16 Weeks Pregnant: Garbh Sanskar, Symptoms and Tips

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Updated on:
September 30, 2022

The circulatory system of the baby has strengthened and is pulsating with a good flow. In fact, the heart is beating around 150 to 180 times per minute and pumping around 24 litres of blood every day! The facial muscles are developing enabling expressions like frowning and narrowing of eyes. The head is becoming more erect and a phase of rapid growth kicks off from this week. Since there isn’t any fat yet, the skin is still translucent and veins can be spotted through it.

Garbha Vriddhi

चतुर्थे सर्वांगप्रत्यंगविभागः प्रव्यक्तो भवति, गर्भह्रदयप्रव्यक्तिभावात चेतनाधातुरभिव्यक्तो भवति। तस्मात गर्भश्चतुर्थे मासि अभिप्रायमिन्द्रियार्थेषु करोति। द्विह्रदया च नारी दौह्रदिनी आचक्षते। (सुश्रुत शारीरस्थान)

The growth of muscles and bones is now giving the back strength enabling the baby to straighten her head and neck.
The taste buds and pores on the tongue have started working.  So, your baby can taste the amniotic fluid. Since amniotic fluid mixes in itself flavours of your diet, what you eat can lead to development of taste preferences in the baby.
The earliest eye movements can be spotted between 16 and 18 weeks. And, when they start, the baby might be getting curious so it’s common for them to start touching their eyelids.
The ability to hear is still developing but some limited sounds might be audible to the baby now.
Your baby’s legs are growing fast. And if your baby is a girl, thousands of eggs are forming in her ovaries.

Your Baby's Development

Muscles growing

The growth of muscles and bones is now giving the back strength enabling the baby to straighten her head and neck. Your baby’s legs are growing fast.

Taste buds

The taste buds and pores on the tongue have started working. So, your baby can taste the amniotic fluid. Since amniotic fluid mixes in itself flavours of your diet, what you eat can lead to development of taste preferences in the baby.

Eyes and ears

The earliest eye movements can be spotted between 16 and 18 weeks. And, when they start, the baby might be getting curious so it’s common for them to start touching their eyelids. The ability to hear is still developing but some limited sounds might be audible to the baby now.

Ovaries in girls

And if your baby is a girl, thousands of eggs are forming in her ovaries.

Your Pregnancy Symptoms

Nosebleeds in pregnancy

A harmless nosebleed can happen to anyone, anytime. It becomes more common in pregnancy with between 18% and 42% of pregnant women experiencing pregnancy rhinitis which, simply put, is the inflammation and swelling of the mucous membranes in the nose. It is also called Epistaxis.
Pregnancy rhinitis causes congestion in the nasal tract, postnasal drip, and runny nose. When you keep blowing your nose to clear the blockage, a nosebleed can occur. It may also happen if the membranes in your nose have become dry because of cold weather, dry air, or high air conditioning.
Certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure or clotting disorders can also cause nosebleeds. Most nosebleeds are benign, spontaneous and just stop their own.

iMumz tip:

  • Sit up straight or stand up.
  • Then, pinch both nostrils under the bridge of your nose and lean forwards.
  • Keep that pinch hold for 8 to 12 minutes as you breathe through your mouth.
  • When it stops, and if you feel dizzy, please lie down on your side. If the bleeding is just not stopping, and you are feeling sick, please go to the hospital immediately.

During the day following the bleed, make sure you avoid:

  • Lifting heavy objects
  • intense exercise
  • lying flat
  • blowing or picking your nose

Sciatica pain during pregnancy

During pregnancy, sciatica also known as lumbosacral radicular syndrome can arise if your growing baby and expanding uterus put pressure on your sciatic nerve. When the nerve is pressed, it can cause inflammation, irritation, and pain. You'll know it's sciatica if you're experiencing shooting pains that start in your lower back, and radiate down your legs. It starts at the buttocks, goes down the back of your thigh and to the foot. It can feel as sharp, shooting, or burning pain. Other sensations are numbness, pins and needles, or weakness in the affected leg or foot.
Almost 50 and 80 percent of women have back pain during their pregnancies, some cases among those may be of Sciatica pain.
iMumz tip:
A very useful exercise is the ‘seated piriformis stretches’. The piriformis muscle is deep in the buttock area. When this muscle is tight and stressed, it can irritate the sciatic nerve. This stretch makes the muscle more flexible. The steps are:

  1. Sit on a straight chair and rest your feet on the floor.
  2. If your right side is affected, put your right ankle on your left knee.
  3. While keeping your back straight, lean forward as much as you can. Feel the stretch in the muscle.
  4. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat as many times as you can through the day.

Another beneficial exercise if the Yoga Pigeon pose

  1. Get on your hands and knees on the floor.
  2. Bring your right knee forward to a position between your hands.
  3. Slide your left leg back, keeping your foot on the floor.
  4. Place a rolled towel under your right hip. This will make the stretch easier and allow room for your belly.
  5. Lean forward over your right leg. Slowly lower yourself toward the ground, putting a pillow under your head and arms for support.
  6. Hold for 1 minute. Repeat on other side. Repeat a few times throughout the day.

iMumz Wellness Tip

Since the body is growing and changing constantly and rapidly during pregnancy, you may need a new bra sooner than you would think. You should keep measuring yourself as your pregnancy progresses. It is important to remember that your size may increase up to three cup sizes, and measuring frequently can help you buy one that fits well.

  • Fitting is very important: The right way to check it is if the bra is leaving any marks after some time of you wearing it.  
  • Cotton Fabric: Cotton is ideal since it is a breathable fabric. Synthetics tend to cling and make you sweaty.
  • Hook at easy reach: The hook of the bra should be easy to reach. Hooks that are very high up at the back are inconvenient.
  • No Wired Bras: While the coverage area of the bra should be good since breasts are swollen and sensitive during pregnancy, it should not be underwired. Especially in the second trimester, wired bras should be replaced with non-wired ones.  
  • Adjustable Straps: Most bras do come with adjustable straps. Choose one that has clasps that are easy to slide for adjustment.  
  • Larger Cup Size: From the 2nd trimester, a bra that is one size larger from your regular size will comfort the swollen breasts and also give support and comfort.
  • Wider Straps: Choose a bra that has wide straps. Thin straps dig into the skin and may give you pain on the shoulders.

Your Pregnancy check-ups

  • Blood Pressure and Weight : During 16th weeks visit, your blood pressure and weight are checked. Abdominal examination is done to check the growth of the baby.
  • Multiple Marker Test / Triple Screen : Between weeks 16 and 18 of pregnancy, your doctor may offer you a second trimester screening test (known as the multiple marker test or triple screen). This test measures the levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), a protein produced by the foetus, and the pregnancy hormones hCG and estriol in the mother's blood. It's called a quadruple screen (or quad screen) when the level of an additional substance, called inhibin-A, is also measured.
    If you have already done a blood test and/or ultrasound in the first trimester (first trimester screening test), then the results of the two tests together is called an integrated screening test. These tests are to check for neural tube defects such as spina bifida or chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome.

What should you eat in this week of pregnancy?

Check your iron intake! Iron is especially important during these weeks of pregnancy to produce the red blood cells your body needs. Without enough iron, you may become anaemic. This can make you feel fatigued and make you more susceptible to illnesses.
During pregnancy, you need 27 milligrams of iron a day (compared to 18 milligrams for adult women 19 to 50 who are not expecting). Aim to get no more than 45 milligrams of iron a day. If you take more than that (either from an extra iron supplement or from your prenatal vitamin), it can cause your blood levels of iron to rise too high, possibly causing problems for you and your baby.
Your risks for anaemia increase if any of these are true:

  • You have a twin pregnancy!  
  • You have severe morning sickness.
  • You have become pregnant soon after your last pregnancy.
  • You have a history of anaemia or a heavy menstrual flow.
  • Your diet lacks enough iron.


Fruits like apples, banana and pomegranates are a rich source of iron. Peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, pine nuts, hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds How about a shot of beetroot juice every day, seasoned with some lemon, salt and pepper?