The cuteness factor of what that baby inside of you is doing during pregnancy week 16 is about to go into overload! It's during this week in the second trimester where your baby has fully developed arms and legs, is frequently begin to stretch those newly formed muscles, and typically discovers the warm and relaxing act of sucking their thumbs for comfort. For the mommies however; you're about to enter an important phase of your pregnancy.
Congratulations mommy – you've officially entered the second third of your pregnancy. There are many changes you and baby will experience during pregnancy week 16. During this week, it's common for mommies to set up another important appointment with their primary care physician to complete several routine medical tests during the antenatal appointment. The baby is doing quite well at this point, having fully developed limbs and increasing its typical length to 11.5 cm, and that little orange sized baby has now morphed into an expanding avocado.
In the last four weeks of development, your baby has doubled its size – TWICE. However, from week 15 to 16, the focus shifts to fine-tuning some of the existing body parts so growth has slowed down just a bit. Their backbones have become much stronger now – which means your baby will begin to straighten their neck and head. This motion also permits the nervous system to make better connections to muscles – which typically stimulates more rapid movements from the baby.
Week 16 is where most women have experienced their first 'big kick' from the baby. Inside the embryotic sac, the baby’s face is also starting to become more pronounced – with more movements that are not yet controlled. An interesting fact that many people are unaware of, is that the baby's skin is still somewhat translucent at this point.
As mentioned above, one of the most important check-ups for an expectant mother will occur during pregnancy week 16. This is known as an antenatal appointment. Along with doing the typical wellness checks such as urine and blood tests and blood pressure – your doctor will also set up your next batch of ultrasound scans. These ultrasounds will measure your baby's development, begin to check their vital statistics, and make sure everything is on track.
It's also very common for women to experience a visit from the libido fairy at this time; as the combination of increased hormones and pheromones typically lead to an increase in sexual desire. Most doctors agree that women can enjoy a normal and healthy sex life during this time; but it's always a good idea to get details from the doctor during your week 16 visit.
Here is something that many people find fascinating about the development of their baby during pregnancy week 16. By the time this week ends, it's very common that your little baby will produce several of the same hormones as their parents. In fact, if a baby experiences pain, it will release cortisol, endorphins and norepinephrine into their bloodstream in an effort to slow down pain receptors and transmissions to the brain. It's also common for babies in week 16 to grasp and play with the umbilical cord.