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16 weeks pregnant

16 weeks pregnant + vitamin D All the crave

Summary

By the time you're 16 weeks pregnant, your baby is becoming more active and can use every muscle in their body, move their limbs and join their hands together. Around this time it's common for mums to experience food cravings. While the reason for this is uncertain, it is thought to be ok to indulge them, providing they are safe.

Hand movement in week 16

Around now, your baby may start flexing their arms and fingers. Their hands may even be able to meet, form a fist, and hold each other1. As your baby’s nervous system continues to develop, their range of movements will also progress1.

“Their hands may even be able to meet, form a fist, and hold each other.”

By week 16 of pregnancy your baby’s eyebrows and eyelashes are also starting to grow, and the eyes themselves can make small movements from side to side2. While they’re beginning to make facial expressions, they can’t control them yet1.

"Your baby’s development at 16 weeks"

Strange food cravings

Be it iceberg lettuce and cold boiled potatoes, or ice cream with gherkins, unusual food cravings aren’t uncommon in pregnancy. Some believe they are due to hormonal changes, or a need for specific nutrients. However, despite much research and the experience of millions of pregnant women, there’s no scientific evidence to support these theories.

As long as what you crave isn’t harmful, you can go ahead and eat it – in moderation. Just try to maintain your healthy, balanced diet too.

“As long as what you crave isn’t harmful, you can eat it in moderation.”

Whilst there is no clear pattern to the types of foods usually craved in pregnancy3, try to choose healthier alternatives if you find yourself craving sugary or high-fat foods:

  • Swap chocolate bars for dried fruit
  • Swap biscuits for a toasted teacake
  • Swap cake for wholegrain toast/bagels with jam
  • Swap crisps for olives, a small handful of nuts and seeds, or cheese and biscuits
  • Swap ice cream dessert for a fruit-based dessert
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Chalk and cheese: pica cravings

Some women suffer from pica during their pregnancy, which is the name given to cravings for non-nutritious things like plaster, clay and chalk. There are some theories that pica can indicate a deficiency in a certain mineral, but regardless of their cause, pica cravings should not be indulged. If you think you may be experiencing pica cravings, speak to your midwife.

Read more about pregnancy cravings in our article.

View references

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1. NHS UK. You and your baby at 13-16 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-13-14-15-16.aspx [Accessed July 2014]

2. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009.

3. Gandy J (ed). Manual of Dietetic Practice. 5th ed. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014. p. 90.

Last reviewed: 14th July 2016

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