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Your Baby at Week 16
Baby’s Eyes Are Working
Your baby now weighs in at a whopping three to four ounces and he’s four to five inches in length.
The backbone and tiny muscles in his back are gaining strength, so he can straighten out his head and neck even more.
And thanks to his developing facial muscles, your baby is capable of making a few expressive frowns and squints, even at this early stage.
His eyes are finally working too, making small side-to-side movements and perceiving light (although the eyelids are still sealed).
16 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
If you’re 16 weeks pregnant, you’re in month 4 of your pregnancy.
Only 5 months left to go! Still have questions? Here’s some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
Baby’s Skin Is Transparent
Your fetus is becoming a looker too — with a face that has both eyebrows and eyelashes — but a skinny looker, since there’s no baby fat yet.
And here’s the skinny on baby skin: It’s practically translucent now, so if you took a peek inside your uterus, you’d be able to see your baby’s blood vessels under that thin skin.
Baby Can Hear Your Voice
Tiny bones in your fetus’ ears are in place, making it likely that the baby can hear your voice when you’re speaking (or singing in the shower) at 16 weeks pregnant.
In fact, studies have found that babies who hear a song while they’re in the womb recognize the same tune when it’s sung to them after they’re born (so choose your lullabies with that in mind).
Your Body at Week 16
Your 16 Weeks Pregnant Belly
At 16 weeks pregnant, you may now be at the stage where your bump clearly has a baby in there.
Your weight gain and that of your baby have likely picked up considerably, and you’ll both continue to grow.
But all baby bumps at 16 weeks are different — and normal.
Believe it or not, some women still don’t really show at 16 weeks pregnant, while others have pronounced bumps.
The wide variety of baby bumps can be attributed to everything from a women’s size and shape to whether this is her first pregnancy or her second, third or fourth.
Whatever you do, don’t compare your 16 weeks pregnant belly to anyone else’s and don’t worry too much.
It’s all good! If you’re still concerned, though, or have questions about how big or small you are, just talk to your doctor for some reassurance.
Your Pregnancy Weight Gain
It may be hard to watch yourself gain weight during pregnancy, even when you know there’s a wonderful reason for it, but try to embrace your body’s new shape and think of every pound you put on as a sign of good health for you and your baby.
As long as you eat right during pregnancy (minimize junk and maximize nutrient-dense foods) and get regular exercise, you’ll be fine in the long run.
Remember, every woman is different and gains and loses weight during pregnancy at her own pace.
One way to show your changing shape some love this week and feel better about yourself in the process:
Buy a garment or accessory that makes you feel pretty at your new size (and don’t forget to buy underwear that fits!).
Your uterus is not the only thing that’s starting to swell.
The mucous membranes of your nose may be too from all the pregnancy hormones circulating in your body, which are also increasing blood flow.
The result? Your nose probably already knows: pregnancy congestion and possibly even nosebleeds.
Unfortunately, the stuffiness may only get worse as your pregnancy progresses, but your practitioner will probably not prescribe any medications or antihistamine nasal sprays to help clear things up (but do ask if he or she recommends something else instead).
You can safely try saline sprays or nasal strips, especially if the congestion takes a turn for the truly uncomfortable.
A humidifier in your room and a little petroleum jelly dabbed under your nose may also help overcome the dryness associated with any congestion.
Determining Your Baby’s Gender
True or false:
A fetal heart rate of fewer than 140 beats per minute means you’re having a boy, while a heart rate of more than 140 beats per minute means you’re having a girl.
It’s a notion that’s been making the obstetrical rounds forever and the truth is…it’s false.
Sorry, but while it sounds plausible (and grounded in medical fact), this one is about as reliable as holding a ring on a string over your belly and determining the baby’s gender based on which way the ring turns.
There are as many old wives’ tales about ways to find out your baby’s gender as there are old wives to tell about them (and try them out at family gatherings).
Sure, they’re fun to talk about, but all of them share just one truth:
They’re correct in predicting gender 50 percent of the time.
If you’d like better odds than that (the kind you can base your nursery paint colors on), ask at your ultrasound about finding out the sex of the baby the scientific way.