You and Your Baby at Week 15 of Your Pregnancy

Your baby is the size of an apple!

(10 minute read)

15 Weeks Pregnant

Week 15

As the second trimester of your pregnancy unfolds, you can expect to experience various physical and emotional changes, while your baby undergoes critical developmental phases.

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How big is baby at 15 weeks?

At week 15, your baby (or foetus) is now about 10.1cm long from head to bottom, or roughly the size of an apple. He or she is growing very quickly, with the placenta as the food supply.

The foetus is now covered with a fine layer of hair, called 'lanugo'. Your baby also now has eyelashes and eyebrows, with the eyes now being sensitive to light. The eyelids remain closed however, to protect the developing eyes.

The exciting part is that now your baby's hearing has developed enough that he or she can hear you when you speak, and can also hear your heartbeat and whatever is going on in your digestive system.

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Your Body at Week 15

As you enter week 15, you may notice your abdomen expanding more noticeably, making your pregnancy more apparent. This growth accommodates the expanding uterus, which is now about the size of a grapefruit. Many women find that they have gained between 5 to 10 pounds by this point, though this varies greatly depending on the individual.

Skin Changes

Many women experience skin changes due to hormonal fluctuations. These can include the darkening of the areolas, the appearance of a linea nigra (a dark line running down the middle of the abdomen), and the potential for stretch marks as the skin stretches to accommodate the growing baby.

Breast Changes

Breasts typically continue to grow and may start to produce colostrum, the nutrient-rich pre-milk. This is your body's way of preparing for breastfeeding.

Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 15

  • Energy Levels: Many women report a surge in energy levels as they move further into the second trimester, often described as the 'honeymoon phase' of pregnancy.
  • Digestive Issues: You might still experience heartburn or indigestion due to hormonal changes and the growing uterus pressing against your stomach.
  • Appetite Changes: An increased or fluctuating appetite is common as your body demands more calories to support the growing baby.
  • Nasal Congestion: Increased blood flow and hormonal changes can lead to swelling in the nasal passages, causing stuffiness or nosebleeds.
  • Round Ligament Pain: As the uterus grows, it can cause sharp pains in the sides of your bump.
  • Itchy Skin: If your skin has started to get itchy, try to avoid perfumed skin products, and wear loose cotton clothing.
  • Varicose Veins: Increased blood volume can lead to varicose veins, particularly in the legs, as the veins work harder to pump blood back to the heart.
  • Vaginal Discharge: Many women at this stage of pregnancy experience an increase in vaginal discharge, due to the increase in blood flow around your pelvic area. Look out for signs of thrush.

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy at Week 15

Nutrition: Focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Exercise: Engage in regular, moderate exercise such as walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga, unless advised otherwise by your doctor.

Prenatal Vitamins: Continue taking prenatal vitamins to ensure you and your baby are getting essential nutrients like folic acid and iron.

Rest: Listen to your body and rest as needed. Good sleep is vital for both your health and the baby's development.

Stress Management: Practice stress-reducing activities like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or prenatal massage.

 

Be sure to keep having regular prenatal check-ups and open communication with your doctor or midwife to ensure a healthy pregnancy. As each week brings new changes, embracing this journey with knowledge and preparation can make the experience more rewarding and less daunting. Remember, every pregnancy is unique, so it's essential to focus on what feels right for you and your baby.

 


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