Week 16Lots of movement

Your child is very active inside the womb. Its bones are becoming harder and it can use its muscles and joints. And there’s still plenty of room to move, so it turns around, moves its head, does somersaults and plays with the umbilical cord.

Its body is covered in a downy fluff (known as lanugo). These fine hairs keep the vernix caseosa attached to the baby’s skin, which protects the skin from becoming soft in the amniotic fluid. This downy fluff is usually gone by the time the baby is born.

The baby’s thyroid now starts producing growth hormones. This function is important for the child’s ongoing development after it is born.

Most of the unpleasant side effects of being pregnant improve significantly around week 16, so you can really start to enjoy your pregnancy. Your body now starts to store additional fat and water. This will make your facial features smooth, so you will look fresh and full of energy. Some women may also experience hormonally induced hair loss or skin blemishes.      

16th week of pregnancy

The foetus in week 16. Its body is looking increasingly long and stretched.