You’ve entered your second trimester and are now 4 months or 16 weeks pregnant. As your baby’s brain continues to develop their visual senses, let’s look at how you can help support this essential stage of development.
Common Symptoms When You’re 16 Weeks Pregnant
First the good news: most women get past the morning sickness phase when they’re around 4 months pregnant. You may also start to experience what is called “the pregnancy glow”. Increased blood flow in your body often causes brighter skin, and increased hormones may also make your skin shinier or oilier2.
You may also experience some symptoms that cause discomfort when you’re 16 weeks pregnant. These include2:
Constipation and possibly, hemorrhoids
Developments in Your Baby’s Cognitive and Visual Faculties
It’s a big month for your baby, as their brain and sense of sight is developing rapidly. Around the time you are 16 weeks pregnant, between weeks 15 to 18, your baby’s visual cortex is forming, although at this stage their vision is a little fuzzy. At the same time, the lateral fissure, a distinctive groove in the brain’s cerebral cortex, develops. This area will eventually become responsible for memory, language skills and even consciousness.
How Do You Nurture Your Baby’s Sense of Sight?
Experts recommend that pregnant women should consume around 200mg of DHA, an omega-3 fat, each day3.
A great source of DHA is fish, including salmon and sardines. Alternatively, flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil and leafy green vegetables also contain DHA, although at much lower levels than fish. All of these foods contribute to the normal development of your developing baby’s brain and eyes4.
Alternatively, you can support your developing baby’s development by supplementing your diet with Enfamama A+. Get your FREE SAMPLE of Enfamama A+, which is contains DHA and essential nutrients like Folic acid, Iron, Zinc, Iodine and Vitamin B6 which are important for your developing baby
There are also convenient snacks that can help your child’s brain development. Try munching on a handful of nuts between meals or when you are busy. Nuts are an excellent source of protein, magnesium, vitamin E, and B vitamins, and they’re good for you too. Research has shown that eating a handful of nuts as a snack can lower heart-disease risk by 35%5. You may also consume pregnancy supplements based on your doctor’s advice during this time.
What Else Will Your Developing Baby Discover this Month?
When you’re 16 weeks pregnant, you’ll be able to see your developing baby’s heart beating during this month’s ultrasound appointment. And you’ll also be able to discern those tiny fingers and toes, arms and legs. You’ll even be able to see the brain and spinal cord, and chances are – if you don’t already know – you’ll be able to discover your developing baby’s gender.
At 16 weeks pregnant, you might be able to tell from your ultrasound how fast your developing baby is growing! At this stage, they are already around 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) long and weigh close to 4 ounces (113 grams). And right now, they’re about the size of an avocado. They’re also busy developing a sense of touch and are even brushing up against the wall of your uterus as they explore their environment.
You might even feel some early movement at this phase, as your developing baby holds onto the umbilical cord, sucks their thumb and even kicks. This is all part of exploring their newfound sense of touch.
Next month, your developing baby will start to recognise your voice as they develop their sense of hearing. To find out how to help support the development of your baby’s aural senses, read more about Pregnancy Stages: Month 5.
Missed out on last month’s pregnancy milestones? You can track how far you and your developing baby have come in Pregnancy stages: Month 3.
Want to learn more about how your developing baby will develop over your pregnancy – plus, nutritional advice for you and your developing baby, online support and more? Sign up for Enfamama A+ Club to receive new articles, useful tips and rewards that can help you and your developing baby!
Dr. Raymond Choy Wai Mun
MBChB (UK), Aviation Medicine (Singapore)
- Fetal development, http://www.baby2see.com/development/week17.html, Accessed October 2015
- 16 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Tips, and More, https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/16-weeks-pregnant#symptoms, Accessed 19 November 2020
- The March of Dimes. Omega-3 fatty acids. Downloaded from http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/omega-3-fatty-acids.aspx. Accessed October 2015.
- Healthy Eating During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding, http://www.fhs.gov.hk/english/health_info/woman/20036.html#1, Accessed October 2015
- Kris-Etherton, Penny M., et al. The role of tree nuts and peanuts in the prevention of coronary heart disease: multiple potential mechanisms. J Nutr 2008; 138(9):1746S-1751S.