15 Weeks - Pregnancy
Your baby is looking more like a baby every day. This week he is about 4 inches long crown to rump, and may weigh about 2 ½ ounces. The body is now growing faster now to catch up with the growth of his head. His legs have grown longer than his arms and he can move all of his limbs. Speaking of movement, this may be the week you feel him flutter about like a butterfly’s wings. Make no mistake that he is dancing around in there. You just may not yet feel it. Baby can kick, flail, twist, and turn.
His skin is still translucent. If you were to take a look inside your womb, you would see his blood vessels underneath his lanugo-covered skin. Lanugo is a downy-like hair that keeps your baby insulated and warm. He usually sheds this before birth or soon after.
His toenails and fingernails are beginning to grow, along with this eyebrows and head hair. Bones in his middle ear are beginning to harden, but his hearing has not yet fully developed. Sweat glands are begging to form, as well as taste buds. Although baby’s eyelids remain shut, he will move away from any bright lights shown directly at him.
Your doctor may be talking to you about two different prenatal tests usually performed between the 15th and 20th weeks: the triple test and the amniocentesis. These genetic tests both test for neural tube defects and Down Syndrome. Depending on your circumstances, you may or may not be recommended to take these tests. The amniocentesis is usually recommended for women over age 35. Try not to get stressed out about these tests, because they often promote a lot of anxiety over your baby’s health. Chances are highly in your favor that your baby is just fine.
Experiencing any strange symptoms yet? This month, some moms experience nasal congestion, nosebleeds and/or bleeding gums. This is a result of the increased blood supply in your body, along with hormone alterations. For congestion and/or nosebleeds, use a saline nasal spray, but stay away from medicated sprays. A humidifier or vaporizer also helps at night. You might as well get a humidifier now, because your baby will need one on sick days after he is born.
You may start to feel fat or frumpy, as you start to develop a bit of a belly. Because you don’t have the perfectly round pregnant belly yet, you may feel like others think you are just gaining weight. To cheer you up and make you look more pregnant, now would be a good time to go shopping for maternity clothes, if you haven’t already.
Your weight gain may vary, but most women have gained about five pounds by now. Remember not to worry too much about your weight, but eat healthy. A pregnant woman only needs 300 extra calories per day, so to keep that extra weight gain down, choose those calories wisely. Eat some cereal, crackers and cheese, or a half of sandwich. Better yet, get some more veggies in you. And don’t beat yourself up if you have the occasional bowl of ice cream either.
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This should be used as a general guideline and is for general information and educational purposes only. Please remember that all pregnancies develop at different rates. If you have questions about your baby's development, please contact your doctor or midwife.