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16 Weeks Pregnant


Image: Fetal Development At 16 Weeks

These are exciting times because this is the week you might be able to feel a few little flutters! Don’t worry if you don’t; not all women will at this stage. Later on, “kicks” should be common, but for now, relax.

You may find that your heartbeat seems louder at the moment – this is because there is about 20-25% more blood in your body than normal.

Baby now has eyebrows and eyelashes and may even be sucking her thumb. Fine hair called lanugo covers baby’s body to protect her skin and regulate her temperature. Not long before birth this lanugo will disappear, because she will have enough body fat to stay warm.

Your baby can also now hear a lot of what is going on in the outside world, so why not try talking to her, singing or playing some music? Anything that’s nice and relaxing is a good idea. Bear in mind that if you’re stressed, your baby most likely will be too. Try to decompress any pent up feelings by having a chat with your partner or a friend.

If you’ve chosen to have an amniocentesis, now would be the time – the results will come back in a few days. You’ll most likely see your midwife this week, which is a good time to ask any questions. But remember to write a list in case of baby brain!

I can’t decide whether to find out the sex of the baby at the scan…
In a recent poll, 64% of mums-to-be said they wanted to find out the sex of their baby before the birth, while the rest preferred to wait for a surprise. If you’re unsure about which way to go, it’s probably wise to take a moment to weigh up the pros and cons with your partner.

Finding out the sex before the birth gives you a chance to make any special arrangements – for example if you want to buy gender-specific clothes or paint the nursery a particular colour. Also, many mums-to-be have reported increased bonding with their unborn baby when they can picture it as a boy or a girl.

On the other hand, finding out on the big day can provide a surprise element to all the euphoria. And pregnancy scan sex predictions cannot be 100% guaranteed, so if you wait there’s no (albeit tiny) risk of being disappointed.

Possible Scan at Week 16
A Reassurance Scan can be performed anywhere from 14-22 weeks. It’s not usually necessary but might be advisable if you have had bleeding or have been unwell.

The baby’s head, abdomen, and leg length will be measured. The placenta can be located and the amniotic fluid and umbilical cord assessed. The measurements will be plotted on a graph which you will be given.

Reassurance Scan

Reassurance Scan Picture (Click image to enlarge)

The scan is performed through the tummy (a trans-abdominal scan), and usually takes 15-20 minutes.

You don’t need to have a full bladder and no special preparation is needed. You’ll have a few pictures of the baby to take away with you.