Week fifteen and approximately three-and-a-half months into the pregnancy, you might feel productive and eager anticipation about what’s to come. If you haven’t already, catch up on our week 14 article to stay in the loop.
Physically speaking, your belly has sprouted a little bump, and it’s getting bigger quickly. Fortunately, it remains small and manageable at week 15 of pregnancy. Rest assured, you can still exercise, move around and tackle tasks without experiencing difficulties – just be sure to prioritise rest.
Inside your womb, your developing baby is getting ready for the outside world. They’re practising breathing, mastering certain reflexes, and moving non-stop. You might feel slight movements in your belly, although it’s pretty early and might not happen for a few weeks.
Your budding baby has come a long way, but there’s a lot of significant development ahead before they arrive to meet you. Stay tuned for more updates on your baby’s size and development and hot tips for surviving pregnancy.
Here’s what’s on the agenda this week.
At a Glance: Week Fifteen of Pregnancy
- It’s another good week for the mom-to-be, and your baby’s also doing well.
- Your little fetus, once the size of a poppy seed or fruit seed, is now an impressive 10 centimetres.
- They’re the size of a pear, a piece of fruit you should consider incorporating into your pregnancy diet.
- Your baby’s bones are ossifying, which is the scientific term for hardening. Make sure you’re consuming enough vitamin C!
- It’s become impossible not to notice your body changing. You have a bump that gets harder to disguise, and you’re putting on weight.
- You might also notice a few unobservable changes, like an improved sex drive and energy and some undesirable symptoms.
- What tasks should you tackle this week? Monitor your weight, spoil yourself and continue to eat well now you can.
Week Fifteen of Pregnancy Review
In earlier weeks, your little one’s eyes and ears grew in weird and unexpected places. Soon, a shift will occur where both sets of eyes and ears are properly positioned. These changes make your baby look more human, with adorable, miniature features.
And you know what? They’re functional, well, sort of. Even while shut, the peepers may detect light. Plus, your baby can hear its mother’s heartbeat and voice, creating the earliest bonding moments.
Moving on to your baby’s bones – there are some important developments as they begin to ossify. If the term leaves you confused, “ossification” refers to the process of bones hardening.
As for their mother, it’s a good week generally, especially if your worst pregnancy symptoms are gone. But don’t be alarmed if some remain and new ones materialise – it’s all part of the unpredictable journey of pregnancy.
Baby Size and Latest Developments for Week Fifteen of Pregnancy
Now, one-third the length of a 30 cm ruler, your baby has broken another growth record. Measuring over ten centimetres, they’ve now reached the size of a pear.
Here’s a quick run-down of your baby’s progress for week fifteen.
- Your baby’s legs are outgrowing its arms, and its head is no longer disproportionally large compared to the rest of the body.
- Your little one’s ears can hear your heartbeat, digestive juices and the tone of your voice! Take this opportunity to chat with your baby-to-be.
- Your baby enjoys full-body workouts as they actively move about and stretch.
- Some pregnant mammas feel the fluttering sensation of quickening, the first fetal movements, as early as week 15, but many people experience it later on. Give it more time if your baby’s not performing acrobatics or kickboxing yet.
- Eyes and ears have repositioned to where they belong. The eyes remain closed but may detect light. Attached to the eyelids, tiny eyelashes are forming.
- Most of your baby bones are now ossifying, with key parts of the body (skull, spine and shoulders) already starting the process.
Because every pregnancy is unique, the above description generalises fetal development. Variations in the timing of milestones can occur.
Body Changes for Week Fifteen of Pregnancy
Is the second trimester too good to be true? Yes and no. If you’ve had subsequent pregnancies, you might remember parts of it fondly or aspire to feel that good post-pregnancy. But it’s far from perfect. Like every rose with its thorns, week fifteen of pregnancy has negative experiences. Here are a few examples.
It’s important to note that all pregnancies are unique. The timing and experiences of pregnancy symptoms may vary.
1. Nose Bleeds
We mentioned nose bleeds as one of the common pregnancy symptoms to watch out for during the first trimester. Typically, a bleeding nose is harmless if a bit alarming to onlookers.
Bloody noses might extend into the second trimester, so pack tissues if you’re prone to having them.
2. Pregnancy Rhinitis
Hormones cause extra blood flow to the nasal passages, so you might experience nasal congestion, a runny nose and sneezing. Although these symptoms are treatable, they’re uncomfortable and may affect your sleep.
Uh-oh, heartburn is a pregnancy symptom that increases over the second and third trimesters. That horrid burning sensation is caused by your growing uterus exerting pressure on the stomach and other organs, often leading to stomach juices travelling upwards. Also, hormones play a role in all of this!
4. Getting Harder to Breathe
With your baby growing bigger, you might find breathing difficult. Breathlessness can be terrifying but is usually a sign that things are getting crowded down there. Additionally, your expanding uterus presses down on your pressed-for-space diaphragm.
5. Vaginal Secretions
Discharge is a pregnancy symptom resulting from hormones increasing blood flow to the vaginal area. Although inconvenient, panty liners will help manage the bulk of the discharge.
Pay attention to your vaginal secretions, and contact your healthcare provider about unusual smells or odours.
Those are the downsides to the second trimester, but are the advantages? Here’s a summary of the surprising second-trimester benefits, experiences and thrills.
- An end to fatigue and a renewal of energy
- Morning sickness eases
- Feeling more like yourself
- Increased desire for sex and other forms of physical activity (think yoga, Pilates, swimming or gymming)
- Less urgency to urinate (for now)
- Anticipation of your baby’s arrival (without unpleasant pregnancy symptoms quashing your excitement)
- Increased bonding with your baby, especially after feeling them kick for the first time and knowing they can hear you talk
- Learning the baby’s sex
Week Fifteen of Pregnancy Tips and Tricks
By week 15, your energy and appetite for both food and romance might have returned. You might also be exercising again or plan to do so. Alongside these positive experiences, you could have a laundry list of tasks to pursue, which can seem pressurising, especially for new moms.
With genetic tests coming up, mothers undergoing high-risk pregnancies might feel highly stressed or nervous about their outcomes.
Whether in a good head space, feeling overwhelmed or awaiting big news, use these tips and tricks to keep you motivated. We’ll also include a few key reminders to keep you in tip-top shape.
1. Carve Out Some Me-Time
You might have little time to breathe between attending classes, making appointments, undergoing tests, working and seeing friends.
If you’re overwhelmed, depleted, or uncertain about the future, take some time out for yourself. The little things like walking, reading or enjoying a coffee might be what you need to recharge. Our Pamper Hamper may help, too.
2. Stick to a Healthy Diet
Do your best to maintain a well-rounded diet while avoiding harmful foods that pose risks. Forbidden foods include items such as uncooked sushi, certain types of fish, deli meats and unpasteurised cheese. If you can’t remember all of them, refresh your memory here.
It might be hard to pass up sugary treats and junk food. However, consider healthy food and its nutritional benefits. For example, eating well helps control weight gain, renew energy, prevent health issues, and boost moods.
Remember, eating well doesn’t mean giving up every guilty pleasure and flavoursome meal. Enjoy the occasional joy-inducing indulgence, and look at our article for ideas for healthy, tasty snacks for inspiration.
3. Eat Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal for everyone, especially pregnant women. Even if you’re not a morning or breakfast person, eat something alongside your coffee. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate breakfast – a piece of toast, fruit, or cereal will tide you over until your mid-morning snack.
4. Enjoy Sex While You Can
Sex can be…. tricky during late pregnancy, so enjoy it before a big bump makes certain positions virtually impossible. Whether with a partner or solo, nothing stops you from pleasure-inducing activity.
Not that you need a reason to have sex, but being intimate has numerous benefits. It’s a form of stress relief and can improve your immune system. Chat with your healthcare provider if you have concerns or need advice.
5. Attend Childbirth Classes
Shop around for a childbirth class that suits your birthing plans and preferences. Labour might seem far off, but the weeks will race by. These classes provide crucial information concerning birth and answer all the unknowns about delivery.
If you’re considering it, take a look at our hypnobirthing article.
Do I Need an Ultrasound for Week Fifteen of Pregnancy?
You won’t have a second routine ultrasound scheduled for another few weeks, but you might have additional health tests and screenings booked. What are these tests, what do they entail, and who are they for?
Because all pregnancies carry risk, all expecting mothers can opt for genetic screenings and tests. However, risk factors like maternal age or a family history of genetic conditions might make you a good candidate.
Here’s a breakdown of tests, screenings and procedures recommended to you.
Nuchal Translucency Test
The nuchal translucency test or NT test isn’t a diagnostic tool for genetic abnormalities. Instead, it measures your baby’s risk of developing them. Although reasonably accurate, some providers combine the Nuchal Translucency Test with blood screenings, known as multiple marker screens, to further investigate the risk.
NT tests are performed around the eleven to fourteen-week mark or when your baby measures between 4.5 to 8 centimetres long. The screening, a non-invasive procedure performed via ultrasound, measures the thickness of fluid at the back of your baby’s neck called the nuchal fold. All babies have some of this fluid, but abnormal thickness suggests a higher chance of chromosomal abnormalities.
Multiple Marker Screens
Multiple marker screens are blood tests that measure hormones and proteins in your blood that could indicate chromosomal abnormalities and neural tube defects. They’re often combined with other procedures, like Nuchal Translucency Tests, for more accurate results.
It’s important to note that, like nuchal translucency tests, multiple marker screens don’t provide or confirm a diagnosis but can only determine the degree of risk. You might have to undergo more conclusive tests, like an amniocentesis, if your results detect potential problems.
An amniocentesis or ‘amnio’ could be mentioned to you if other genetic screens observe possible issues. Unlike the above, amniocentesis is an invasive, somewhat uncomfortable procedure that involves guiding a needle into the womb to collect fluid samples. But it’s also more conclusive and highly accurate readings. It does pose some risks you’ll want to discuss with your doctor.
Facts for Pregnancy Week Fifteen
- Affecting one in twenty women, gestational diabetes is common during pregnancy. Although a poor diet or sedentary lifestyle doesn’t cause pregnancy diabetes, they are contributing factors. Do your best to follow a healthy, balanced lifestyle during pregnancy!
Week Fifteen of Pregnancy Checklist
- Continue to be healthy, but also enjoy the occasional sweet treat.
- Don’t skip breakfast; a cup of coffee doesn’t count.
- Enjoy some downtime – you’ve earned it.
- Schedule multiple marker screens this week.
- Book an amniocentesis if you want one.
- Keep your eyes peeled for our week 16 article!