Your baby is now the size of an avocado, measuring four and a half (4.5) inches from crown to rump and weighing about three and a half (3.5) ounces. You are in your fourth month of pregnancy.
During week 16 of pregnancy, you baby begins a growth spurt. Over the next few weeks, he or she will double in weight and grow a few inches in height. The head is now more erect, looking forward instead of chin to chest. Your baby’s muscles are also now responding to stimulation from your baby’s brain. The legs are more developed as well, and most expectant mothers will begin to feel baby kick around the fourth month of pregnancy. These early fetal movements are known as quickening. Your baby’s heart is now pumping about twenty-five quarts of blood each day around his or her tiny body. The nervous system is also functioning.
On top of your baby’s head, hair patterning on the scalp is beginning to form, although your baby will not grow head hair for another few weeks still. Because your baby is gaining some control over his or her muscles, the mouth can now open and close more voluntarily. If you could peer into your womb, you might see your baby sucking on a thumb or even giving you a little smile. The eyes and ears are in their final positions on the front and sides of the head. The eyes can also move back and forth behind the eyelids during week 16 of pregnancy, although the eyes will not become unfused for another few weeks still.
Your uterus, which weighs about eight and a half ounces, now rests halfway between your pelvic bone and your belly button. Because your body will contain 50% more blood by the end of pregnancy, you may be experiencing occasional nosebleeds or bleeding gums and may be noticing more visible varicose veins on your legs. In general, however, you should feel pretty good throughout your second trimester. You may even find yourself bursting with energy. Now is a good time to start preparing for your baby’s arrival including setting up the nursery. Other symptoms during week 16 of pregnancy include breast growth, constipation, nasal congestion, vaginal discharge (leukorrhea), abdominal achiness, and backaches.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not meant to replace the professional medical advice of your health care provider.
16 weeks pregnant: http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy-week-by-week/16-weeks-pregnant_70762
16th week of pregnancy: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/weekbyweek/week16.htm
Curtis, Glade B. & Judith Schuler. 2011. Your pregnancy week by week. 7th edn. Philadelphia: Running Press.
Stone, Joanne & Keith Eddleman, eds. 2003. The pregnancy bible: Your complete guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. Willowdale, Ontario: Firefly Books.
Your pregnancy: 16 weeks: http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-16-weeks_1105.bc
Your pregnancy week by week: Weeks 13-16: http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-weeks-13-16
Ultrasound of 16 Week Fetus: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Banana_sign_at_16_weeks_Ultrasound_by_Dr._Wolfgang_Moroder.jpg
Baby Bump at 16 Weeks: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sheila_16_weeks.jpg