What does my baby look like at week 16?
Did you feel a little flutter? Perhaps a bubbling sensation? This could be your baby moving! Don’t worry if you haven’t felt anything like this yet though - it’s still early days. Read more about baby's movements here.
Your baby’s nervous system continues to develop, and the muscles in their tiny limbs can flex. They can make a fist and might even grab and pull their umbilical cord.
If it’s your second pregnancy you might feel them sooner.
If you could see their face, you might be able to see them making facial expressions, like a frown or squint. They can’t control these facial muscles yet though.
Your pregnancy symptoms in week 16
Varicose veins in pregnancy
Pregnancy hormones can make your veins stretch. This, together with the increased blood supply to your skin, can lead to varicose veins.
Cramping in your legs?
If you’re being kept awake at night by sudden sharp pains in your leg, try gently exercising your legs, ankles and feet during the day - and see if that prevents it.
Are you suffering from a headache, indigestion or faintness?
Here’s our guide to 10 common pregnancy complaints (and how to avoid them).
Don’t lie on your back after 16 weeks
After 16 weeks, lying - or exercising - on your back can sometimes cause low blood pressure and dizziness. Try to avoid lying on your back for long periods of time. If you do a class like yoga or pilates, simply let your instructor know so they can adapt exercises for you.
Find out more about what exercise you can do in pregnancy.
What to do in week 16
Relationships and pregnancy
You might be relieved that you have got this far. But you might also be thinking about how life may change for you and your relationships. If you’re in a relationship, take some time with your partner. When your baby is born, quality time alone together will be limited for a while.
If you’re feeling anxious about the pregnancy or any other issues it’s also worth taking some time out to talk about your feelings with someone close to you. Ask your midwife about any pregnancy-related concerns you might have. Alternatively you can call the Tommy's PregnancyLine and speak to one of the midwives on 0800 0147 800; or email us at midwife @tommys.org.
If you're struggling to cope with your feelings, tell your midwife or doctor how you feel.
You may also want to complete your pregnancy and post-birth wellbeing plan. Our tool is designed to help you think and talk about your mental wellbeing during and after pregnancy.
Second antenatal appointment
When you’re about 16 weeks pregnant, you’ll have a second antenatal appointment with your midwife to check baby size and fetal development. You may also get to listen to your baby’s heartbeat.
“Hearing my baby’s heart beat was wonderful and so reassuring. I miscarried my first baby and the midwife explained that any time I was worried, we could have a listen in. This was very comforting to know.”
Sara, mum of two
At each antenatal appointment from now on your midwife will take your blood pressure and check a urine sample for signs of increased protein. These are ways to make sure you’re not at risk of developing pre-eclampsia, which is a serious pregnancy condition. They will also measure your baby, checking on growth.
Don't forget to bring your pregnancy notes with you.