From 16 to 18 weeks, you may start to show a little bit. However, people who do not know that you’re expecting twins might not notice anything at all. In this week, you’ll also get a good idea for just how big your newborns will be. By 16 weeks, your babies will both measure about 4.7in (12cm) from head to bottom (crown to rump). At around the same time, they will each weigh about 0.2lb (100g).
You’ve already put on the first 3–4kg (6.6–8.8lb) with your twins because of your rising pregnancy hormones, so you’re probably feeling a bit larger than for a single pregnancy by now.
By now you’re certain that your twins are completely separate. You may have even felt their tiny kicks for the first time! One of your babies is beginning to drop downward, just before his/her birth. And by now, you may have also felt something else that you couldn’t help but notice: your belly is growing in size and stretching out.
Your twins are very active in the womb now, kicking away, fluttering and giving you a workout. Their tiny lungs can now handle air breathed directly into their bodies instead of fluid pumped through their blood vessels, so from now on they’ll be gulping down amniotic fluid, too. By 16 weeks, your tummy looks more like a beach ball than a bowl.
Your twins are starting to look much more like little people now. Their eyes will soon be able to make out light, although they won’t be able to focus on it yet. As their skin develops and matures it will help protect them from bacteria, and your babies may now swallow this layer. They don’t have teeth yet though, so they can still only suckle the nipple.
Your twins now have distinct features, including ears, eyelids and toes. They can also grasp and kick. Keep exercising in the third trimester to keep your blood circulation up.
Are you 16 weeks pregnant with twins? Read on to discover how your babies are growing, now you are in your second trimester with twins. Learn how to care for your twin pregnancy belly and when to tell your employer about your pregnancy. Plus you might be surprised to learn when you should stop working with twins. And don’t forget to sign up to get an email reminder to come back for your next twin pregnancy update
By 16 weeks, your twins will each measure about 12cm (4.7in), from head to bottom (crown to rump). They now weigh about 100g (0.2lb) each.
Your twins’ unique fingerprints have almost finished forming, and their fingernails are growing. They may even have started sucking the thumb of their preferred hand. If you spot one of your babies sucking their left thumb at an ultrasound scan, they may well grow up to be left-handed!
By now, your twins’ genitals may be developed enough for a sonographer to tell whether you’re expecting two boys, two girls or one of each sex. If you’re having a girl, she will already have several million eggs in her ovaries.
Your twins’ bodies are now growing faster than their heads. Their skin is covered with thick, downy hair (lanugo). This will usually disappear before the birth, although some babies are born with it.
Your babies’ legs are getting longer, and all their joints and limbs can move. Their skeletons are still soft at this stage, mostly made from rubbery cartilage that is slowly hardening.
Your twins’ chests move up and down to mimic breathing. But rather than air, they’re taking in amniotic fluid.
Your womb (uterus) and pelvic walls are stretching as your babies grow, and your sides may start to feel uncomfortable. Find out more on round ligament pain.
Have you given your babies nicknames? Find out what twin bump nicknames other parents-to-be have chosen.
Note: every pregnancy is different. This page is designed to give you a general idea of how twins grow in the womb.
TWIN PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS AT 16 WEEKS
It’s about now that this stage of pregnancy is often referred to as the honeymoon period. Why? You may have regained the desire for intimacy. Your nausea and vomiting hopefully will have stopped. And you’ll have that wonderful pregnancy glow everyone talks about.
You are not so large that getting around is a challenge. But you may start experiencing shortness of breath, constipation and headaches as those babies start to make their presence felt.
This is the time where you might have an amniocentesis done. Especially if you are 33 years or older. This is slightly earlier than your friends with a singleton pregnancy that will be offered one if they are older than 35.
The best part… your babies are becoming more active and you are likely to feel them move any time from now!
What are your twins up to this week?
YOUR TWINS AT 16 WEEKS – HEIGHT & WEIGHT
By 16 weeks your twins will measure about 11cm long and weigh about 100 grams each. They are now roughly the size of an avocado.
Over the next four weeks, they will grow at a rapid rate, doubling their weight and reaching around 15cm long (think two beautiful mangos).
YOUR TWINS FETAL DEVELOPMENT AT 16 WEEKS
At this stage, each twin will have their own little fingernails and toenails.
They are busying themselves with kicking, rolling, and doing handstands which might explain why you may feel those first flutters of movement.
The clever little things will have learned to grasp, suck, swallow and even yawn. You may also start to feel them hiccupping.
In the next couple of weeks, their vocal cords will be fully formed too. It’s incredible that about now they’re also learning to breathe.
Their little brains are developing the processes they need to hear, see and smell. And they will start being able to hear things like your heartbeat which will become one of their most soothing sounds.
They are also discovering each other and have begun that very special bond they will treasure throughout their lives.
From around 18 weeks your twins will spend more time stroking and patting each other than they will be discovering their own bodies.
What you might be wondering about this week
TELLING YOUR EMPLOYER ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY
Very soon it will become impossible to hide your growing belly from your colleagues. So you might want to start preparing to share the news of your imminent arrivals with your employer.
You should make yourself familiar with your parental leave rights. Plus you will have obligations in terms of letting your employer and the relevant government agencies be aware of your pregnancy.
It does take some time to get it all processed so now would be a good time to start investigating it. Also, speak to your employer as they have a role to play in the application process too.
You will also need to decide when you plan to stop working.
WHEN TO FINISH WORK WHEN PREGNANT WITH TWINS
It is generally recommended to finish working at around 28-30 weeks with a twin pregnancy. This might surprise you. Most singleton mamas don’t finish work until 1-2 weeks before their due date.
But for you mama… it’s very different.
By 29 weeks pregnant, you will be the size of a full-term singleton pregnancy. You will feel tired and quite possibly sore. Carrying twins is hard on your belly and hips. You will definitely be perfecting your pregnancy waddle by then.
It is also worth remembering, that even a healthy twin pregnancy is classed as high risk. Your babies need you to rest and try to remove as much stress as possible from your days. The type of ongoing stress that a work environment can cause has been identified as a potential cause of premature births. Twins are already 50% more likely to arrive prematurely, so minimizing this risk is essential to your babies.
Your obstetrician will be able to advise you on your particular pregnancy needs.
SHOULD I FIND OUT MY TWINS GENDERS?
Soon you will have your 20-week scan. This is when you can find out the sex of your babies. Everyone seems to have an opinion on whether or not you should leave it a surprise or find out.
Just remember, the decision is entirely yours and where applicable your partners.
If you do decide to find out, start thinking about whether or not you will share the news with others or leave it a surprise. There are lots of fun ways you can reveal the genders of your babies. Make a cake with pink or blue inside and cut the cake to reveal. Turn it into a guessing game at a baby shower.
Check out our Pinterest board Twin Gender Reveal ideas for inspiration.
SLEEP SOLUTIONS FOR TWINS
Your newborn twins will sleep for around 18 hours a day for the first few weeks of their lives. You will want to start considering where they are going to spend all that sweet slumber time.
While you might be excited to set up their beautiful twin nursery, you may decide that they might not actually sleep in there for the first few months.
You may also need to be a bit flexible with their bed options. If your twins are premature or require close monitoring while they sleep, then you may be limited to what sleeping options you have.
LOOKING AFTER YOUR TWIN PREGNANCY BELLY
That beautiful belly of yours will be starting to grow and your skin will be feeling the stretch.
Some may feel that there is nothing you can do to stop stretch marks. I think there is no harm in giving your tummy a beautiful rub with some gorgeous moisturizers and/or oils (yes I used both!) to help you feel like you are at least doing something to help.
It also gives your babies a nice massage too.
SHOPPING FOR YOUR TWINS
Over the next few weeks, you will probably want to start planning your twin nursery. This was one of my favorite things to do during my pregnancy. You can totally immerse yourself in all the cuteness overload that comes with looking at baby products.
You can start by working out your shopping list to help you budget and minimize your stress levels. There is a lot to organize before your twins arrive. So having a plan will make a big difference to you.
I hope you have found this week’s Twin Pregnancy guide informative and helpful.
If you want to check out our 12 weeks pregnant with twins blog post, you can find it here.
I look forward to catching up again when you are around 20 weeks mama!
Take care and much love.
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