Expectant parents cuddle on the couch and smile, man places hands on the woman's baby bump

Pregnancy WEEKs

Pregnancy Week 16

The First Nudge in the Belly

By the time you are 16 weeks pregnant, you might feel your baby moving inside you for the first time! Depending on the location of the placenta, however, you may have to wait until week 20 of your pregnancy or perhaps even longer. Don't worry if you haven't felt anything just yet. We will let you know exactly what is going on with you and your baby!

What's Going On in Your Belly Right Now?

The fetus is around 4-5 inches long and weighs about 2.5-3.5 ounces.

The ears are sufficiently developed now that the baby can hear – your baby is now starting to get used to the sound of your voice. The fetus is tumbling and turning constantly, and only sleeps for short periods at a time – without observing any rhythm.

Your baby is now about the size of an onion.

Your baby is now about the size of an onion.

It is already able to suck its thumb and can therefore practice sucking. The sucking reflex is only fully developed just before birth – until then, your baby will be practicing diligently!

Eyebrows, eyelashes, and hair are starting to form. By week 16 the lanugo hair has now also formed on the fetus's body. Each individual hair has a sebaceous gland, which produces a greasy substance called "vernix". This protects the baby's skin during its time in the amniotic fluid from hot or cold temperatures, pressure, and vibrations.

The lanugo hair and vernix will have almost completely disappeared again before your baby is born. Hairs that are shed will be absorbed by the fetus via the amniotic fluid. It is thought that the substances contained in them (keratins) also stimulate intestinal activity.

It is not just eyebrows and eyelashes that make the face look even cuter now – facial expressions are also developing. At this time, these are still relatively uncontrolled and reflex-like. Researchers have observed reactions to music in particular: babies opened their mouths and stuck out their tongues when exposed to a flute sonata.

How Do You Feel at 16 Weeks Pregnant?

The growing uterus displaces the intestines in particular – which can cause the abdominal girth to increase. Maternity wear is therefore very comfortable for many pregnant women by now.

Prenatal medical checkups often take place around week 16 of pregnancy. This is not only exciting for the pregnant woman, but also for her partner. The pregnancy becomes much more "real" – after all, your other half does not feel any of the many changes that are going on inside you. It is possible to make the first connection with the baby during an ultrasound scan especially. Hearing the heartbeat or watching the baby doing somersaults is a very moving moment for many.

Your gums may be more sensitive than usual now. Thorough dental hygiene is therefore particularly important during pregnancy. Your eyes may also become drier due to hormones, which can make them more sensitive. If you experience problems with your teeth or eyes, it is best to seek advice from a doctor and avoid experiments with household remedies. Natural substances can also have side effects on you and/or your baby.

The baby’s growth spurt may cause you to feel the round ligaments being pulled tighter again. Speaking of growth: Your breasts could already be 1-2 cups larger than they were at the beginning of the pregnancy! In some women, a little breast milk is already forming – so there is no need to worry if you find that wet patches appear! If you are unsure, as always, it is best to seek advice from a medical professional.

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