16 Weeks Pregnant - What Happens To The Baby And Mom? Sensations, Fetal Development

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Video: 16 Weeks Pregnant - What Happens To The Baby And Mom? Sensations, Fetal Development

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Video: 16 Weeks Pregnant | Pregnancy Week By Week Symptoms | Ultrasound Dimensions 2023, January
16 Weeks Pregnant - What Happens To The Baby And Mom? Sensations, Fetal Development
16 Weeks Pregnant - What Happens To The Baby And Mom? Sensations, Fetal Development

16 weeks pregnant

At this time, the border between the fourth and fifth months of pregnancy passes. If in the first weeks the woman experienced symptoms of toxicosis, now the negative sensations are no longer felt. The tummy is just beginning to round up, and neither relatives nor colleagues yet know about pregnancy. Meanwhile, a small life is actively growing inside the expectant mother. The kid develops, moves and already knows how to do a lot.


  • Fetal development
  • Uterus size
  • How the belly grows
  • What a woman feels - the first movements
  • Screening, ultrasound and other tests
  • Pain in the abdomen and lower back
  • Allocations
  • If the pregnancy is multiple
  • If the pregnancy is frozen
  • Intimate relationship
  • How to control weight - catering

Fetal development

16 weeks pregnant
16 weeks pregnant

At 16 weeks, a small heart is able to pump up to 25 liters of blood per day. The fetal skeletal system has become so strong that it is able to hold the head firmly and move intensively, grab the umbilical cord with its fingers, and touch its face. The development of facial muscles allows him to move eyelids, move his lips. Under closed eyelids, the baby actively moves his eyes in different directions. The ears and eyes have taken their permanent place, and the range of head movements from side to side has increased significantly.

Fetal parameters:

  • Weight - 100-120 g;
  • Coccygeal-parietal size) CTE - 11 cm.

The blood of the unborn child contains all the blood cells characteristic of the blood of adults. In addition, it contains an element such as "newborn hemoglobin", or fetal hemoglobin. 6 months after birth, it will be replaced by normal hemoglobin. If desired, at the 16th week of pregnancy, you can determine the blood group and the Rh factor of the fetus.

Internal organs activity:

  • The liver began to perform the function of digestion, producing bile;
  • In the intestines appeared meconium - the original feces, almost entirely consisting of bile;
  • The kidneys are actively working, the fetal bladder emits urine every 40-45 minutes;
  • The bone marrow completely takes over the function of hematopoiesis;

  • The fetus forms genitals - the uterus and ovaries with several million eggs in girls,
  • The intestines operate in a training mode.

The red skin of the fetus, with the blood vessels visible under it, is covered with lanugo - hairs that hold lubricant on the body to protect the amniotic fluid from moisture. By this time, the hair color has already been outlined, which the child and the adult will have in the future, that is, their pigment has formed at this time. There are marigolds on the toes.

The fetus receives sensations from the outside world through kinetic sensations, perceiving fluctuations in the amniotic fluid by the surface of the skin.

Video about what is happening with the baby, perturbations, weight gain, stretch marks, abdominal sensations:

Uterus size

When measuring the height of the standing of the uterus, the midwife of the antenatal clinic states that at 16 weeks the uterus is 7 cm below the navel, in the middle of the distance from the navel to the pubis. The approximate weight of the pregnant uterus is 250 g, the volume of amniotic fluid is 250-260 ml. So far, such an increase in volume does not significantly affect the work of internal organs, but soon they will have to make room, and then disturbances in the functioning of the digestive system are possible: heartburn, constipation, flatulence.

How the belly grows

During the first pregnancy, the tone of the muscles of the peritoneum is high enough to keep the internal organs behind strong muscles and ligaments, so the abdomen may not be visible even at this time. In women undergoing a second and subsequent pregnancies, the belly is noticeable earlier. It is important that a woman has long felt the changes that are taking place, feels the limitation of the range of movements forward and to the sides. Clothes of the previous sizes have become cramped, the time has come to update the wardrobe with comfortable clothing models that do not restrict movement.

What a woman feels - the first movements

the first movements
the first movements

Normally, a pregnant woman should feel very good at this time. The symptoms of toxicosis and frequent urination have disappeared, the load on the spine is not yet great. The mood swings caused by the hormonal storm of the first weeks of pregnancy are also a thing of the past. Now the woman feels peace and tranquility, she has new strength. The growing needs of the fetus make the expectant mother feel an increased appetite. She is heavily gaining weight, which may be extra. For full development, it is not the amount of food that is important, but its completeness, the balanced content of nutrients.

Women who undergo a second and subsequent pregnancies have a new reason for positive emotions - they began to feel weak and gentle movements of the fetus. Don't worry if someone else doesn't feel them at 16 weeks. Everything is individual here - the activity of the fetus, and the sensitivity of the mother, and the experience of previous pregnancies. Primiparas will feel the baby's movements in 2-3 weeks.

Due to the increased blood volume and its thinning, due to the action of hormones, increased bleeding of the gums develops, a tendency to nosebleeds.

The restructuring of breast tissue, preparing them for feeding the baby after childbirth, may be accompanied by the release of colostrum already in the early stages of pregnancy. It should not be squeezed out of the breast, as stimulation of the nipples causes reflex uterine spasm and the threat of miscarriage. With a significant release of colostrum, you need to put special pads in the bra, wash your chest with cool water to prevent the multiplication of pathogenic microorganisms.

Screening, ultrasound and other tests


The 16th week is the period of the second screening for possible chromosomal and genetic abnormalities of the fetus. The screening includes a "triple test" and ultrasound (if indicated). To conduct a test, a blood test is taken and the biomaterial is examined for the content of hCG, β-fetoprotein, and free (unconjugated) estriol produced by the placenta.

Deviations from the norm in the concentration of these substances indicate the possible presence of the following pathologies:

  • Down syndrome;
  • Edwards syndrome;
  • Cranial hernia;
  • Anencephaly;
  • Abdominal wall pathology;
  • Spine pathology.

With serious indications and with the consent of the woman, the diagnosis is clarified by carrying out a puncture of the uterus to collect amniotic fluid (amniocentesis). The study is carried out under the control of ultrasound and under local anesthesia. A needle is inserted into the uterine cavity to take amniotic fluid, then the biomaterial is sent for research. The analysis is very informative, according to its results, it is possible to diagnose about 40 congenital pathologies of fetal development. Despite its accuracy, not every woman with a suspicion of fetal pathology agrees to amniocentesis, since premature birth may begin in 1 case out of 200.

If a woman has already been screened at 15 weeks, during a visit to the antenatal clinic, she will only have to take a general blood and urine test, and measure blood pressure. The obstetrician-gynecologist will listen to the fetal heartbeat, measure the height of the uterus.

Video about the second trimester screening, fetal ultrasound indicators at week 16:

Pain in the abdomen and lower back

The threat of miscarriage at 16 weeks has significantly decreased, therefore, most of the pain is associated with an increasing load on the spine of a pregnant woman. By this time, it is high time to give up wearing high-heeled shoes, to rest more often after a long walk. To alleviate your condition, you should choose a prenatal bandage. It significantly reduces pain in the back and lower abdomen if a woman has to spend a lot of time on her feet during the day.

The problem of choosing a comfortable sleeping position is gradually coming to the fore. Prolonged supine position for most women causes lower back pain during the day. Until the moment of birth, you will not have to sleep on your stomach either - pressure on the uterus is now excluded. The most comfortable position is on the side, with the use of special pillows for pregnant women.



Normally, at 16 weeks, leucorrhoea can slightly change its consistency, become more liquid, and increase in volume due to the increased blood supply to the pelvic organs.

Pathological vaginal discharge:

  • With an admixture of mucus and pus;
  • Yellow or green;
  • Bubbling, foaming;
  • Cheese;
  • With the inclusion of streaks of blood;
  • Sucratic;
  • Bloody.

Such changes in the nature of vaginal discharge may indicate the addition of a bacterial infection (colpitis, vaginitis), or a sexually transmitted disease (gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, chlamydia, etc.).

Discharge in the form of curd clots, accompanied by itching and burning in the perineum, is a sign of thrush caused by the Candida fungus. Normally, small colonies of the fungus are present in the vagina, and do not bring discomfort, restrained by the immune system. During pregnancy, the vaginal microflora and the hormonal background of the body change, and the fungus begins to multiply. Excessive consumption of carbohydrates (sugar, sweets, baked goods) contributes to its spread. Thrush is treated with special drugs that are not hazardous to the health of the fetus.

If the pregnancy is multiple

Most often, multiple pregnancy is a pregnancy with twins, less often there are 3 or more fetuses in the uterus. At 16 weeks, this situation feels no different from the usual course of pregnancy with one fetus. Most often, several embryos appear in the uterus as a result of IVF, ICSI, or as part of a genetic predisposition. The mother of several babies needs to save her strength, use all the possibilities for proper nutrition, prevent infection with viruses and bacteria, complications of somatic diseases.

If the pregnancy is frozen


The period from 16 to 18 weeks is the most dangerous in terms of the risk of pregnancy fading.

A frozen pregnancy is intrauterine fetal death for various reasons:

  • Rhesus conflict;
  • Developmental anomalies of the child;
  • Fetal infection;
  • Exposure to toxins;
  • The endometrium of the uterus is traumatized by previous artificial terminations of pregnancy;
  • Hormonal imbalance;
  • Side effects of drugs.

A frozen pregnancy may not be accompanied by any symptoms for a long time, except for minor pains in the lower abdomen or secretions. Many women feel the death of the fetus, according to them, they "stop feeling pregnant." With this pathology, it is necessary in a gynecological hospital to urgently get rid of the ovum, the detachment of which can lead to severe bleeding.

In addition, the dead fetus causes infection of the tissues of the uterus and peritoneum. Peritonitis and sepsis become a serious complication of a frozen pregnancy. After removing the fetus, the woman undergoes a course of rehabilitation treatment. It is better to postpone planning your next pregnancy by 6-8 months.

Intimate relationship

Sexual contacts between spouses are therefore called intimate relationships because they solve all issues related to sex without outside interference. At this stage of pregnancy, marital sex does not need any restrictions other than the threat of miscarriage, multiple pregnancies, low placenta previa. With a low presentation, the placenta does not close the entrance to the cervical canal and is fixed at a short distance from it. Any pressure on the uterus, sexual arousal is dangerous, as it provokes detachment of the placenta and massive bleeding.

How to control weight - catering


Normally, the difference between the weight of a woman before pregnancy and at 16 weeks should not exceed 2.5-3 kg. From this time on, the rate of weight gain accelerates, weight is added due to the growing placenta, uterus and fetus, as well as the increasing volume of blood and amniotic fluid. It is not very good if the weight gain comes from an increase in the proportion of fat in the total body weight. Women with low weight gain give birth easier than full women in labor, so you should try not to go beyond the norm.

Rational nutrition tactics:

  • You should eat 3-5 times a day;
  • The portions should be small;
  • Breakfast and lunch should be hearty and nutritious, and dinner light;
  • No need to have snacks between meals;
  • It is necessary to limit the amount of salt consumed to prevent edema;
  • You should remove marinades, pickles, fatty and fried foods, excessive sugar from the menu;
  • The diet should always include fresh vegetable salads, fruits, lactic acid products;
  • You can not eat raw eggs, drink unboiled milk, so that food does not become a source of infection;
  • Meat and fish should be well cooked.

On the advice of a doctor, you need to take vitamin and mineral complexes to prevent vitamin deficiency.

To maintain health, to ensure the full development of the fetus, you need to devote more time to physical activity, do special exercises for pregnant women, go in for swimming and water aerobics, and walk in the fresh air.


The author of the article: Lapikova Valentina Vladimirovna | Gynecologist, reproductologist

Education: Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology received at the Russian State Medical University of the Federal Agency for Healthcare and Social Development (2010). In 2013 completed postgraduate studies at N.N. N.I. Pirogova.

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