Pregnancy Week 16 – The Baby’s Progress

Pregnancy week 16 may be the first week that you could possibly feel the movements of your baby especially if this is your second or third time around. This is partly due to the fact that his legs are now proportionate to his body and , in fact, longer than his arms and with all that kicking and flailing about you’re likely to be feeling something any time now.


Pregnancy at 16 Weeks

Although your baby’s eyelids will remain sealed for another couple of months, he will still garner the ability to sense changes in his environment long before then. He will now be showing signs of being sensitive to light and dark by displaying various squirming facial expressions and moving his eyes from side to side. He is also able to point and wriggle his little fingers independently of each other.

Apart from maturing in to a newborn over the coming weeks, your baby’s main purpose will be to practice new skills with his developing organs whilst still within the safe, supporting confines of the womb. Things such as sucking, swallowing, reflex hiccuping, breathing, urinating, digesting and so on. Amniotic fluid will pass through the digestive tract and be expelled out through the bladder as well as in and out of the lungs.

There is still a lot of room for your baby to move around in the amniotic fluid which protects him. This fluid is constantly absorbed and replenished and never becomes stale which is why it is vitally important for you to always remain hydrated throughout gestation. All this digesting and expelling fluids is just for organ practice purpose though, his main form of life support is still being received from the placenta through the umbilical cord and will continue to do so until birth. The placenta is now almost equal in size to the baby.

During the first trimester of pregnancy is usually when any congenital conditions may occur with the fetus while it is still in the ’embryonic phase’. If you have decided to have a blood screening test to check for any abnormalities with your baby’s development then between week 15-18 is usually when it will be offered to you. Although your baby’s skin remains thin and wrinkly, he will begin shedding some of his skin cells back into the amniotic fluid. This proves to be an important phase in your pregnancy as these are the cells that are used in an amniocentesis test to also determine the chromosomal status of your baby.

In pregnancy week 16 what to expect – your baby will be around 4.5″ (11.43 cm) head to heels and weigh roughly 3.83 oz (108.5 g).

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(See 16 Weeks Pregnant – The Mother’s Progress)

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