16 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist
- Start sleeping on your side, if you’re not already
- Speak with your healthcare provider about the pros and cons of the AFP (alpha-fetoprotein) test
- Plan or take a trip — a babymoon! — with your partner
Your Baby’s Development
Your baby now weighs about 3.9 ounces (110 grams) and measures about 4.7 inches (12 cm) in length from crown to rump. Your baby can hold his or her head erect, and the development of facial muscles allows for a variety of expressions, such as squinting and frowning.
Watch Your Baby Grow Between weeks 16 and 18 of pregnancy, your health care provider may offer you a second trimester screening test (known as the multiple marker test or triple screen). This test measures the levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), a protein produced by the fetus, and the pregnancy hormones hCG and estriol in the mother’s blood. It’s called a quadruple screen (or quad screen) when the level of an additional substance, called inhibin-A, is also measured.
If you have already done a blood test and/or ultrasound in the first trimester (first trimester screening test), then the results of the two tests together is called an integrated screening test. The results of these tests can tell moms whether their babies are at risk for (not whether they have) neural tube defects such as spina bifida or chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome.
An abnormal result does not necessarily mean that your baby has a problem — but it may mean more testing is required. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and advantages of these tests.
Pregnancy symptoms at 16 weeks
Bad back? Aching hips? Groin pain? Your symptoms may be a common side-effect of pregnancy referred to as pelvic girdle pain (PGP). PGP is an umbrella term for aches and pains in the joints of the pelvis. It’s caused by your joints moving unevenly or not working properly, which puts strain on your muscles and other joints.
PGP happens when the pregnancy hormone relaxin loosens the ligaments in your pelvis. If you’re finding it uncomfortable to get out of the car, or to sit or stand for a long time, talk to your midwife or GP. If you don’t get help for your PGP early, it can get worse as your pregnancy progresses.
What you need to know at 16 weeks pregnant
It will come as no surprise that you gain weight when you’re pregnant. In general, most women put on somewhere between 10kg and 12.5kg (22lb and 28lb). Although most of your weight gain happens after 20 weeks, wearing your favourite pre-pregnancy clothes may already feel like a distant memory.
The extra numbers on your scales are not just from the weight of your baby. By the time you reach your due date, the amniotic fluid surrounding your baby will weigh about 0.8kg (1.8lb), and your placenta will weigh about 0.7kg (1.5lb). The extra blood pumping around your body, increased breast size, excess fluid and fat stores, plus the extra muscle around your womb, will combine to weigh about 7.7kg (16.9lb).