Week 16

Week 16 baby

Urine in the amniotic fluid

The baby has sprouted out lengthwise and is now about 14-15 cm long, weighing in at 100 grams. Muscles and bones are forming, as are the nails, which you can see now. You can also detect facial features. The baby can suck its thumb and swallow. Sometimes when it inhales and drinks in amniotic fluid, it can hiccup – this might not be noticeable yet, but a bit down the road, you will feel it in your whole belly. Amniotic fluid is replaced constantly, through the baby breathing, swallowing, and then urinating it out. It might seem a little weird that someone is peeing inside of your belly, but it’s pure amniotic fluid coming out and it’s an important part of the process. The quantity of amniotic fluid also increases daily, which gives the baby more and more room to move. The nervous system functions now; the baby can wrinkle its forehead and the delicate head is about 30 mm in diameter. The small, still very immature foetus is moving constantly and those movements are becoming increasingly coordinated.

Week 16 mum

Stuffy nose?

The ligaments that keep the uterus in place sometimes get tight, which can feel like a stabbing or shooting pain at the sides. Often, this comes with big movements, like sneezing or laughing. Your belly is growing and the uterine wall is stretching out more and more. Right now, your body is pumping 20 percent more blood than usual, which, along with your pregnancy hormones, can cause your mucous membranes to swell. As a result, you may have more discharge than you’re used to, and your nose may get stuffy more easily. Swollen mucous membranes also mean you may bleed more easily. This could become apparent when you brush your teeth and your gums bleed, or wipe your nose without thought and you end up with a little nosebleed. Don’t stop brushing your teeth – just switch to a softer brush. If you have a stuffy nose from swollen mucous membranes, you can try sleeping with your head slightly elevated, or you can use nose drops or a saline solution spray. If this doesn’t work and your stuffy nose is bothering you, then talk to your medical provider.

Week 16 partner

Almost time for an ultrasound

Soon, you get to experience the often intense feeling that comes with seeing the little life inside the uterus. For a lot of people, the routine ultrasound usually carried out around week 18 offers concrete confirmation that you really are going to have a baby. Many places give you the option of finding out whether you’re having a girl or a boy. Some people find it easier to tap into the experience if they know what sex the baby is, while others don’t want to know and would prefer to be surprised. Maybe you like being entirely neutral when it comes to the sex of your unborn baby, or maybe you want to think about names and fantasise about a future with a little boy or girl. Whatever you and your partner decide, you can expect people around you to inquire. If you don’t want to tell them, just say you’re expecting a baby.