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Your Pregnancy at Week 16

This week, your baby is as big as an avocado.

Explore your pregnancy at Week 16

Week 12
Week 13
Week 14
Week 15
Week 16
Week 17
Week 18
Week 19
Week 20

24 Weeks to go!

The following information was reviewed by  Dr. Cheng Ka Ning, Katherine 

At A Glance

Week-16

The development of the basic structure of the fetal body is complete

The circulatory system of the baby's body starts to work and develops the suck reflex, the automatic act of sucking. Even though the baby's eyes are still closed, the eyes can move slightly and they can start to feel the light. marvelous!

Baby’s gender can now be known by looking at the reproductive organs

Around the 16th week of pregnancy, your baby's reproductive organs will start to develop. You may be able to see them on a prenatal ultrasound, which can tell you your baby's gender. In addition, if you want to know ahead of time, you can use the results of non-invasive fetal chromosome genetic testing (NIPT) to find out your baby's sex and whether they have any genetic diseases.

Glowing or blemish-ridden

Have you looked in the mirror and noticed that your hair and skin have become radiant, and your skin is even a little rosy? Or have skin problems such as acne and eczema? Don't worry! Both conditions are normal and are due to pregnancy hormones.

Baby Development at 16 Weeks

transparent-skin

Transparent skin

Although the baby has not yet grown fat, but the appearance is gradually taking shape, the skin is transparent, and we can see the blood vessels in the small transparent body through ultrasound.

ear-bones

Baby can hear your voice

Your baby's ear bones are nearly complete, and they’re likely to be able to hear your voice soon. Generally, babies fully develop hearing in utero by 18 weeks. In fact, studies have

found that babies can hear songs in the womb that they recognize when they hear them after birth. So go ahead and sing those lullabies - your little one is sure to enjoy them!

Your Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 16

In the 16th week of pregnancy, an ultrasound can be used to determine the sex of the baby. The Obstetrician or Midwife will look at the reproductive organs to make this determination. Keep reading to learn more about pregnancy and what advice doctors typically give.

Enlarged breasts

Breasts usually go back to normal after pregnancy, so don't worry if they seem a bit off right now. In most cases, they should return to their pre-pregnancy size after delivery or weaning.

Varicose veins

Hormonal fluctuations and the added weight of your developing baby contribute to an increased susceptibility to varicose veins during pregnancy. This can be attributed to three primary factors:
  1. Elevated progesterone levels cause blood vessel walls to relax and impair valve function.
  2. An increased blood volume in the body.
  3. Pressure exerted by the baby on pelvic blood vessels, altering blood flow in the pelvic region and legs.

To minimize the risk of developing varicose veins, consider the following preventative measures: avoid prolonged standing or sitting, engage in regular exercise (consult a women's health physiotherapist), and limit sodium intake in your diet.

Waist pain

Carrying around extra weight in your belly can put a lot of pressure on your lower back. This can make your back muscles tense up. To help ease the tension and pain, you can try getting prenatal massages, using a heating pad, or taking warm baths or showers. You can also ask your partner for help.

Bleeding gums

Bleeding when brushing your teeth is a common occurrence during pregnancy. This is because pregnancy hormones make the gums more susceptible to bacteria, irritation, and bleeding, leading to inflammation. While this is normal, it's important to floss and brush regularly. Also, see your dentist at least once during pregnancy to avoid gum disease, which, if left alone, can lead to pregnancy complications.

Increased vaginal discharge

Increased vaginal discharge may not be the most comfortable thing in the world, but it can help prevent vaginal infections. So douching or using feminine wipes will put you at greater risk for infection.

Constipation

Hormonal changes and the expanding uterus can cause constipation by putting pressure on the gastrointestinal tract. Drinking plenty of water and eating high-fiber foods will help to relieve constipation.

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Advice from OT&P Obstetricians

Blood volume will increase by about 20% during pregnancy to support the needs of the growing baby. This extra blood flow can lead to iron deficiency anemia in pregnant women.

If the results of a Down syndrome screening or a non-invasive fetal chromosome screening come back abnormal, doctors may recommend amniocentesis to get a more accurate picture. This is usually done sometime between the 16th and 18th week of pregnancy, when there is the most amniotic fluid. Using ultrasound, the doctor will guide a needle through the pregnant woman's belly and into the amniotic cavity. They will then extract 20-30cc of amniotic fluid in order to screen the fetus for conditions such as Down syndrome, Edward's disease, hemophilia, and spinal cord abnormalities.

A normal report means that the karyotype of the fetus is normal, excluding Down syndrome, Edward syndrome, and other chromosomal abnormalities. The possibility of other genetic diseases cannot be ruled out. You can make an appointment with an OT&P obstetrician or an Annerley midwife to answer your pregnancy questions.

Tips for 16 Weeks Pregnant

  • Yoga, pilates, and breathable cotton underwear are all great ways to improve your overall physical and emotional state. Getting enough folic acid, calcium, and iron is also important for pregnant women at this stage
  • Start thinking about your structural scan. The best time to examine the fetus' structure is during the 18th to 22nd week of pregnancy. This is when they can check for things such as the development of the brain and heart, as well as other organs. Additionally, they can observe the level of amniotic fluid and look for any abnormalities or physical deformities. The examination usually takes no more than an hour.
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