What's happening in week 16 of your pregnancy
Week 16 and your baby is doing some pretty amazing stuff!
At a glance
- Your baby's limbs and joints are now fully formed
- Routine tests will be done at your antenatal appointment
- It is safe to have sex if you feel like your libido has increased
How big is my baby at 16 weeks pregnant?
Your baby is around 11.6 cm long now and about the size of an orange. All their limbs and joints are now fully formed – and they’re probably enjoying giving them all a good stretch and flex! They might also have 'found' their thumb and worked out how to suck it by now, too. How cute is that?
Now that their backbone has become stronger your baby will start to straighten out their head and neck more. Their nervous system is also making connections to all their muscles so you might find your baby starts to move with a little more purpose and also now has reflexes.
Your baby's face muscles can now move, too, meaning that facial expressions are beginning to appear, although your little one doesn't as yet have any control over them.
It’s also possible that they might grab and play with their umbilical cord as they develop the ability to grip further.
Their skin is currently quite translucent, and if you could take a peek, you’d be able to see blood vessels under their skin.
Did you know?
- A four-month-old foetus will turn away if a bright light is shone on the mum's belly
- Babies yawn in the womb
- Around now, your baby's eyes start becoming sensitive to light
- Your baby is around 11.6 cm long now and about the size of an orange
- Your baby can make a fist and suck its thumb now
- Whilst your baby's eyelids are still fused shut, they can now move their eyes around
You at 16 weeks pregnant
You will have an antenatal appointment this week, your midwife will check your blood pressure and take another urine test.
Midwives no longer check baby’s heartbeat at 16 weeks because it can still be difficult to locate so they wait until baby is bigger to prevent any unnecessary anxiety, but NICE guidelines say it can be available at 'maternal request'. Listening to the heart can confirm that baby is alive - but, is unlikely to have any 'predictive value' at this early stage.
The Whooping Cough vaccine is also offered to all pregnant women between 16-32 weeks of pregnancy.
Following a rise in whooping cough cases across the UK, the vaccination programme for pregnant women was introduced in 2012 and has already protected many young babies. After receiving the vaccine, your body will create protective antibodies which are passed to your unborn baby through the placenta. This will help protect your baby from the disease in the first few weeks of their life before they are old enough to get the vaccination themselves at 2 months old.
You can also have the flu vaccine when pregnant. The best time to have the flu vaccine is in the autumn, from the beginning of October to the end of November. Women are usually offered it throughout September to February. If this time period is missed, you can have the flu vaccine later in the winter although it's best to get it earlier so the whooping cough and flu vaccines can be given at the same time, however the flu vaccine should not be delayed until the whooping cough vaccine is due.
Your midwife will probably have some info for you about your next ultrasound scan, the anomaly scan
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