In the 16th week of pregnancy, the 4th month of pregnancy is almost over for you. Your baby is now romping through your belly, even though you may not be able to feel it yet. We will show you what else is going on in your body during the 16th week of pregnancy.
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Important facts about the 16th week: What you should know
Your baby is now about 11 cm tall, the size of a pomegranate. It also weighs around 100 g.
In your belly, he is diligently exercising his muscles and reflexes. In particular, the back and neck muscles are being trained.
Your belly grows further and your body produces a preliminary stage of breast milk from the 16th week.
This is what happens to you
Your belly will continue to grow in the 16th week, because your offspring will continue to increase in size and weight.
Your uterus is also still growing. In addition, it is now becoming harder in order to protect the fetus well.
Your breasts also continue to grow. They even produce a precursor of breast milk, the so-called colostrum. It can be produced as early as the 16th week of pregnancy.
This colostrum is a yellowish liquid that is very nutritious and with which your baby will be breastfed after birth. It takes a while until the actual breast milk flows.
After birth, your body waits for the level of progesterone in your body to decrease after the placenta is expelled. Then the level of milk-producing hormones such as prolactin, insulin and hydrocortisone increases.
These hormones ensure that your body produces breast milk. About three days after the birth, milk is let in. You will feel your breasts become noticeably firmer and fuller.
At the moment, you may theoretically feel the movements of your baby, but you do not classify them as such, but perhaps think that your stomach is simply grumbling.
But your baby keeps growing and at some point the time has come: you feel exactly that it is your baby that is making itself felt in your belly. You will certainly never forget this moment. The gentle fluttering in your belly – spring fever for expectant mothers.
Don’t worry if you can’t feel your baby moving yet. Before the 20th week of gestation, often only mothers who have already had a baby notice that their baby has just moved, because they already know the feeling.
Tip for fathers-to-be
Abdominal and back pain, gastrointestinal problems and nausea – your wife is plagued by physical ailments that also increase the psychological burden. A relaxing massage works wonders and lets your wife forget all her worries for a short moment.
Pregnancy discomforts in the 16th week and what you can do about it
Basically, even in the 16th week of gestation, the phase of pregnancy continues, in which expectant mothers blossomdue to decreasing pregnancy discomfort. The increased blood circulation also makes the skin firmer and the hormonal change makes for fuller and stronger hair.
Nevertheless, a few aches and pains are not absent, after all, big changes happen in your body.
As the uterus continues to grow, its ligaments and tendons stretch. Therefore, abdominal pain may continue to occur from time to time.
When you have pain, it is best to take time out and lie down for a short while, or relax. This will help you to relieve the pain.
Usually, the discomfort is nothing to worry about. However, if it lasts for several days or you are unsure about it, you should see your gynecologist.
The back pain is not yet caused by the extra weight you are carrying. But the increased strain on the ligaments that support the uterus can cause back pain.
But don’t worry: as soon as the “mother ligaments” get used to the new situation, the pain will quickly subside.
In addition, the uterus presses on the digestive tract in the 16th SSW. This can lead to gastrointestinal problems.
If you drink enough fluids, about 3 liters a day, you will stimulate your digestion and alleviate the symptoms. Peppermint and chamomile tea also help with stomach problems and relieve the sinking feeling in the stomach.
It can also help if you continue to eat small snacks and avoid larger meals, because they are heavier in the stomach.
Small tears in the fibers occur due to the increased tension of the skin, especially on the abdomen or breasts. These sometimes become visually visible and are called stretch marks.
However, stretch marks are not only unsightly, but also cause itching on the skin. Nourishing lotions or creams provide relief and soothe the damaged skin.
Skin and hair
Due to the change in hormone balance, some expectant mothers experience dark skin, thin hair or increased skin impurities such as pimples. Other mothers enjoy full hair and shiny skin.
No matter which way your hormones change your skin and hair, it’s short-lived. Changing your skin care products can help. Also, make sure you never go out in direct sunlight without adequate sunscreen.
Lack of concentration and forgetfulness
You notice that your concentration is getting worse and worse? In addition, you forget things in everyday life again and again?
Both are typical symptoms of the second third of pregnancy and therefore also of the 16th week of pregnancy.
Don’t panic! During pregnancy, your hormones go crazy. It is quite normal for the body to get a little confused. Don’t worry, after the birth or at the latest after breastfeeding, pregnancy dementia is no longer an issue.
Until then, you can simply grab your cell phone or a notebook and write down everything important that you must not forget. Create to-do lists so that you don’t forget anything.
What can be seen on the ultrasound during the 16th week of pregnancy?
Your baby is also very active in the 16th week and is romping around in your belly. You can see on the ultrasound how he moves his arms and legs and swims in all directions.
Although the eyes are still closed, it already has a distinctive facial expression, which you can observe on the ultrasound with a little luck.
By now, friends and family probably already know about the good news – probably your employer, too. Therefore, it makes sense to talk to your employer about the upcoming time, an adjustment of your tasks and the maternity leave.
Maternity protection falls under the Maternity Protection Act and applies to any form of employment, but also to voluntary services. Only self-employed and freelancers are not covered by the law.
What is the risk of miscarriage in the 16th week of pregnancy?
Even in the 16th week of pregnancy it is time for you to relax and enjoy your pregnancy.
Since the 14th week, the risk of miscarriage has decreased to 0.5%, so there is no need to worry.
What happens to the baby
Your baby is about 11 cm tall and weighs about 100 g in the 16th week.
He moves diligently and, except for the moments when he takes breaks to sleep, is active around the clock: He does somersaults in your belly, passes the time with strength exercises and begins to stretch. This strengthens their back and neck muscles, and later they can learn to walk and stand upright.
He also likes to play with his umbilical cord and practice his grasping reflexes on it.
How your baby develops during the 16th week of pregnancy
The fetus is in the growth phase. It is therefore growing very quickly, needs a lot of space and will double its size and weight in the coming weeks.
Your baby is already training to breathe and is “breathing” in and out of amniotic fluid in the 16th week.
Your baby’s urinary and circulatory systems are already fully developed in the 16th week. The thyroid gland develops hormones that regulate growth and drive metabolism.
This is important now
Your belly is getting bigger. If you are someone who likes to sleep on your stomach or on your back, then the time will soon come when you will unfortunately have to say goodbye to this for the time being.
Right now you may still be able to lie relaxed on your stomach or back, but your baby and with it your stomach are growing day by day. At some point it will no longer be possible for you to sleep on your back or stomach. In the next few weeks, the side position will become the most comfortable sleeping position, so it makes sense to try to get used to it now.
Does this sound impossible? Then side sleeping pillows or pregnancy pillows can help you make friends with this position and make it more comfortable for you. Sleeping on your side is important because it relieves pressure on your abdomen and spine, ensuring that your baby gets enough nutrients.
Here’s how you can support your body during the 16th week of pregnancy
Supply with minerals
It is important that you provide your body with 1000 mg of calcium a day through dairy products and green vegetables such as broccoli. Your baby needs calcium forgrowth and bone formation. If the body does not receive enough calcium from outside, it will be taken away from the bones and teeth.
Magnesium prevents calf cramps and premature labor. Therefore, 300 mg should be taken daily. You can take magnesium either as a preparation, or through foods such as cereals, dairy products or vegetables.
If the body does not get enough iron, this triggers a deficiency of red blood cells and a lack of oxygen can occur. Of course, this would also affect the baby’s development.
Therefore, it is important to consume about 30 mg of iron per day. This is possible through foods such as fish, vegetables or lean meat.
It is best to check with your gynecologist what your personal situation is and whether you have any deficiencies. He can advise you and, if necessary, you can adjust your diet or take additional supplements.
Slowly but surely, the time will come when your pants will no longer fit properly, even with a pants extension.
The pregnancy discomforts have subsided for the most part and you can be fitter and more active again. Therefore, it is a good time to look for suitable pregnancy fashion, so that you feel fit, comfortable and well dressed in your body in the coming weeks.
Don’t buy clothes that are too small, so that you can wear them for longer, and keep in mind that as your baby grows, your belly will grow faster and faster with it.
In the 16th week of gestation, the fetus trains its muscles and grasping reflexes and gymnastically moves through the abdomen. The mother-to-be’s abdomen continues to grow and her body begins to produce colostrum, a precursor to breast milk, in the 16th week.
The baby is about 11 cm tall and weighs 100 g in the 11th week of gestation.
The sex determination becomes more and more certain from week to week. However, the sex of the baby can only be determined exactly in the 20th week of gestation.
The size of the belly depends very individually on your own body. In addition, the size of the baby plays a role, which also varies from baby to baby. An average size is therefore difficult to determine. However, the baby bump is visible in the 16th week of gestation in most women.
In the beginning, baby movements are hardly noticeable. Expectant mothers describe the sensation as a slight tickling or like the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings in their belly.
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