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Mother and Baby

16 weeks pregnant – what to expect

Your baby at 16 weeks

Your baby is now the size of an avocado and weighs about three to four ounces – isn’t she growing quick! Here’s everything that’s happening to your baby, and your body at sixteen weeks pregnant.

What’s my baby doing at sixteen weeks pregnant?

The muscles in your baby’s face can now move, so this week she’ll start making facial expressions, although she won’t really have any control over them just yet.

Your foetus might be looking more like a baby, but she’s still got some way to go. At the moment, she’s not got any baby fat yet and her skin is still translucent. Do not fear, both of these will change in a few weeks’ time.

As we mentioned last week, by this time in your pregnancy, your baby can hear your voice, the sounds of your digestive system (don’t worry, she finds them reassuring) and the music you play her. In fact, studies have shown babies who hear a song in the womb recognise it when it’s played to them once they’ve been born.

What is my body doing at sixteen weeks pregnant?

By this point in your pregnancy, you should have the beginnings of a baby bump and should notice your body starting to change. It’s very normal to struggle with the weight gain that comes with pregnancy, but aim for around four pounds a month to keep your body and baby healthy. Now is the time to invest in a pregnancy wardrobe you feel good in!

As we mentioned last week, during this stage of pregnancy the mucous membranes in your nose also start to swell. This can leave you feeling pretty congested and even give you the odd nosebleed or too. If you’re really uncomfortable, ask your GP about pregnancy safe nasal sprays, or try nasal strips.

Pregnancy hormones can also increase pigmentation on your skin, which means you may notice certain areas of your body looking darker. Common examples of this are the areola around your nipple, and moles, freckles and birthmarks darkening. In most cases, pigmentation will disappear after birth, so isn’t anything to worry about.

Common symptoms to look out for:

  • Growing boobs: Don’t worry, once you’ve given birth and finished breastfeeding (if you choose to do it) your boobs should return to their pre-pregnancy size, so there’s no need to throw out your favourite bra just yet.
  • Constipation: Those pregnancy hormones and your expanding uterus putting pressure on your bowel can slow things down. Drink more water to try and keep things moving naturally.
  • Increased vaginal discharge: This is very normal, and super beneficial to your body as it protects the birth canal from infection. It might not be comfortable, so invest in some panty liners.
  • Varicose veins: Another side effect you might not be too thrilled with, minimise the appearance of these by keeping your feet up and keeping that weight gain gradual as not to put too much pressure on your circulatory system.
  • Bleeding gums: 90% of pregnant women experience gum issues, so rest assured you are not alone, despite this being a rather unspoken side effect of pregnancy. Here’s all you need to know about bleeding gums, and whilst we’re talking about teeth, why not read up on how to look after your teeth when you’re pregnant?  

What you should be doing this week:

Bra shopping! As your bump gets bigger, do not forget your boos. Thanks to those pregnancy hormones, your breasts could go up a few cup sizes and they’ll need adequate support. The right support will also stop droopiness later on, so if you ever needed the excuse to go bra shopping, it’s this! You’ll need to get properly measured and invest in comfy, breathable, non-wired bras – under wiring should be avoided as it can dig in and damage tender breast tissue.

Your week 16 FAQ’s answered:

What are the symptoms I’m having a boy?

There are plenty of old wives’ tales on predicting whether you’re having a boy or a girl. Of course, none of these are 100% accurate and the only way to truly tell is at your 20-week scan. Whilst we’re guessing though, why not try these?

Chinese Gender Predictor 

Quiz: Am I having a boy or a girl? 

How old is my baby at 16 weeks?

Pregnancy math can be difficult, at 16 weeks, your baby is 14 weeks old this week. Here’s our guide on how to count your pregnancy in weeks and months. 

How big is my baby at 16 weeks?

At 16 weeks, your baby is about the size of an avocado, or around four or five inches long.

What should my belly look like at 16 weeks?

By this stage, most women have started to show, yet this isn’t always the case and depends on the size of you and your baby.

Take me back to week 15

Take me to week 17

Read more, the top baby names for 2017: 

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Noah

​Meaning ‘rest’ and ‘comfort’, this is also a popular biblical name, after Noah builds an ark in the Old Testament, saving animals from a flood.
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Isabella

A name that has been increasing in popularity for the past few years, Isabella is a variation of the more traditional Elizabeth, meaning ‘devoted to God’. 
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Harry

Meaning ‘estate ruler’. 
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Emma

An English name meaning ‘whole’ or ‘universal’.
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Oliver

Meaning ‘olive tree’, Oliver is thought to be energetic and good natured. 
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Ava

Meaning ‘bird’. 
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Charlie

Also a popular girls name, Charlie is a shortened version of Charles, meaning ‘free man’. 
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Mia

A short version of Maria, meaning ‘wished for child’.
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James

A traditional, biblical, royal name, meaning 'one who follows'. 
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Amelia

Popular in many different languages, in English, Amelia is a variant of Amalia, meaning ‘work’. 
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George

Meaning ‘farmer’, George is a solid, strong and royal choice.
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Emily

Meaning ‘striving’ and ‘eager’, the name has been popular since the 20th Century and isn’t showing any signs of stopping.
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Arlo

This traditional name means ‘fortified hill’, or in other words, strengthened or protected.
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Ella

Meaning ‘light’, Ella is often a shortened version of Eleanor or Ellen. 
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Albie

A super-cute name, made popular by Harry Potter, Albie is a shortened version of Albert, Alban or Albus, meaning ‘noble’ and ‘bright’.
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Bea

A short version of Beatrice, this super-cute name means ‘she who brings happiness’.
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Finn

An old English name, originally meaning ‘blonde’. In Irish mythology, Finn is a warrior with supernatural powers, remembered for his wisdom and generosity.
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Avery

Meaning ‘ruler of the elves’, this vintage name is an alternative to the also popular, Ava.
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Elijah

An old biblical name, meaning ‘Yahweh is God’.
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Charlotte

This already popular name saw a spike in the last couple of years, meaning ‘free-man’, it’s now got the royal stamp of approval too.
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Benjamin

Benjamin is a traditional biblical name meaning ‘son of the right hand’.
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Aria

Meaning ‘air’ and ‘lioness’, you’ll have a little warrior in your midst.
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Ethan

Meaning ‘strong’, ‘safe’ and ‘firm’, Ethan is often thought to be someone you can rely on. 
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Poppy

Meaning 'from the flower'. 
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Alexander

Thanks to Alexander the Great, this is now thought of as a noble and mighty name, meaning ‘defending men’. 
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Luna

Rising in popularity over the past few years, this cute name means ‘moon’.
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Wyatt

Meaning ‘brave in war’.
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Evelyn

The meanings of this adorable name vary from ‘life’, ‘uncertain’ and ‘beautiful little bird’.
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Arthur

A cute traditional name, meaning ‘bear’.
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Aurora

Meaning ‘dawn’, this name is perfect for parents who are poetry fanatics.
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Montague

This unusual name means ‘pointy hill’. We also love the cute nickname Monty.  
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Ariana

Meaning 'most holy'.
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Henry

Meaning ‘estate ruler’, this traditional boy name has been popular for years.
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Bella

A version of Isabella, this cute name means ‘beautiful’.
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Beau

Meaning ‘handsome’, this cute baby name is the perfect fit for your beautiful new arrival!
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Maya

Meaning 'water'. 
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Finley

A Greek name meaning ‘white warrior’.
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Elsie

Meaning ‘my God is a vow’, we predict this cute name is set to rise this year.
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William

Meaning ‘resolute protector’, this popular, traditional name isn’t going anywhere.

 
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