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weeks pregnant

16 weeks pregnant - what to expect

Your baby is now about the size of a lemon.

16 weeks infographic.

What does my baby look like?

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. 

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 you could see their little 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 symptoms - what to expect

Varicose veins?

Sounds crazy but 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 one of the unlucky ones getting rudely awoken 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

Actions to take

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.

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 on 0800 0147 800; or email us at info@tommys.org.

If you're struggling to cope with your feelings, you can get support tell your midwife or doctor how you feel.

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. The best bit is that you’ll get to listen to your baby’s heartbeat - probably for the first time.

At this appointment, you may also get the results of any blood tests you had at your booking appointment.

“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.

Don't forget to bring your pregnancy notes with you.

Worried about booking a babymoon?

Fear not. Revel in the freedom of holidaying without youngsters while you can. As long as you’re having a healthy pregnancy, you’re free to fly.

See our top five tips for babymoons here.

Sources

1. http://e.informationserviceforparents.nhs.uk/interface/external_view_email.php?AF10740228701340233&varId= 

2. ‘You and your baby at 13–16 weeks pregnant’, NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-13-14-15-16.aspx [accessed 7 May 2015] (last reviewed: 10 February 2015; next review due: 10 February 2017)

3. Lennart Nilsson (2009) A Child is Born, Johnathan Cape, p.170.

4. You and your baby at 13–16 weeks pregnant, NHS Choices:  [accessed 7 May 2015] (last reviewed: 10 February 2015; next review due: 10 February 2017)

5. Exercise in Pregnancy (RCOG Statement 4) p2 http://www.progresshealth.co.uk/pdfs/Exercise%20in%20Pregnancy.pdf

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Last reviewed on April 1st, 2015. Next review date April 1st, 2018.

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Comments

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 8 Feb 2017 - 10:12

    Hi,
    I'm sorry to hear that you are a migraine sufferer who is now pregnant and experiencing debilitating migraines in pregnancy. A week long migraine with no respite with regular Tylenol and no improvement sounds awful.
    I hope that you can go and see your GP to discuss alternative medications and possibly be referred to a neurologist for treatment that is also safe in pregnancy.
    Taking soluble paracetamol at the first signs of an impending migraine with food, remaining well hydrated and eating small, regular meals may help. Trying to avoid becoming overtired and resting when you can is good practice for future Motherhood.
    Some women also choose to explore alternative therapies like massage, reflexology or acupuncture to manage their symptoms but please ensure that they are qualified practitioners who regularly treat pregnant women.
    I really hope that the migraines improve as your pregnancy continues.
    Tommy's Midwives

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 7 Feb 2017 - 21:10

    I AM 16 WEEKZ PREGNANT. I NOTICE FOR THE LAST WEEK I HAVE HAD A MIGRAINE EVERYDAY. THE TYLENOL NO LONGER WORKS. I ALSO NOTICED THAT THE MIGRAINE GETS EVEN WORST AFTER EATING. IS THIS NORMAL?

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 12 Jan 2017 - 07:46

    MY BABY IS NOT KICKING YET IS THE ANY PROBLEM

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 12 Jan 2017 - 11:02

    Hello,
    Many congratulations on your pregnancy! Please be reassured that it is ok if you have not yet felt your baby move at 16 weeks of pregnancy, most women feel their baby move between about 18-20 weeks however this is different for every woman. If you have not felt your baby move by 24 weeks then you need to speak to your midwife who may need to refer you to the fetal medicine unit.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 13 Jan 2017 - 11:01

    This is my stage now I felt lots of movement in my lower abdomen but no pains was added this morning I notice increase in my Tommy. .....morning sickness has stopped but the spit refuse to stop which is really making me get angry

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