Morning sickness, mood swings, tiredness, all suddenly gone or has been greatly reduced as soon as you enter your 2nd trimester? What happened? Is there something wrong with my pregnancy? Is my baby OK? – These are just some of the questions that might run through your head once the signs of your pregnancy minimize.
One pregnancy is always different from the other, it should be around this time (16-20 weeks) your baby bump will start to be more noticeable. Some moms-to-be might show up right away at 16 weeks but others might need to wait few more weeks before they could feel their baby move evidently in their belly, as long as you are having your regular monthly checkup with your doctor, you don’t need to worry.
Some even worry that the lack of pregnancy symptoms might mean something went wrong with their baby since they still don’t feel them moving inside of their womb. But, most of the time, it’s completely normal
Pregnancy symptoms at 16 weeks
But what are the changes in your body by 16 weeks of pregnancy, and what are normal things for you to feel and what are not? Here are some of the most common symptoms that you might have at this stage of your pregnancy and ways to cope up with them.
- Pregnancy Glow – I know you’ve heard about it, and you might even see it before from another pregnant woman; the increase of blood flow and the increase of active hormones in their body will make the face look brighter, and the skin looks shinier, hence the natural “glow.” The 2nd trimester is sometimes called the “honeymoon phase” of the pregnancy; you may also notice that you sleep better these days than the previous week, giving you an extra boost of energy for the day ahead.
- Heartburn – This is when stomach acids leak back into the esophagus; it’s sometimes called acid reflux. Heartburn actually doesn’t affect the heart, but you might feel an uncomfortable burning sensation in your throat and chest, usually after eating. You might want to closely monitor the food that triggers heartburn. It’s usually spicy or fried foods, garlic, onions, or caffeine. Keep in mind that whatever food you eat affects your baby. If you are not sure, always consult your doctor.
- Constipation – According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), “Constipation involves having fewer than three bowel movements a week. Stools may be firm or hard to pass. Swelling or bloating of the abdomen may occur.” This is a pretty common symptom during pregnancy, hormone levels can affect digestion, or you could also have a higher iron level if you’re taking prenatal vitamins. High iron levels can contribute to constipation. Natural fiber can help a lot with constipation; whole grains, beans, and legumes are great sources of fiber. Also, don’t forget to drink lots of water and exercise regularly for better bowel movement.
- Gum or nosebleeds – Nosebleeding is usually harmless and happens when the additional blood flow in your body causes the tiny blood vessels in your nose to rupture. You also have more blood flow to the mucous membranes of the mouth and gums when you are pregnant, which may also cause bleeding, especially when you brush your teeth. Your gums may be more swollen than usual. Try using a toothbrush with soft bristles. Regular visits to your dentist during pregnancy are important to prevent problems. Tell your dentist that you are pregnant; most dental work can be done while you are pregnant. Delaying dental care can make a problem worse.
- Weight gain – By the second trimester, your baby is rapidly growing, leading you to gain more weight, Ideally around 0.2 to 0.5 kilograms (0.5-1.0 pounds) per week. Try not to worry too much; most of the time, the weight gain is an indication that you and your baby are on the right track of development. However, if you are not sure of what to eat or is not increasing or worse, decreasing weight, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor for professional advice.
- Skin changes – Most pregnant women start to show by this stage of their pregnancy, and as your belly starts to expand to make space for your growing baby so as your skin, stretch marks will also start to show as well as melasma. It’s another symptom associated with increased amounts of estrogen and progesterone. This causes the body to make more melanin, a brown pigment.
Baby development at 16 weeks
Your pregnancy symptoms might subside a little, but your baby’s development sure doesn’t. In fact, their development by the second trimester is one of the highlights of pregnancy.
Like for starters, you’ll be able to identify the baby’s sex by 14 months, and you’ll also start to feel your little one move inside your belly! Exciting times, that’s probably why the second trimester is sometimes called the “honeymoon period” of pregnancy.
- 13-15 weeks – Your baby is beginning to make urine and release it into the surrounding amniotic fluid. Your baby also swallows some amniotic fluid. Bones are beginning to harden in your baby’s skeleton, especially in the skull and long bones. Your baby’s skin is still thin and transparent, but it will start to thicken soon. Your baby’s neck has become more defined. Red blood cells are forming in your baby’s spleen. Bone development continues and will soon become visible on ultrasound images. Your baby’s scalp hair pattern also is forming.
- 16-17 weeks – Your baby’s head is forming more straight, and their eyes can slowly move too; the ears are almost done forming. Your baby’s skin is getting thicker; their limb movements are becoming coordinated and can be detected during ultrasounds. These movements are still too slight for you to feel it though. Their heart is pumping about 100 pints of blood each day.
- 18-20 weeks – Your baby’s ears begin to stand out on the sides of their head. Your baby might begin to hear sounds. The eyes are beginning to face forward. Your baby’s digestive system has started working, a coating called vernix caseosa begins to cover your baby. The vernix caseosa helps protect your baby’s delicate skin from abrasions, capping, and hardening that can result from exposure to amniotic fluid. For girls, the uterus and vaginal canal are forming. By the end of 20 months, halfway through your pregnancy, you should feel your baby more and faster than in previous weeks. By now, your baby might be about 6 1/3 inches long from crown to rump and weigh more than 11 ounces.
- 21-22 weeks – Your baby is completely covered with a fine, downy hair called lanugo. The lanugo helps hold the vernix caseosa on the skin. The sucking reflex also is developing, enabling your baby to suck their thumb, your baby’s eyebrows and hair are visible. For boys, the testes have begun to form. By the end of 22 weeks, your baby might be 7 1/2 inches long from crown to rump and weigh about 1 pound.
- 23-24 weeks – Your baby begins to have rapid eye movements. Ridges also form in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet that will later create the foundation for fingerprints and footprints. You might also feel your baby hiccupping, it could be concerning at first, but it’s perfectly normal. Your baby’s skin is wrinkled, translucent, and pink to red because of visible blood in the capillaries. By now, your baby might be about 8 inches long from crown to rump and weigh more than 1 1/3 pounds.
How big is my baby at 16 weeks?
“At 16 weeks, your fetus is now the size of an apple or an avocado. Your little one could be more than 4 1/2 inches long, crown to rump, and weigh close to 4 ounces.”
How likely is a miscarriage at 16 weeks?
“Between weeks 13 and 20, the risk of experiencing a miscarriage is less than 1 percent.“
Worrying is normal, completely understandable just do not stress yourself too much overthinking, if you have any doubts regarding the safety of your baby never hesitate to call and consult your doctor, they’ll know what to do if there is something wrong. With all this hormonal imbalance, physical, emotional, and mental shifts, the last thing you need is to worry too much.
Give your doctor a visit for your peace of mind and to just be safe, after all, we just want the best for our babies right? Do you have the same experience? Feel free to let us know in the comment section below, we would love to hear from you!