A week by week guide to pregnancy - week 16

In December, St James' Palace made one of the most eagerly anticipated announcements in years with the news that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant. And since then, all eyes have been on Kate as she embarks on an incredible nine-month journey into motherhood.

With that in mind, Teresa Walsh, Midwife Childbirth Educator at
The Portland Hospital for Women & Children, shares a week-by-week guide to pregnancy with HELLO! Online.


Week 16

By week 16 you will probably have had one or two antenatal appointments, your first blood tests and an ultrasound scan. At 16 weeks you can get these results and discuss the findings with your Midwife or Consultant. If you fit into a higher risk category you may be offered further screening.

Your visit will include general wellbeing assessment, blood pressure recording and urinalysis. These are observed at each and every routine visit, and are used as a baseline as what is normal for you as well as alerting your caregiver to any problems should they develop.

What's happening to your baby? Week 16

Your baby’s skin at this stage is almost transparent. His head is more upright and his eyes are more central on his face. The muscles, which enable him to give sideways glances, are starting to work.

There is about a cupful of amniotic fluid surrounding and protecting your baby. He is practicing his breathing and the amniotic fluid is being recycled through as he practices swallowing.

What's happening to you? Week 16

You will certainly notice changes in your abdomen and at your antenatal visit the bump will measure 16cm from the top of your pubic bone to the top of the bump. As your bump grows it is common to feel sharp pains in your sides. This is most likely from the muscles and ligaments that have to support the growing bump.

Your midwife will ask about your dental health. Many mums notice teeth and gums become sensitive and may be prone to bleeding. Gingivitis is one of the risk factors associated with premature labour.

At least one visit to your dentist is recommended during pregnancy and now is a good time before you have any symptoms. Most dentists will advise using a softer brush during pregnancy.

You might like to consider changing your jeans style if you want to show off your bump, or wearing looser clothing if you want to disguise it. Shopping therapy works all through your pregnancy! Having a baby may start to be a little more of a reality.

Although a long time off, you may start to consider your home space and practical aspects of having a baby in the house. Also many daycare/crèche facilities have long waiting lists so preliminary enquiries could help in making your decisions about childcare needs.