15 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Baby Development And Tips

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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.

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

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.

The Baby’s Development This Week

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

Body parts Development
Eyes Closed and sensitive to light (3)
Skin Transparent and blood vessels are visible through it (4)
Ears Attaining the position
Muscles Developing
Hair Eyebrows and hair on the head continue to grow
Tooth buds Developing (5)
Bones The skeletal system is developing
Limbs Legs 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.

Did you know?
The baby’s bone begins to ossify at around 15 weeks pregnant. This means the baby’s skeleton may be seen if an x-ray is taken (16).

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).
BMI Below 18.5 18.5 – 24.9 25 – 29.9 30 and above
Weight gain 28-40 pounds 25-35 pounds 15-25 pounds 11-20 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 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 heartburn and indigestion.
The stomach acids may cause heartburn.

Image: Shutterstock

  1.  Occasional headaches: Hormonal fluctuations or stress can lead to headaches. Meditation or yoga can help relieve stress.
  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 excess saliva to neutralize the gastric acid produced due to gastroesophageal reflux.
  1. Your body starts to change externally, while your emotional state is also vulnerable.

Changes In The Body at 15 Weeks

Physical changes experience include:

The hormonal changes make your hair look thicker and shinier.

Image: Shutterstock

  • 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:

You may have strange dreams due to pregnancy fears.

Image: Shutterstock

  • Mood swings.
  • Variation in sexual desire
  • Anxiety

When To Call The Doctor?

If you have any of the following symptoms, then get in touch with the doctor (9):

  • Fever (100.4 degrees or higher)
  • Pelvic pain other than cramping
  • Less urination or dark-colored urine
  • Severe vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bleeding or discharge from vagina

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

Your OB/GYN Visit

Multiple marker screening test is scheduled at this time.

Image: iStock

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

  • Weight check
  • Blood pressure
  • Second-trimester screening (10): 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 chromosomal abnormalities and refer to the next diagnosis.

  • Amniocentesis (11): 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.

Quick fact
The doctor may measure your fundal height at 15 weeks. A higher fundal height may indicate a breech position, while a smaller fundal height may indicate a sideways position (16).

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

Tips To Follow

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

  • Eat smaller meals at regular intervals.
  • Follow a healthy diet that includes meat, cereals, pulses, dairy products, fresh fruits, and vegetables. The right amount of calorie intake during the second trimester is 2,200 calories per day (12).
  • 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 left 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 vitamin supplements (folic acid, vitamin B6) along with iron and calcium 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.

Tips For Dad-to-be

Accompany your partner to prenatal appointments.

Image: Shutterstock

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where is my baby located at 15 weeks?

In the 15th week, your baby is surrounded by the amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac of the uterus (13). Your uterus is located four to five inches below your belly button.

2. Can I feel my baby move at 15 weeks?

Some women may feel their baby move in the 15th week, while others may not feel any movements until weeks 20 to 22. The baby’s movements depend on several factors and differ for each woman (14).

3. Can my baby feel me rubbing my belly at 15 weeks?

Babies cannot feel you rubbing their belly in the 15th week. They may start to feel this sensation in the 22nd week of pregnancy (15).

4. Can I feel my uterus stretching at 15 weeks?

During the 15th week, you may be able to feel the top of your uterus (16). You may also experience your uterus muscles tightening for a few minutes during the second trimester.

Although you may not be showing yet, the 15th week of pregnancy is as significant as the other weeks and stages of pregnancy. Some symptoms may begin to subside, while other symptoms, such as frequent urination, dizziness, and mood swings, may appear. The key to coping with the changes is staying calm and enjoying the passing weeks as you get closer to seeing your baby. You need to take good care and follow a healthy diet and routine to ensure your pregnancy progresses healthily. Moreover, attend all your doctor’s appointments since certain important tests to check your baby’s health and development are carried out during the 15th week of pregnancy.

Infographic: Checklist For Your 15 Weeks Pregnancy Checkup

Whether visiting your doctor or speaking to them over the phone, this infographic will help you ask your doctor about crucial points related to your 15-week pregnancy checkup.

15 weeks pregnancy checkup [infographic]
Illustration: MomJunction Design Team

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Week-by-week guide to pregnancy.
    https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/week-by-week/2nd-trimester/week-15/
  2. Fetal Development.
    https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Fetal_Development
  3. You and your baby at 15 weeks pregnant.
    https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/week-by-week/13-to-27/15-weeks/
  4. Week 15.
    https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/week15.html
  5. Prenatal Summary.
    https://www.ehd.org/prenatal-summary.php
  6. 15 Weeks Pregnant: Baby’s Growing and You’re Showing.
    https://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/15-weeks-pregnant-symptoms-and-signs
  7. Weight Gain During Pregnancy.
    https://babyyourbaby.org/pregnancy/during-pregnancy/weight-gain/
  8. Is It Safe To Go To the Dentist During Pregnancy?.
    https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/pregnancy/concerns
  9. Warning signs during pregnancy.
    https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/warning-signs-during-pregnancy
  10. Common Tests During Pregnancy.
    https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=common-tests-during-pregnancy-85-P01241
  11. AMNIOCENTESIS.
    https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/amniocentesis.aspx
  12. Eating right during pregnancy.
    https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000584.htm
  13. 15 Weeks Pregnant.
    https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/week-by-week/2nd-trimester/week-15/
  14. Feeling your baby move during pregnancy.
    https://utswmed.org/medblog/fetal-movements/#:~:text=Some%20women%20can%20feel%20their
  15. Bonding with your baby during pregnancy.
    https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/bonding-with-your-baby-during-pregnancy
  16. Pregnancy week 15.
    https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/week-by-week/15-weeks-pregnant/

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