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16 Weeks Pregnant: What's Going On

Pregnancy week 16

Those little arms and legs are moving frequently — quite a workout going on. Meanwhile, you may be huffing and puffing a little. Get more details on pregnancy week 16.

Your Baby at 16 Weeks Pregnant

Sitting tall. Thanks to strengthening muscles, your little one is working on lifting the head and neck from their curved positions. Being able to straighten out a bit makes sitting up a possibility.

Action figure. Your fetus is pumping those little arms and legs frequently this week. Sometime between now and 20 weeks, you may be able to feel movement for the first time. But don't worry if you can't sense anything yet. Your little one is still very small — about 4.5 to 4.75 inches long and just under 3 ounces — and the cushion of amniotic fluid can make it difficult to feel movement at this time.

Your Pregnancy at 16 Weeks

Taking sides. Most health care providers recommend that you sleep on your side during pregnancy. As you might have notice, sleeping on your belly is pretty much impossible at this stage. It's thought that lying on your back can increase pressure on the vena cava, the blood vessel that returns blood to your heart. Lying on your left side is best since it increases your circulation, which can help minimize your chances of getting edema (swelling), varicose veins, and other ailments related to poor circulation.

Heavy breathing. Out of breath crossing the room? Pregnancy hormones cause fluid to collect in your lungs, making it harder for you to draw big breaths. Later on, your growing uterus will compound the problem by placing pressure on your diaphragm and reducing the space in which your lungs can expand.

Timely test. Now is the time to speak with your healthcare provider about the pros and cons of the AFP (alpha-fetoprotein) test. This simple blood test screens for birth defects like Down syndrome and spina bifida, and must be performed between weeks 16 and 18. 

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