15th Week Pregnancy: Symptoms, Baby Development And Body Changes

15th Week Pregnancy

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How Many Months Are 15 Weeks Pregnant?

At 15 weeks, you are three-and-a half-months pregnant. You are in the second trimester by this week and may start to feel less nauseated in the mornings.

Momjunction tells you what is going on with your baby, the symptoms to expect, and how to take care of yourself in this week. Keep reading.

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How Big Is Your Baby At 15 Weeks?

How Big Is Your Baby At 15 Weeks

At 15 weeks, the baby is as big as an apple (1). They measure 3.98in (10.1cm) in length and weigh 2.47oz (70g) (2).

Next, we tell you how the baby’s organs are growing.

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The Baby’s Development In This Week

In the 15th week, your baby’s organs are changing as follows.

Body partsDevelopment
EyesClosed and sensitive to light (3)
SkinTransparent and blood vessels are visible through it (4)
EarsAttaining the position
MusclesDeveloping
HairEyebrows and hair on the head continue to grow
Tooth budsDeveloping (5)
BonesThe skeletal system is developing
LimbsLegs are getting longer; the baby may test the limbs by moving and fidgeting (6)

With the baby’s growth, you will also continue to experience certain physiological changes.

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[ Read: 17th Week Pregnancy ]

What Symptoms Of Pregnancy Do You Experience In The 15th Week?

The physiological changes you experience now include:

  1. Weight gain: the weight gain should be as per the BMI (7).
BMIBelow 18.518.5 – 24.925 – 29.930 and above
Weight gain4-9 pounds4-8 pounds3-7 pounds2-5 pounds
  1. Faintness or dizziness: The growing uterus puts more pressure on the blood vessels, reducing the blood flow to the brain and causing fatigue or lightheadedness. Sometimes staying hungry for a long time can also cause lightheadedness.
  1. Round ligament pain: The pain is either felt on one side of the abdomen or both sides, due to the stretching of the groin ligaments.
  1. Insomnia: Backaches, hip pain, and leg cramps make sleeping difficult. Using a pillow around the stomach and between the legs can offer some relief.
  1. Frequent urination: The uterus’ pressure on the bladder increases the frequency of urination.
  1. Constipation: The progesterone hormone relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract, causing the food to remain in the tract for longer than usual and resulting in constipation.
  1. Swollen gums: The bones and the ligaments in the mouth are affected by the hormonal changes. Pregnancy tumors or swelling between the teeth may appear due to plaque. If morning sickness is persistent, then an increase in mouth acids can cause tooth decay (8).
  1. Shortness of breath: The hormone fluctuations cause more blood flow to the mucous membranes that make them swell and soften, causing stuffy nose and congestion. It also causes breathlessness. Try not to blow it hard as it can lead to nosebleeds.
  1. Heartburn and indigestion: As the digestive tract relaxes, the stomach acids are pushed towards the esophagus, resulting in indigestion.
  1.  Occasional headaches: Hormonal fluctuations or stress can lead to headaches. Meditation or yoga can help relieve the stress.
  1. Memory lapses or loss: Pregnancy hormonal fluctuations can also cause temporary memory loss. Make sure to note important things on a notepad or your smartphone.
  1. Varicose veins: The extra blood volume puts pressure on the blood vessels causing the veins in the legs to swell.
  1. Excessive salivation: Hormonal changes also cause excessive salivation. Also, the body produces excessive saliva to neutralize the gastric acid produced due to the gastroesophageal reflux.

Your body starts to change externally, while your emotional state is also vulnerable.

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[ Read: 16th Week Pregnancy ]

Changes In The Body at 15 Weeks

Physical changes experience include:

  • The pregnant belly bump is usually not visible during this week. However, second-time moms may notice a slight increase in their belly size.
  • There is an increase in the breast size, and the areola becomes darker. The blue veins around the breast area become prominent due to the increased blood flow.
  • The linea nigra gets darker.
  • The changes in hormonal levels make your hair look fuller, thicker, and shinier.

Emotional changes:

  • Strange dreams, as a result of pregnancy fears.
  • Mood swings.
  • Variation in sexual desire variations
  • Anxiety

Though the risk of pregnancy loss is reduced to a great extent by this week, the possibility cannot be overlooked.

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Miscarriage In The 15th Week Of Pregnancy

Though the chances of miscarriage are less after the first trimester, the following factors can lead to abortions between the 14th and the 21st week (9):

  • Uterine defects
  • Immunological problems
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Infections
  • Fetal abnormalities
  • Adverse obstetric history
  • Previous pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Advanced maternal age
  • Specific occupations or exposure at work
  • Smoking habits

Symptoms of Miscarriage

Symptoms indicating a miscarriage include:

  • Intense abdominal pain
  • Bleeding
  • Period like cramps

It’s time to schedule an appointment with your doctor to check the growth of your baby and take the specific tests to ensure that the baby is growing properly.

In the case of these or any other unusual symptoms, call the doctor right away.

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[ Read: 18th Week Of Pregnancy ]

When To Call The Doctor?

If you have any of the following symptoms, then get in touch with the doctor (10):

  • Fever (100.4 degrees or higher)
  • Pelvic pain other than cramping
  • Less urination or dark colored urine
  • Severe vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Shortness of breath

If your pregnancy is going smooth and normal, then you can schedule a regular OB/GYN appointment.

Your OB/GYN Visit

If an appointment is scheduled with the doctor this week, the following tests will be done:

  • Weight check
  • Blood pressure
  • Second-trimester screening (11): Several blood tests including the maternal serum screening test (MSS), a blood test similar to the one done during the first trimester, are scheduled at this time. These tests are referred to as ‘multiple markers’ or ‘quad screen’ tests.

They are done to determine the level of four substances namely AFP, estriol, inhibin, and human chorionic gonadotropin in the blood to evaluate the risk of:

  • Down syndrome
  • Trisomy 18
  • Neural-tube defects (NTDs) such as spina bifida in the fetus.
  • Defects in the abdominal wall of the fetus

While this screening test is not 100% accurate, it can help determine the chances of having the chromosomal abnormalities and refer to the next diagnosis.

  • Amniocentesis (12): It is a diagnostic test carried at 15 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. This test is done if the results of the screening test are not normal. A small amount of the amniotic fluid taken from the womb is tested to check for any genetic abnormalities (like cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, and heart defects) and congenital disabilities (like neural tube defect or spina bifida).

Some tests may not be safe for you, so talk to your doctor before getting any diagnostic procedures done.

When the going is good, you can make it better by following some tips.

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Tips To Follow

Here are a few tips you can follow for a healthy pregnancy:

  • Eat smaller meals at regular intervals.
  • Drink a lot of water and keep yourself hydrated.
  • Follow a healthy diet that includes meat, cereals, dairy products, fresh fruits, and vegetables. The right amount of calorie intake during the second trimester is 2,200 calories per day (13).
  • Engage in light workouts to keep yourself active and healthy.
  • Avoid consumption of caffeine and alcohol as it can affect the baby’s development.
  • Rest properly and try to sleep on your right side.
  • In the case of nausea, drink lemonade, eat watermelon or sniff a lemon.
  • Avoid skipping meals or lying down immediately after having meals.
  • Avoid uncooked, spicy, deep-fried, and fatty foods.
  • Take the vitamin supplements (folic acid, vitamin B6) daily.
  • Wear comfortable and breathable clothes.
  • Avoid wearing heels and switch to flats and slippers.
  • Avoid taking medicines without your doctor’s permission.
  • Stay connected with family and friends.

Pregnancy is a journey that a couple undertakes together. So, your partner also plays a vital role in supporting you through this phase of life.

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[ Read: 19th Week Pregnancy ]

Tips For Dad-to-be

Here is what your partner can do to support you during this phase of pregnancy:

  • Accompany you to your prenatal appointments.
  • Help you with the daily household chores.
  • Go for daily walks with you.
  • Plan for an outing to make you feel refreshed.
  • Begin planning for welcoming your newborn.
  • Go for maternity wear shopping.

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Pregnancy is a combination of joys and problems. So, stay positive and informed throughout this beautiful yet challenging phase. Try to make the best of this time and create memories you will cherish. At the same time, make yours and your baby’s safety a priority.

How was your pregnancy? Do you have any experiences to share? Let us know in the comment section.

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