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Week 16

How Big is the Baby at 16 Weeks Pregnant?

Your baby is even larger by pregnancy week 16, between 4.3 and a little over 4 ½ inches long, and probably weighs close to 3 ounces.

Your Baby's Growth and Development

Your baby is planning on doing some major growing in the next few weeks. By pregnancy 16 weeks she'll be able to hold her head slightly straighter, and her eyes are finally moving into their final position in the front of the head. The ears are doing the same, and now your baby is focusing her attention on complicated circulatory matters. Your baby's heart is pumping 25 quarts of blood every day, not bad for someone smaller than a grapefrui
By pregnancy week 16 the umbilical cord is now firmly attached to your baby's belly as well, providing numerous nutrients to your little one. At this point in time your baby's legs are starting to grow longer than the arms!

Your Growth and Development

You should no longer have a discernable waist by pregnancy 16 weeks. Don't fret; it will come back some day. Most women revel in their blossoming roundness. While you are not huge by any stretch of the imagination, you are starting to look more and more pregnant each and every day. By now you might consider shopping for some maternity clothes, though you may not be able to fill them out for a few more weeks. Some stores offer maternity clothes in varying sizes that can accommodate second vs. third trimester babies.

Your maternity size will generally correspond with the size you were before you got pregnant, provided you have not gained an unusual amount of weight.

Changes in You

Perhaps the most exciting part of pregnancy is feeling your baby move. You might be able to discern tiny movements by pregnancy week 16. Many women have described this feeling as akin to butterflies fluttering away in the stomach at 16 weeks pregnant though some will feel this sooner. At first you might dismiss this feeling as gas, but watch out, your baby is actually swimming up a storm!

Even at 16 weeks pregnant not all women will feel their baby's movement, so don't panic if you don't recognize your baby's movements during pregnancy at 16 weeks. It may take a few more weeks before you feel the first fluttering of your baby. If this is not your first baby, you are more likely to feel movement early on in the pregnancy.

Some time between weeks 16 and 18 you will undergo an alpha-fetoprotein test (AFP). This is a protein that comes from fetal urine and resides in the amniotic fluid. Your physician can measure the amount of AFP in the amniotic fluid with a simple blood test.

High levels of AFP can indicate a problem with the fetus, including an elevated risk for spinal cord problems the two most common of which include a condition called Spina Bifida, which involves the central nervous system or Down Syndrome, which involves an abnormal number of chromosomes. An abnormal test does not mean that there is something wrong with the fetus; it simply indicates to your healthcare provider that something might be awry. If your AFP test comes back positive your physician might order an amniocentesis or ultrasound to confirm a diagnosis.

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