WEEK 16: Butterfly wings and bubbly feelings
Tips and nutrition at 16 weeks pregnant

Tips and nutrition at 16 weeks pregnant

Tickles? Twitches? Flutters? It’s hard to find the words to describe that magical feeling of your baby moving inside you for the first time

At a glance

Hello mummy. You could feel baby movements as early as 16 weeks or as late as week 26.

Take sides. Sleeping on your left helps to reduce the pressure on your circulation.

 

A ok? Vitamin A in pregnancy is important for women but too much can be dangerous.

Bump buddies. Support from other mums-to-be at your antenatal classes can be a lifesaver.

Baby's development at 16 weeks pregnant

Is your baby moving at 16 weeks? From as early as week 16 some women start to feel baby give them a hello nudge. The size of baby at 16 weeks is only that of an avocado so don’t expect a full kick out of him just yet. In fact, if he’s a chilled out bubba you may not feel a thing for a few more weeks. That’s ok. Especially if you’re a first time mum. Each woman is different and every baby is different. It might be week 20 or even up to 26 before you feel those wonderful tiny kicks. If your placenta is anterior (which means lying in front) then baby’s moves could be cushioned and you’ll be waiting a few weeks longer to feel them. They’re very subtle to begin with and you’re more likely to notice in the evening before bed or when you’re in a relaxed quiet environment.

Woman cradling her bump at 16 weeks of pregnancy

Changes in you and your body at 16 weeks pregnant

You should be feeling pretty perky this week, and looking pretty great too. You’ll be going from lumpy to bumpy by now, plus with glowing skin, thicker hair and sparkly eyes from more sleep, the good symptoms could definitely be winning over the bad.

Things like varicose veins in pregnancy aren’t so good though. They may start to develop as your uterus puts pressure on your blood vessels – specifically those that carry blood from your legs to your heart. And pregnancy hormones have relaxed the muscular walls of your blood vessels, which increases the risk of swelling too. They’re not the prettiest things in the world but they’re mostly harmless, and usually shrink when you go back to your pre-pregnant self.

Here’s a few ways to keep those blue spiders at bay:

  • Sleep on your left side. This helps avoid pressure on your main blood vessels and keeps circulation going.
  • Keep moving. Don’t stand for long periods. Put your feet up and flex your ankles when you can.
  • Exercise. Brisk walks and swimming are both great to keep circulation going and help prevent those bulgy blues.
  • Watch your weight. Each extra pound adds pressure on your circulation. A healthy pregnancy diet will keep your weight gain at a steady gradual pace.

Nutrition at 16 weeks pregnant

Vitamin A in pregnancy is important but gets a bad rep, it helps with the development of baby’s heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, and bones as well as the circulatory, respiratory, and central nervous systems. It’s also essential for repairing any tissue tears you might have after birth.

The thing is, too much Vitamin A can be quite dangerous. It’s linked to birth defects, liver toxicity and more. The recommended dose is 77mcg a day and it’s unlikely you’ll have too much unless you double up on pregnancy and non-pregnancy supplements. If you have a healthy pregnancy diet you should be able to get enough Vitamin A through the foods you eat. Bright yellow or orange fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, oranges apricots, melons and mangos; and dairy products like butter, milk or cheese, as well as eggs (especially the yolks) have plenty of Vitamin A too.

Got a bump buddy?

What you’re going through is so utterly life changing it can be hard for others to relate to it. Even those who have been mothers forget the intensity of pregnancy and the highs and lows of those first few months. That’s why antenatal classes are so helpful, not just for the crucial information they provide (birthing techniques, pain relief, newborn care) but also for the support you find from others who are in the same boat as you. You usually attend classes in the third trimester but there are many options these days so it’s worth looking around in your area for the right kind of classes for you and your birthing partner.

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Important advice to mothers

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. SMA® Nutrition fully supports this and continued breastfeeding, along with the introduction of complementary foods as advised by your healthcare professional.