You’re in your fourth month of pregnancy and your baby is about the size of an apple – around 100g and 11.6cm.
Your baby at 16 weeks
Your baby is working hard, pumping 2-3 litres of blood per day which will continue to increase throughout pregnancy. Their legs are more developed and their head is erect. If you’ve had a baby before, you might start to feel your baby kicking this week – this will feel more like flutters than actual kicking at this stage. But most first-time moms won’t feel their baby’s kicks and movements until closer to 20 weeks gestation.
This is a good time to start talking to your baby as they will begin hearing and will recognise your voice from birth. Your baby’s taste buds and taste pores are developed, and they can now taste the amniotic fluid.
Your body at 16 weeks
Here’s what you might be experiencing:
- Nosebleeds, as a result of increased blood volume.
- Increased sex drive.
- Gas and heartburn, as a result of the hormones.
- Swollen gums. Hormonal changes make pregnant women more vulnerable to inflamed or bleeding gums.
- Round ligament pain, which is mild pain on the lower sides of your belly
- Occasional headaches.
- Pregnancy brain – yes, this is a real thing, and it’s been shown that brain-cell volume actually decreases during pregnancy.
Taking care of yourself during this time
- The food you eat is your baby’s primary source of nourishment so choose healthy, nutrient-dense options, including eggs and oily fish.
- Exercise might be the last thing you feel like but a brisk walk can be good for you and the baby.
- Try to control your stress levels at this time. If you can eliminate areas of stress, then that’s a good start. If you’re battling a bit, it might be worthwhile chatting to a professional who will be able to help.
- Sleeping on your left side should feel more comfortable than sleeping on your right. This is because it allows for better blood flow to your uterus and the baby. From the second trimester, medical professionals suggest you try not to sleep on your back.
- If your clothes are starting to feel a bit snug, consider buying a belly belt to wear under shirts, or a pants extender so you can get away with wearing your pre-pregnancy clothes for longer.