Your baby can sense light and hear you singing, and you can find out whether you have a boy or a girl on your next ultrasound scan.
15 Weeks Pregnant – Fetus
Your baby keeps growing at an amazing rate! She now measures about 4 inches / 10 cm long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2.6 ounces / 73 grams (as big as an orange!). The baby moves around a lot, but most chances are that you still cannot feel these light movements.
She can now sense light through her tightly fused eyelids, and her taste buds are developing. She inhales and exhales amniotic fluid and her lungs are slowly developing too. The baby is moving her arms and legs, which keep getting longer and more proportionate.
If you chose not to keep your baby’s sex a secret, you may now see whether you have a boy or a girl on your next ultrasound scan. Bear in mind that the baby will sometimes be positioned in a way that doesn’t allow to take a peek at her private parts, and if this is your case, don’t be annoyed – you can always have another scan. Your sonographer may also ask you to repeat for another test if your baby is very active or is lying in a position that doesn’t allow the sonographer to get good views and rule out possible abnormalities.
15 Weeks Pregnant – Symptoms
Heartburn, gas, bloating and indigestion may still be with you. You may also begin experiencing constipation and irregular bowel movements. Once again, the pregnancy hormones are to blame, as they cause the bowel muscles to relax. Why? This allows food to stay longer in your digestive tract so that the nutrients will have more time to be absorbed into the bloodstream and reach the fetus.
The bowels are not the only ones to relax. The rest of your muscles, joints and ligaments are affected too, which may cause pelvic pain and some balance difficulties.
You may also experience headaches and occasional lightheadedness. Plus, varicose veins may begin developing. This happens because the increased volume of blood during pregnancy puts extra pressure on your blood vessels (especially those in your legs) which widen thanks to the relaxing effect of the hormone progesterone, while the weight of your growing uterus adds to the pressure in the pelvic area.
Varicose veins are likely to disappear a few months after delivery, unless you had them before getting pregnant. There’s nothing much to do about them except wearing support hose, exercising if possible to increase blood circulation and keeping your feet up as much as possible. In some cases, a blood clot develops in a vein, causing inflammation, so it’s a good idea to let your caregiver know if varicose veins develop.
You might be noticing a thin, brownish, vertical line that appeared on your belly. This is linea nigra, a line that many women develop during pregnancy. Linea nigra can begin from under your breasts or from your belly button, and appears more often on dark skinned women. It is absolutely harmless, and will fade away soon after delivery.
Due to changes in progesterone levels, your gums may become more sensitive to bacteria. About half of pregnant women will suffer from tender, swollen, gums that may become inflamed or bleed when brushed or flossed. This condition is called pregnancy gingivitis – a mild gum disease that is usually harmless unless neglected. Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft bristled brush, floss regularly, and use an antimicrobial mouth rinse. Visit your dentist regularly.
15 Weeks Pregnant – Questions
You have two more trimesters to go, and you may decide to perform additional screening to rule out certain conditions and abnormalities, such as amniocentesis. Let’s see what lies ahead.
1. What is Amniocentesis?
If you’ve already done the screening for Down syndrome, you may decide to go for a more accurate test. Amniocentesis is a test that can identify hundreds of genetic and chromosomal disorders. Your doctor may recommend the test if your prenatal screening showed abnormal results, if you’re over 35, have a family history of genetic abnormalities or suffer from a genetic abnormality yourself. Amniocentesis is usually performed between weeks 15 and 18.