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16 weeks pregnant – Symptoms, Ultrasound Scan, Belly Pictures

Updated on June 11, 2014

The expansion of the belly causes the lower back to bend a little bit more so as to accommodate the additional weight

At 16 weeks pregnant, the baby weighs anywhere between 3 to 5 ounces. It is about 4 to 5 inches long. The ear bones are now properly placed which allows the baby to hear all the sounds that you are making. At the same time that the baby is getting used to the varied voices, especially the mother’s, all the small muscles in its body are getting strengthened. The back muscles particularly become stronger which enable it to straighten a lot more.The facial muscles also experience rapid development allowing the developing fetus to start making some expressive squints and frowns. The eyes finally begin working. They can perceive light and make minimal movements from one side to another.

Expectant mothers may find it difficult to see themselves putting on the extra pounds, even when they are aware of the wonderful cause behind it. Additionally, the nasal membranes may also experience swelling leading to congestion. You may find it a challenge to accept and embrace the new shape of your body, but try to remember that every pound that you gain is better for the health of the baby and you. It may also be noted that getting regular exercise and eating right, i.e. avoiding junk foods and going for nutritious healthy foods, will be beneficial in the long run.Every women is unique and tends to lose or gain weight at a pace that is convenient for her. There are many ways in which you can love the new shape of your body and feel happy about it. You can treat yourself with a beautiful piece of accessory that adorns the new found glow; or you may buy a new dress that fits your new body shape and at the same time makes you look and feel pretty.

Determining the gender of the baby:It is believed that a fetal heart rate that is lower than 140 beats a minute may indicate that you are pregnant with a boy, while a fetal heart rate of greater than 140 beats a minute means that it is a girl. Even though this belief is somewhat grounded in medical fact, it is untrue. It is not possible to predict the gender of an unborn baby merely by the number of heart beats per minute. The best way to determine the gender of the baby is via an ultrasound.

Symptoms at 16 weeks pregnant

Some of the signs and symptoms occurring at 16 weeks pregnant are as follows:

  • Constipation: In addition to the pregnancy-related hormones that cause increased sluggishness of the gastrointestinal tract, the expanding uterus also now contributes to increased pressure on the bowels. This can substantially affect the digestive processes. Constipation can be avoided and alleviated by increasing the overall fluid intake and keeping the body sufficiently hydrated.

  • Continual growth of the breasts: The continuous growth of your breasts may overwhelm you. You can however take solace from the fact that the breasts tend to return to their normal size after delivery, and/or breastfeeding or weaning if you opt for it.

  • Bleeding gums: At 16 weeks pregnant, the gums may experience bleeding. This is because of the gum inflammation caused bypregnancy-associated hormones, which in turn increases the vulnerability of the gums to irritation, bacterial infection, and bleeding. This gum abnormality is considered normal; however, it is important for you to regularly keep brushing and flossing. Untreated instances of gum disease can result in pregnancy complications. Hence, visit a dentist during pregnancy, even when there are no dental problems.

  • Increase in vaginal discharge: It is caused due to increased flow of blood to the pelvic region as well as increased production of vaginal mucus. Vaginal discharge during pregnancy prevents infections of the birth canal. It may thus be beneficial, but vaginal discharge may result in some discomfort. Also, avoid the use of feminine wipes or douches as they can cause irritation of the genital tract and result in infection.

  • Occasional nasal congestion: The different mucous membranes in the body, including the nasal membranes, experience swelling as a side effect of the pregnancy hormones. You may use nasal strips or saline nasal sprays to alleviate any subsequent cases of nasal irritation, congestion, or nosebleeds.

  • Varicose veins: Varicose veins are a normal part of pregnancy and not a cause of undue worry. Any discomfort can be alleviated by keeping the feet up and improving the circulation in the feet. Extra weight causes the circulatory system to overwork. Hence, you can help minimize the swelling of the veins in the legs by gradually and healthily gaining weight, and keeping it within the recommended limits of pregnancy weight gain.

  • Backaches: At 16 weeks pregnant, the expansion of the belly causes the lower back to bend a little bit more so as to accommodate the additional weight. This can lead to straining of the back muscles. The overworked back muscles can be soothed via a warm shower or bath, or by getting a prenatal massage.

16 weeks pregnant – what does the ultrasound show?

You will see that the baby can make better movements with its hands. It is also able to make facial expressions. You may be able to feel slight movement as the baby is able to make active movements for about 5-6 minutes. The baby’s arms and legs are fully formed and it is about 11.5 centimeters long.


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