Pregnancy Week 16

If you havent, you must begin talking to your little human. Your baby can listen to voices around now at pregnancy week 16 and his or her eyesight is at a rapid stage of development. Between 15 to 20 weeks, your OB might schedule diagnostic tests. A multiple marker screening, popularly called as Triple screen test, is to check for any neural tube defects. If you opt for, the test may be scheduled between this week and one of the coming weeks.

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2020 11:29 GMT

Pregnancy Week 16
Pregnancy Week 16
What’s happening to your baby? A little time under the sun shouldn’t hurt you!

At week 16 pregnancy, your baby is close to an avocado in size. Your baby’s eyes are undergoing a critical development this week. They are becoming sensitive to outside light. Though her eyes are closed now, she can still perceive rays of light behind the shut eyelids. In fact, she can show responses to light stimuli by moving herself away from the source of light. Studies show that going out in sunlight at this time can help healthy development of baby’s eyes. If it wouldn’t hurt to take a walk during the day, you should.

Sing mommy, she is listening!

Parallel to your little one’s progress with vision, her hearing ability too is preparing for major developments this week. Most babies at week 16 pregnancy can in fact hear your voice. When she is out into this world, the first voice she is going to recognize is your’s. Keep singing aloud a song you have self-composed exclusively for your unborn bundle. And when she is in your arms, she’ll awesome you by acknowledging the familiarity of her favorite tune in mama’s voice. It’s okay even if it’s not your own song. Simply humming a loving melody can as well intensify your bond with her.

Your baby is indeed in action!

You still don’t believe your baby is moving inside, do you? Perhaps, this week, you will begin to! 16 weeks is a fair time for many moms-to-be to feel mild kicks (called quickening). The more your baby gets bigger and the more your bump is coming out, the more you are going to experience the full-some baby-in-action in the coming weeks. Now could just be a teasing trailer time.

What’s happening to your body? Girl, you are no longer the same!

Your body is undergoing constant changes in shape and size. Your belly is bulging out, your breasts are getting bigger and your nose may be swelling. And the big news is that you are gaining weight. Though these are signs of a healthy pregnancy, you might worry at the back of your mind if your body will get back to its pre-pregnancy form after delivery. The fact is that being active, importantly on a regular exercise regime, is the key not only for optimal weight gain during pregnancy but also to hit the comeback line gracefully during the postpartum phase. 

Good news: You are glowing!

If there is one comforting body change that pregnancy can bring along, it is this – your skin is glowing! At week 16, you might begin to look more charming and your facial skin is most likely gleaming in vibrancy. All those pregnancy hormones which ransacked your spirits in the last trimester are becoming merciful to you now. The flushing hormones and gushing blood flow in your body is making your skin healthier than ever before. Drench in taking pictures of yourself for it is your golden period of life!

Tips and advice for Pregnancy Week 16 Triple Screen Test

Between weeks 15 and 20, your OB might ask you if you would want to go for a multiple marker test, also commonly called as the triple screen test. This screening test is an important prenatal test, recommended by the American Pregnancy Association which tests for genetic defects and neural tube defects. Again, as parents, you and your spouse can decide if you want to know this information before the baby is born.

What does Triple Screen Test look for?

The test is called so because it tests three pregnancy-related components in your blood:

·         AFP (Alfa-fetoprotein): AFP is a fetal protein produced in the liver of your developing fetus. AFP can pass through the placenta and enter your bloodstream during the second trimester. In the triple screen test, the levels of AFP are measured. High levels of AFP can indicate the chances of your baby having a neural tube defect such as spina bifida. It is a condition in which the bones of the spine do not close around the spine, resulting in a developmental abnormality of the spine. Do you remember your OB advising on taking folic acid in your early pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects? Now is the time to test if you did.

·         hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin): Yeah, our favorite pregnancy hormone! Low hCG levels in your blood can indicate pregnancy related issues like an ectopic pregnancy while high levels can be because of twins or more than two fetuses.

·         Estriol: The fetus and placenta produce a kind of estrogen called the estriol. Low estriol levels in your blood can sign the possibility of your baby having Down Syndrome. The sign of risk is higher if low estriol levels are combined with abnormal levels of AFP and hCG.

Note: In some cases, abnormal levels of AFP may be due to incorrect calculation of pregnancy date and not necessarily indicate a defect.



Is Triple Screen Test recommended for you?

The American Pregnancy Association says that all pregnant women must be offered the test while it is recommended for mothers who:

ü  Are 35 years or older

ü  Carry a family history of birth defects

ü  Have diabetes and are using insulin

ü  Have been previously exposed to any form of radiation

ü  Had a viral infection anytime during her pregnancy

What next?


If the triple screen test indicates abnormalities, you may be offered an amniocentesis test, in which a sample of your amniotic fluid will be tested for genetic abnormalities. A detailed ultrasound will also be recommended. 

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