Join the next Smart Parenting Giveaway and get a chance to win exciting prizes!

Join Now
  • Pregnancy Symptoms Week 16: You May Just Feel Your Baby's First Kick!

    Gear up for more exciting times and preggy milestones in your second trimester.
    by Rachel Perez .
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 16: You May Just Feel Your Baby's First Kick!
PHOTO BY iStock
  • At Week 16, you are one week away from reaching your fourth month of pregnancy. Your odds of having a miscarriage has dropped to one percent, so gear up for exciting times. Your baby may hear your voice, and you may start to feel his kicks!

    Pregnancy signs Week 16

    With your morning sickness gone (hopefully you are not suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum), you are feeling like your pre-pregnant self this second trimester. But remember your body is still working overtime, so take it easy. 

    Your baby bump is growing rapidly as your body becomes fuller and curvier. You have bigger breasts, a deeper cleavage, thicker and lustrous locks, and that natural flush that people call the pregnancy glow! 

    More from Smart Parenting

    Pregnancy symptoms Week 16

    The above are confident-boosting preggo body changes, but you may continue to experience pregnancy symptoms that may cause discomfort.

    1. Dry, itchy, sensitive eyes

    Your body's increased blood volume and flow may affect your vision, and your pregnancy hormones can cause dryness of the eyes and sensitivity to sunlight, but these should correct itself after giving birth. Switch to wearing eyeglasses instead of contact lens for the time being. Dryness of the eyes can easily lead to itchiness that can irritate your eyes.  

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    2. Backaches

    Backaches are a typical side effect of pregnancy hormones. There is also the extra weight you're carrying on your belly that may affect your posture. Backaches can be remedied by watching your posture and doing stretching and low-impact exercises.

    3. Skin discoloration

    Expect some darkening in your areola, around the neck area and armpit. You may also get a dark vertical line known as linea negra on your tummy. Preggos are also known to be prone to irregular skin discolorations on the face, around the eyes, nose, and cheeks. Your skin color should even out after birth. 

    4. Pregnancy brain

    Having little bouts of forgetfulness lately? Preggos brain-cell volume actually decreases during pregnancy, so make it a habit to write down or use an app to set reminders, and make sure you get quality sleep!

    5. Shortness of breath

    Your uterus is growing and rearranging your organs located in your abdomen so your lungs might not have room to expand enough to get a full breath. Listen to your body and take it easy. 

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
    More from Smart Parenting

    6. Varicose veins

    You may see visible veins on your breast and abdomen and varicose veins on your legs and feet. Wearing comfortable footwear and compression socks or putting your feet up after standing or walking for an extended time will help. Stay active to promote better blood circulation, and watch your weight, too. 

    7. Constipation, bloatedness, burping, and gas

    The muscle contractions that usually move food along through the intestines are slower now that you're pregnant. Expect to burp a lot and pass gas frequently. The extra iron from your supplements can be a factor in constipation. Drink lots of water and eat fiber-rich food. Stay away from foods that produce gas, such as fried foods, broccoli, root crops, and beans.

    8. Swollen or bleeding gums

    Because of having swollen gums or small bumps on your gums due to hormones, preggos are more prone to gingivitis or bleeding gums when brushing or flossing. Some pregnant women also experience having brittle teeth, teeth sensitivity, more toothaches, and even tooth loss. Gingivitis can quickly escalate to infection of the bones, so better see your dentist and take care of your pearly whites.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    9. Nosebleeds

    The same hormones that cause you to have more sensitive gums (and more vaginal discharge, thanks to increased production of blood and other bodily fluids) are the same ones that are causing you to have sensitive nasal passages. Your nose may also be more stuffy than before.

    More from Smart Parenting

    Your baby's development on Week 16

    At 16 weeks pregnant, your baby is about the size of an avocado, measuring about four and a half inches long and weighing in between 3 to 4 ounces. He (or she!) can make a fist now and may already get into the habit of sucking his thumb!

    Your baby's heart is pumping 23 liters of blood every day. His umbilical cord has fully matured and is now protected by Wharton's jelly, a thick substance that makes the cord slippery so it can move freely around your baby as he moves! 

    You may finally feel your baby's first movements called the "quickening," which feels like air flutters, gas, or muscle twitches. You may even mistake them for stomach rumblings. Soon, they'll be unmistakable kicks and may also keep you awake at night. 

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Your little one is also practicing his facial muscles. As he starts to grow hair (hello eyelashes, eyebrows, and hairline!), his body is also developing fine, velvety hair, called lanugo, on his translucent skin to help keep him warm in your womb. Your baby's eyes, though still shut, is also having a test run, moving from side to side. Those little peepers may even start to notice some light. 

    If you haven't started yet, week 16 of pregnancy is an excellent time to start talking or singing to your baby. Your baby hears your heartbeat and your digestive sounds loud and clear and your voice, too, as the tiny bones in his ears are forming. Your little one is also developing his taste buds. 

    More from Smart Parenting

    Your to-do list on Week 16 of your pregnancy

    If you haven't started applying moisturizers on your belly, do so now to try to minimize stretch marks as your skin starts to expand. Don't miss your prenatal checkup schedules to help your doctor monitor your health and your baby's development. Be active and continue to eat healthy, and take your vitamin supplements as directed. 

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Go to your 16th-week prenatal checkup

    Your obstetrician may schedule your prenatal checkup and ultrasound at Week 16. He may order another round of tests to check if you're at risk for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. If your doctor required you to do genetic testing, you could have it done between 14 to 22 weeks, but results from genetic testing between 16 and 18 weeks tend to be the most accurate. 

    Manage your weight gain

    The typically recommended weight gain during the entire pregnancy is only about 25 to 35 pounds. Depending on your pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), that total weight gain could be higher if you're underweight. Try to eat plenty of calcium and protein to support your growing baby.

    You need just about an additional 300 calories per day, so make then count. Skip (or don't indulge) on junk food and sweets. Gaining too much weight may lead to pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, which may put you and your baby's health at risk.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Stay active!

    If you don't have any pregnancy complications, exercise will be good for you and your baby. It's perfectly okay to start a simple low-impact exercise for about 20 to 30 minutes every other day. Remember to slow down your pace if you find yourself catching your breath while you converse.

    Start researching for your birth plan 

    Only 24 weeks to go before you give birth. This week is an excellent time to start discussing your birth plan and options as well as the costs with your doctor. Do your research or book a birthing class whether you're you're aiming for a natural birth in the hospital, birthing center, or at home. 

    Prioritize comfort 

    Get used to sleeping on your side, preferably on your left side, or get a pregnancy pillow to help you sleep better. Get some comfy, stretchy clothes and a nursing bra. There are still lots of things to do and to worry about, but try not to stress as your baby will feel it also. If you're suffering from feelings of sadness and hopelessness, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor about it.

    More on your week-by-week pregnancy:

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Pregnancy Symptoms Week 15: It's the Perfect Time for a Babymoon!

    Pregnancy Symptoms Week 17: Prepare for Itchy Skin and Stretch Marks!

    More from Smart Parenting

View More Stories About
Recommended Videos
View more articles