By pregnancy week 16 the baby is more than 4.3 to 4.6 inches long, fully formed and continues to grow rapidly. Nails start appearing on her fingers and toes, and her skeleton has developed so that it is visible on an X-ray. She receives oxygen from blood, via the umbilical cord. The baby’s face looks human in appearance. She can hold her head up straighter, yawn and may even suck her thumb. This is the stage at which the mother can feel the baby move. The baby makes a lot of subtle movements. There is also a growth of fine hair on his head, but some babies are born bald too. Week by week the baby’s legs also start growing in length. The heart beats are from 117 to 157 times per minute. The stomach of the baby starts producing digestive juices. The baby’s hair starts growing and continues to grow till the end of the pregnancy period. The umbilical cord is tightly attached to the belly of the baby and provides nutrition. The eyes move slightly but are closed. The gender of the baby could be determined in an ultrasound test.
Some symptoms experienced during pregnancy week 16 are stuffy nose and nose bleeds, bleeding gums, pain in the abdomen and swollen feet. Deficiency of vitamin C may also lead to nose bleeds, so vitamin rich foods should be eaten. Some women might also experience the skin on the face getting darker due to increased levels of estrogen and progesterone. Most women also experience some form of skin pigmentation while some others might find that their moles become dark or grow bigger. Palms and soles also itch a lot in some women. Few women also develop small, loose growth under their arms or breasts called as skin tags during pregnancy week 16. Women who suffer from the symptom of skin rash could apply corn starch on the affected area. If feeling nauseated, the mother should try sipping ginger tea. She should not lie down right after eating.
Pregnant women should snack more during the second half of their pregnancy that is pregnancy week 16. 3 to 4 snacks a day apart from regular meals is good. Snacks should be nutritious enough. The day should be started with a nutritious breakfast that includes enough protein, carbohydrates and fiber. The mother should eat vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and low-fat dairy products. Healthy filling snacks such as low-fat cheese and yoghurt, baby-carrots and fresh fruits such as apples and bananas should be kept around. Processed foods, packaged snacks and sugar- loaded desserts should be skipped. Meals should be smaller to take snacks frequently. Fruit juices and fresh cut fruits are refreshing. Women should try to drink more water than going for juices. During pregnancy week 16 mothers should avoid fatty foods and instead go for some tasty alternatives like nonfat frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, a bagel instead of a doughnut, or air-popped popcorn instead of potato chips. The daily diet should also include 4 or more glasses of milk, two eggs, one or two servings of fish or seafood, one or two servings of fresh, green leafy vegetables like mustard, collard, turnip greens, spinach, cabbage and lettuce. Lying on back and on the stomach should be avoided during pregnancy. Lying on stomach puts pressure on the baby.