16 Weeks of Pregnancy – Symptoms and Fetal Development

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The 16th week of pregnancy is another important week of pregnancy in a woman’s life. In this particular week of pregnancy a woman experiences a great amount of changes that do not occur before. Unlike the 14th and 15th weeks of pregnancy which are also great weeks for the development of the baby, the 16th week shows now that the baby is not only maturing in its development but also is growing significantly showing a growth rate of at least an inch a week so by the time your baby is born they will be strong healthy and the size covering a normal height of at least 6 inches.

16 weeks of pregnancy - 16 week fetus picture

What to Think About This Week

It is hard for you to believe that you are into the 16th week of your happy pregnancy. From this month on, you will find your little one moving inside your womb. Besides this, you can also experience more ticklish feeling from their new growing hair and the sac expanding. This week you will think about the weeks that you have crossed with such expertise. Besides, you will also look back and feel happy about your child’s progress and the way everything is looking up. Checkups and the wait for reports will keep your mind occupied as well. All in all, your step into the second trimester so far is going well, and you can expect better times to come.

Fetal Development of The Baby:

This week is important for the baby in the context of the baby’s weight. In this week the baby starts to finally gain weight and gaining weight is not a bad thing as long as the baby is not overweight. Weight or the fact that the baby starts creating will be its nutrition source from this day on. The body of your baby will now start being a lot more reliant on itself therefore aiding in development that is unique to this week.

See More: 13 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms

There are significant increases in the baby’s development during this week and some of these developments are quite unique, some of these developments are-


Your baby at 16 weeks will be  almost 4 and a half inches long and weighs almost 4 ounces. That is double the size compared to 4th and 5th week of pregnancy. This is a significant growth where your baby is now big enough to move around in the belly freely as most of their limbs have developed completely by this time. At the end of pregnancy your baby will be a proper size of exactly around 6 and a half inches long and the miracle is that the baby will grow significantly after the few weeks of their birth.

See More: 15th Week Of Pregnancy Care


You can ask the doctor to check to see whether the fetus is either a boy or a girl because at this point the genitals are fully developed allowing the doctor to determine the gender of your baby. The genitals allow for a perfect urination system also allowing the baby to have a fully functioning kidney system. The genitals are the most important development in the 16th week.


The baby can now breathe on its own, inhaling and exhaling the amniotic fluid around them. The lung developments are also a great development in regards to the 16th week of pregnancy.  The lungs are the most important parts of the body in line with the heart and the brain. No matter what we all need our lungs heart and brain to survive thus the lung development is of great importance during this week.

Visual Sensors:

The baby’s visual sensors also improve this week making the bay extremely sensitive to light. Ultrasounds show the bay covering its eyes with its hands when there is too much light. Strong light makes the baby uncomfortable because the visual sensors are developing. The visual sensors are also a great development compared to the other weeks as the eyes are the medium through which your baby will see the world.


If you’re lucky you will feel your baby’s early movements during this stage as movement is natural during the first 16 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. During this period you chances of feeling your baby’s first movements are highly likely. Your baby moves as they grow. Growth makes them want to push upon the space enclosing them, thus movement.


Your baby also starts developing fat under the skin during this week which acts as a certain kind of insulation system keeping the baby comfortable and in some cases warm. Fat also acts as a source of nutrition and strength for the bay as they grow stronger and fitter every day. Though the fat increase in your baby’s body will make you feel uncomfortable understand that because of this your baby is now going to be stronger than ever.

Symptoms of 16 Weeks of Pregnancy and How to Overcome:

There are numerous symptoms that a proud mother to be might face during the tricky 16th week of pregnancy; some of these symptoms might be:-

Increase in Breast Size:

During this week the breast size will increase as the milk glands will start production and blood flow will also increase causing the veins to pop up where they would not be visible before. Your breasts are now growing to support the active milk glands which shall be the only source of nutrition for your baby when they are born. To keep everything working well for you and overcome stretch marks, wear a comfortable bra, that allows your breasts to breathe. Do make sure you keep olive oil or Vitamin E around for massage The veins of your breasts show up as well, making your pregnancy more obvious, but then again, this one is absolutely normal as well and you don’t need to stress yourself at all. Although the symptoms usually tend to go away on their own, the best way to reduce the pain is to apply ice packs and cooling bags. Drinking lots of water help the soreness as well. A loose bra should help relax the breast tissues and give them more room to breathe, relaxing the soreness.

Increasing Waistline:

Your waistline will further grow this week because the growth of the baby, the bulge that was earlier just a small bump is now a significant bulge allowing you now t finally assess how fast your baby is growing. The waistline only grows to help keep the baby comfortable while it grows. The bay might start kicking because of the uneasy feeling in its legs, this uneasy feeling is caused by  the bones in the baby’s legs as they stretch out longer. At this point the baby’s arms have grown in length to the proportion of their body o it is only a matter of time that the legs catch up. There is no way you can stop from your jeans not fitting you anymore, however investing in maternity clothes right away is a good idea, since that will keep your needs addressed for the next few months to come. Besides, there is still a long way to go. A healthy diet will help minimize the excess gain in weight.

See More: 14th Week Of Pregnancy

Back Pain:

An increasing back pain is also another symptom of the 16th week of pregnancy. Back pains occur daily and are caused primarily by the increasing waistline. The increasing waistline causing a strain on your backbone that in turn causes the unwanted back pain. At this point the back pain will make you feel tired and lethargic. Not only that the back pain will make you cranky and the pains is sometimes unbearable but stick on with it and don’t give up. At this point the best way to fight the pain is a short exercise when you wake up or rest for a certain period of time. At this point the best way to fight the pain is a short exercise when you wake up or rest for a certain period of time.

Stretch Marks:

In the 16th week of pregnancy the uterine walls stretching ability is reached and the baby bump grows beyond the tolerance limit and hence it has to adjust itself i.e. stretch itself to fit the baby inside growing every day. However the body not being compatible to this kind of extreme adjustments subjects to wear and tear often resulting in stretch marks in the lower abdomen. However this stretch marks can be removed by applying creams and oils available in the market and ensure that your skin stays hydrated all the time and thus it helps in preventing stretch marks .Aloe Vera and Vitamin A are also considered to be good soothing agents to prevent these marks.

Increase in Appetite:

This period of time makes you literally hungry most of the time and leaves you craving for food. You literally develop the powers of gulping down every food in sight. However over eating can be a major health issues as you are now feeding for two and also it might make you gain weight like crazy. However you can easily curb this desire of eating by keeping a big box of nuts around since they can add nutrition to your diet whilst filling your appetite requirements. Keeping your busy in a variety of activities might also provide a healthy distraction.

16th Week Activities:

For the 16th week, you have begun the second trimester well. This week activities might make it seem like everything is in place. A few things however that will define your ongoing activities will be medical tests, those to keep your health and your baby’s development in check should be bookmarked or noted down. Aside that, the constant change weight and pressure in your case should be throughout kept in check. Now that your baby is growing, his heartbeat and your overall health will be checked as well. Nothing to worry your symptoms all seems well.

Diet and Exercise for the 16th Week:


1. Water:

Strange as it may seem, you need water to help keep your bowel movements in check. Now that your baby bump is showing, you need more of that to keep both you and your little on hydrated. If you fear bloating, you can obviously binge on fruits like watermelon, which are high on their liquid content and equally helpful as water for your body.

See More: Water Drinking During Pregnancy

2. Protein:

Indulging in protein rich food will only lead to health benefits that you want to involve yourself with. Protein in your diet includes meat, eggs, lentils, nuts to name a few.

3. Salads:

The power of salad is something you cannot deny. From cabbages to tomatoes, carrots and beets, everything likes fiber and omega 3 fatty acids get included in your diet with these fresh vegetables. Do avoid pickles and olives for your dressing, since these have heightened sodium content.

4. Iron:

Iron is an important nutrient for you since you need a lot of red blood cells to develop your little one. Food like spinach, lean meat, pulses and banana will be ideal for the same. Tannins on the other hand, found in tea and coffee is known to interfere with how the iron is absorbed by your body. Do make sure you do not drink coffee or tea right after having a food rich in iron.

5. Smoothies:

If you feel too tired to chew through a whole meal without feeling nauseous, involve the use of smoothies and fruits like pomegranate, strawberries, kiwis, oranges and bananas.


1. Pelvic Stretches:

To have a normal delivery, nothing works better than pelvic stretches. They keep your flexibility maintained and give you more reasons to keep that high horse of a smooth pregnancy up.

2. Squat:

Squats are the second most popular exercise among pregnant woman. You can use a support for to squat and relax the pelvic and thigh muscles in turn.

3. Yoga:

Yoga is as safe as it gets to enhance your body’s elasticity and endurance power, thus allowing you a better mind and body when time comes for your delivery.

4. Pelvic Rest:

Use a cushion to balance your center of gravity. This exercise gives your pelvic area the rest it needs, thus giving you better flexibility overall.

5. Walking:

When there is pregnancy, most women swear by the benefits of walking. Be it your house, lawn or the park, walking will take you places when you want to stop gaining fat or be more flexible.

Sex during Pregnancy in 16h Week:

Your sexual life can undergo a complete change after your pregnancy, however know this- sex is still safe even standing on the mark of 16th week. You might happen to lose interest in the intimacy owing to your unusual symptoms and worrying about the risk, but know this that there is nothing to worry about at this stage.

Tips To Overcome Stress during Pregnancy:

  1. You are vulnerable still as a new mom to be and need all the rest and support while you still can. Try to ask around for advice on how to successfully rest.
  2. Keep yourself informed about the changes that will happen the next month ahead of time, so you can avoid the stress at the end of the month as the new one approaches. Ask your partner to come along with you for the checkup sessions as well, so nothing is missed.
  3. Everyone’s pregnancy is different. Do not let anyone’s symptom stress you out. Talk to your doctor about what is bothering you instead to clear the air better.
  4. Do the clothes shopping for your baby right away if you know the sex of your little one. This leaves you a lot of time to decide names of your kid, and not stress over these responsibilities.
  5. Every alternative day, try out walks for a change and think about the weeks to come and plan them out to prevent stress.

Medical Treatments and Check up:

This week, there will be a call for ultrasound to determine if everything is safe and sound, you might also have to take a test for determination of chromosomal issues in your child. One of the most important tests that is carried out in the 16th week is Amniocentesis. This is to determine if your child has Down’s syndrome. Apart from that, the usual symptoms from the previous month may follow. Hence, a few medicines to keep by your bedside are:

  • Aches and pains- Acetaminophen. Steer clear of Ibuprofen and Naproxen.
  • Allergy- Antihistamines and Ioratidine. Avoid Pseudophedrine and Decongestants like Phenylephrine.
  • Cough- Dextromethorphan and Guaifenesin.
  • Constipation- Metamucil and Colace. Avoid laxatives and mineral oil.
  • Heartburn- Antacids and Famotidine.
  • There might be rashes this week because of the changes in your body so far
  • They are well manageable, provided something is done from the very start.
  • Choose soft cotton clothes as your maternity fabric for the coming weeks.
  • Continue with the stretching and exercise since they are a great way to relax.
  • Talk to your partner about every coming progress so he feels involved.
  • This would be the right week to begin communicating with your little one.

This is your second trimester and there will be so many noticeable changes every week. Adjust to them and your experience as a mother to be will be perfect!

Images Source: shutterstock