Congratulations! You have now entered your 16th week of pregnancy, and you and your baby have made it past the halfway mark of your pregnancy. This is a big milestone for all mothers, as the risk of miscarriage has significantly decreased. Here’s what you need to know about being 16 weeks pregnant.
At 16 weeks pregnant, your baby is roughly the size of an avocado and should be about 5 inches long and weigh around 4 ounces. This week your baby’s eyelids are becoming more developed and the facial features are starting to take shape. His or her muscles and bones are continuing to develop, and the alveoli, the tiny air sacs in the lungs which are important for breathing, are almost fully formed.
At 16 weeks pregnant, the protective layer of vernix covering your baby’s skin will start to thicken. You may experience an increase in energy levels, as the morning sickness and fatigue from the first trimester should have passed. As your uterus continues to expand, your baby bump will become more visible and you might start to show earlier than usual.
The linea nigra, the dark line that runs from your pubic bone to your belly button, should become more visible during this stage. You may also start to notice changes to your skin, such as the “mask of pregnancy,” the darkening of the skin around the eyes, cheeks and nose.
Changes to Diet
Your baby needs essential vitamins and minerals to continue to grow and develop, so it is important to eat a well-balanced diet. Lean proteins, whole grains, dairy products, as well as fortified cereals and fruits and vegetables provide the nutrients that you and your baby need.
It is also important to avoid certain foods while pregnant. Avoid anything containing unpasteurized milk, such as undercooked meat, fish, or eggs, as well as alcohol and caffeine.
Preparing for the Third Trimester
You may want to review your third trimester to-do list, such as pre-registering at your local hospital, taking prenatal classes and starting your baby registry. It is also a good idea to start a “nesting” list of all the items you will need for your baby’s arrival.
16 weeks pregnant is an exciting time. You are now at the halfway mark of your pregnancy, your energy levels should have increased and you will start to feel your baby’s movements soon. Enjoy each moment and get ready for the next trimester of your pregnancy.