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15 Weeks Pregnant: Week by Week Pregnancy

Symptoms, Tips and Fetal Development

 

It’s pregnancy week 15, and it’s common to have good energy levels, an increasing appetite, and a gorgeous pregnancy glow. Your baby is still engaged in some critical neural development and growing exponentially. Here are some key things to know about being 15 weeks pregnant. 

Baby at 15 weeks pregnant

At 15 weeks your baby is the size of a softball or a navel orange, measuring 4-4.5 inches crown to rump. Although your baby’s skin is thin enough to see through, that epidermis is beginning to thicken and form into three distinct layers. His or her ears are in the correct position on the side of the head and the eyes have transitioned to the front of the face. 

With all of the synovial joints formed and working, your baby is now able to make a range of movements, from wiggling fingers and toes to kicking and flexing the arms and legs. Your baby might be sucking his or her thumb and is practicing breathing, sucking, and swallowing movements. 

Your baby’s brain is the size of a kidney bean, large compared with the rest of the body, and composed on many folds. In baby girls, the ovaries are moving from the abdomen to the pelvis, and hundreds of thousands of eggs are forming. The umbilical cord is growing thicker and longer in order to carry increasing amounts of oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood from mama to baby, and deoxygenated blood and waste back from baby to mama.

Your body at 15 weeks pregnant

When you're pregnant at 15 weeks, you're probably feeling pretty good. Many women find that their early pregnancy symptoms have disappeared. It's partly because the placenta has taken over the incredible job of making sure your baby is receiving all the nourishment she needs. You might be feeling more energetic and productive, ready to tackle some baby preparations. Enjoy this honeymoon period during the second trimester because you'll likely soon see exhaustion again as the third trimester approaches.

pregnancy week 15 embryo
Weekly development of a human fetus at 15 weeks pregnant.

Many women experience something called a linea nigra, which is a dark line that appears right down the center of their belly. This is caused by changes in skin pigmentation and about 90 percent of all women will see this at some point in their pregnancy. The line fades once the baby arrives, however.

15 weeks pregnant ultrasound

If you’re at high-risk for having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities, your doctor may recommend you consider having an amniocentesis test performed. In an amniocentesis, your healthcare provider will insert a needle through your belly, into your uterus to take a small sample of the amniotic fluid to use for fetal cell analysis. An ultrasound is used to make sure that the needle doesn't come into contact with the baby. 

15 weeks is how many months pregnant? 

At this stage in your pregnancy, you're three months, 3 weeks (3m3w) pregnant. 

Common symptoms at 15 weeks pregnant

  • Continued breast enlargement
  • Increased appetite
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Heartburn: The increased levels of estrogen and progesterone have relaxed the muscles in your body, including those in your digestive tract, slowing the emptying of your stomach. When your expanding uterus crowds your fuller belly, heartburn is often the result. If heartburn is or becomes an issue, try eating smaller, more frequent meals. 
  • Constipation: Again, the slowed, cramped digestive system is to blame. Make sure you’re drinking a lot of water and increase your fiber intake to counteract constipation.
  • Round ligament pain: You might be feeling some aches and pains caused by ligaments stretching to accommodate your growing uterus. It’s not harmful to you or your baby, but it can be unpleasant.
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTI): Some women are prone to UTIs in pregnancy. Watch for symptoms like burning while peeing, fever, feeling a frequent need to urinate, abdominal pain, and backache, and contact to your care providers. Untreated UTIs can cause preterm labor.
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Back pain: Lower back pain in pregnancy is common, caused by loosening ligaments and the curving of your spine to compensate for your shifting center of gravity.

Pregnancy checklist at 15 weeks pregnant 

  • Get some exercise: It's important to take care of yourself when you're 15 weeks pregnant. Exercising is recommended, but now is not the time to go horseback riding, skiing, or mountain cycling. If you're not sure that your exercise routine is safe during pregnancy, talk to your doctor. Healthy foods are also a must. Omega-3s are thought to be especially good for your growing baby and can be found in eggs, walnuts, and fish.
  • Get away: If you're interested in taking a vacation, the second trimester is the ideal time. Many couples look forward to a “babymoon," a special vacation together before their lives change dramatically. Not sure where you should go? Take this quiz.
  • Start your registry: Now is a great time to start your baby registry and research important products like strollers, car seats, and cribs. Ask your friends and family members for recommendations and make sure to consider your budget when thinking about baby gear.

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