga class. And now that you’re starting to look pregnant, treat yourself to some maternity clothes to show off your new shape.