Pregnancy Week by Week

Pregnant Week 16

Your Baby

Raspberry Pregnancy 8 WeeksYour baby-on-the-way is about half of an inch long now or the size of a raspberry, measuring from crown to rump; possibly growing to 1 full inch by the end of the week. He or she is close to the size of a medium grape! Your baby weighs just a little over 1 gram, but already has a tongue and teeth buds are forming under the gums. The detail of your baby’s mouth, lips and upper and lower jaws are distinctly visible. Eyelids are forming, but until their development is complete, your baby’s eyes appear to be open.

 Your baby’s face is becoming increasingly more recognizable as a human now, although the head is still very big and out of proportion to the rest of the body, because of fast-paced brain growth. Your baby’s little body will catch up soon to the size of his or her head.

The tiny limb buds which formed recently have already developed into arms and legs with paddle-like feet and hands. The leg and arm bones are becoming harder and lengthening and your baby’s major joints are forming including elbow, wrist, knee, hip and shoulder joints. This allows your baby’s arms and legs to bend. 

Your baby is moving around because of the muscle contractions starting now, but of course you won’t be able to notice these movements for a while. He or she is just beginning to test out the brand new muscles and joints which have recently developed.

Internal organs such as the liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines and heart are developing and refining. The pituitary gland and pancreas are also present, as well as the gallbladder. Your baby’s heart is beating very fast, approximately 150 beats per minute, about twice as many as your heart! The heart’s pumping capacity has increased and the aortic and pulmonary valves of the heart have become distinct. Soon, your doctor or midwife will be able to pick up your little one’s racing heart by using a Doppler device, so you can hear it out loud!

Your Body in Pregnancy

Your regular clothes may be getting too tight to wear, since your belly has most likely altered the way they fit now. You can probably feel your expanding uterus about 3-4 inches below your belly button because it?s popping out above your pubic bone. Your doctor or midwife will use the position of your uterus to check the progress of your pregnancy, during your prenatal visits, measuring the distance from the top of your pubic bone to the top of the fundus. You are losing your waistline and looking more and more pregnant with every week that goes by! If you put on maternity clothes now, it may be obvious to other people that you’re pregnant!

You may be starting to experience some constipation. The most common cause of constipation during pregnancy is hormones. Pregnancy hormones can be held responsible for relaxing your bowels muscles, causing them to work less quickly. Also, the added pressure that your uterus places on your bowels plays another role in making you constipated. This annoying problem may increasingly get worse as your due date draws closer. Some lucky women are completely unaffected by constipation, as all women?s bodies are different and react to pregnancy differently. Make sure you are getting an adequate amount of fiber-rich foods in your daily diet and you are drinking enough fluids. At least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is recommended.

During the second trimester, usually beginning around this week, heartburn may strike. Heartburn is the painful burning sensation you may be feeling off and on, which seems to be coming from your heart. It actually has nothing to do with your heart. In fact, it occurs when food from your stomach backs up into your throat (or esophagus). The acid from your stomach causes the burning feeling. In the third trimester, your growing baby pushing all of your internal organs upward can be partly to blame for heartburn. It may end up getting a little worse, before it gets better or goes away for good. Some tips for avoiding heartburn include: stay away from foods which are hot or spicy, remember not to eat right before you go to bed (give your food a minimum of two hours to digest before lying down), don’t lay flat (instead prop your head up with pillows) and when you eat; take small mouthfuls and chew your food thoroughly. Check with your doctor or midwife before taking any over-the-counter antacids, to make sure they are safe to take during pregnancy.