Week 15 of Pregnancy: All You Need to Know

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Update Date 08/05/2020 . 5 mins read
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Baby Development

How is my baby growing?

At week 15 of pregnancy baby development, after going through some remarkable changes, babies start to look like human beings. They weigh around three ounces and measures up to four inches. The baby’s body proportions are becoming normal since their legs are now longer than their arms. The eyes and ears are slowly migrating to their proper spots. The baby will continue to make small movements since they can now move their joints. The baby’s skeleton will start to ossify so they are visible should you take an X-ray. At the same time, the baby’s skin is still thin and translucent, meaning blood vessels are still visible. The baby will also be able to sense light, even though their eyes remain closed. 

Body & Life Changes

How is my body changing?

At week 15 of pregnancy baby development, you might want to consider wearing maternity clothes now. It is normal to lose or not gain weight at all during the first trimester. This is due to nausea and fatigue. But for trimester two, you will start to notice an increase in weight gain. It is recommended to gain at least a half-pound or one pound per week. At the same time, your breasts and nipples get bigger. This is because of the developing milk ducts and mammary glands for breastfeeding.

As your body adjusts, your emotions may also shift. You might feel anxious or elated as you begin to notice visible changes. An increase in libido is expected since you are gaining your energy back. Check-in with your doctor first before engaging in intercourse for safety measures.

What should I be concerned about?

At week 15 pregnancy baby development, noticeable weight changes are expected. The key is to gain slowly and steadily. The rapid increase in gained weight can lead to complications and health risks. You should also be aware of the following symptoms you might experience: 

  • Heartburn and indigestion: Hormones allow the muscular valve between your esophagus and stomach to relax. Heartburn is caused by this acid reflux. Moreover, acids are likely to be pushed upward since your growing uterus now crowds the abdomen. Indigestion, on the other hand, can be a result of an increase in appetite. You are hungrier now that your energy level is slowly increasing. Avoid gastrointestinal discomfort by eating meals in the right portions. Your body is still adjusting now that there are two to feed. You might want to avoid spicy and greasy food so as not to upset your stomach further.
  • Nosebleeds: Hormones can induce inflammation in the body resulting in nosebleeds. This can also be caused by blood flow increase and sensitive nasal passages due to broken blood vessels. 
  • Swollen gums: Teeth and gums are more sensitive during pregnancy. The increase in blood flow can cause gums to swell and bleed. Go on regular dental visits to minimize risks of gum disease. Brush your teeth properly and make flossing part of your dental routine. 
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum: Symptoms such as fatigue and morning sickness are not as prominent during week 15 of pregnancy baby development. However, some may experience severe vomiting that requires hospitalization. Hyperemesis gravidarum is usually accompanied by dehydration, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbances. It also causes complications and perinatal outcomes like premature birth or low birth weight according to a 2018 study

Your Doctor Visits

What should I tell my doctor?

Your next doctor’s visits from week 15 of pregnancy baby development are crucial. At this early stage, you might want to ask your doctor about preeclampsia. This condition develops late in trimester two but you might show symptoms already. These include high blood pressure and severe swelling of hands and face. Your doctor might recommend taking small doses of aspirin to minimize the risk. Moreover, contact your doctor if you experience the following. These are symptoms of premature labor:

  • Severe abdominal and pelvic cramping
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Prevalent shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
  • Constant backache
  • Sensations of abdominal tightening or contractions

What tests should I know about?

Beginning around week 15 of pregnancy baby development, you might want to consider undergoing the following tests. These will help determine if your baby might have genetic disorders. 

  • Multiple Marker Screen (MMS): This is also called Triple or Quad Screen Test. MMS screens hormones and proteins found in blood to determine the baby’s risk of having neural tube defects and other chromosomal abnormalities. 
  • Amniocentesis: For a more accurate diagnosis, amniocentesis is preferred by most pregnant women. This is usually taken from week 15 of pregnancy baby development to week 20. Using an ultrasound, a needle is guided through your abdomen and uterus to the amniotic fluid. A sample of this fluid is taken for examination of its contained fetal cells. This procedure is more invasive than MMS but can determine genetic defects and abnormalities with 99% accuracy. 

These tests are not mandatory. Consult with your doctor which is necessary and fit for your condition. You are likely to undergo more diagnostic procedures when found to be at high risk. 

Health & Safety

What should I know about being healthy and safe while pregnant?

While your baby’s growth and development is the top priority, you should not neglect your health either. Your health is linked to your baby’s. Your energy level is expected to increase at week 15 of pregnancy baby development. As a result, your appetite will also increase. Gaining weight is inevitable when pregnant. However, when the increase becomes unreasonable, it poses health risks that might affect your baby’s development. These are ways on how to manage pregnancy weight gain: 

  • Manage your portions: Simply put, do not eat for two. There is no need for added calories when your baby does not need it. The key is to eat meals that contain the necessary nutrients for your baby’s development. Try to eat several times a day but in small portions so you do not overeat at every single meal. This will also help with heartburn and indigestion. It is recommended to only have an extra 300 calories per day during the first few weeks of pregnancy. 
  • Protein: An increase in protein intake is important when pregnant. Protein intake should be 60 grams a day. These help regulate blood sugar and can control your hunger since both can fill you up for longer periods of time. Opt for lean sources of protein like beans, tofu, egg whites, and white meat poultry. 
  • Calcium: Calcium requirements increase during pregnancy. Choose skim milk over whole milk for a healthier alternative. For snacks, you can opt for low fat yoghurt or reduced cheeses. Calcium-rich food like almonds, salmon, and broccoli should also be part of your diet. 
  • Hydrate: Minimize calories from sweetened beverages and drink water instead. Pregnant women need at least glasses a day. Avoid caffeinated drinks altogether like coffee and sodas. Herbal teas like mint and chamomile are more ideal. Add citrus fruits and herbs to your plain water for added flavor. 
  • Cravings: Getting unusual cravings during pregnancy is inevitable. However, make sure you limit your salt and sugar intake. Switch up unhealthy snacks to more safe options like nuts, yogurt, and fresh fruits. This will lessen the blood sugar level increase, as well as minimizing the risk of gestational diabetes. 

In the Philippines, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute under the Department of Science and Technology has developed a food guide pregnant women can follow. This includes what food to eat as well as their corresponding proportions. 

Your baby is growing rapidly during week 15 of pregnancy baby development. The baby’s body parts are slowly coming into place, while its movements are becoming prominent. At the same time, your baby bump will become more noticeable. And expect an increase in weight. Hormonal changes will also bring out symptoms like nosebleeds, swollen gums, and indigestion. It is important to eat meals with the right nutrients and in controlled portions. Extra calories will only lead to complications and health risks. During doctor’s visits, you might want to know about which tests to take in order to determine if your baby is at risk for genetic defects. Finding out early can prevent the condition from worsening. 

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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