This week your baby weighs a little less than 100 grams. It’s still very small, but is moving around a lot when it’s not snoozing. Those eyes which have been positioned to the side of its face are now better placed and where they should be. Small breathing movements are clear on ultrasound at this stage; so are sucking and swallowing actions. Practicing these complex skills early on means that by the time your baby is born it will be more adept at them and better able to support itself.
By the time you are 15 weeks pregnant, that new burst of energy you’ve been looking forward to has probably kicked in. You could find you are able to enjoy food as you normally do and look forward to meal times instead of dreading them. Try to have a wide variety of foods which will help your body stay healthy and support your baby’s growth as well. There is evidence to prove the recommendations that during pregnancy, women should not restrict their diets and eat foods with varying tastes and flavours. Doing this has a positive effect on a baby’s willingness to accept different foods once they are introduced to solids. If their taste buds are already "primed" to a wide variety of flavours via the amniotic fluid, they tend to be more adventurous with their eating.
Nothing fits me!
You may be developing a bit of a tummy by now, or perhaps not. You’ll definitely be feeling pregnant and you could find your legs and back are aching if you’ve been standing for a while. You’re not quite at the stage of walking with a waddle, but there may be a small change to the way you normally walk.
Your sleeping habits could be changing too, as you need to rearrange yourself in bed to find a more comfortable position to lie in. If you’ve always been a tummy sleeper, you may be discovering this is getting to be more difficult because your belly gets in the way. Think about investing in a long pillow which you can mould around your body and legs. These can be a great aid to sleeping and you’ll find you’ll get your money’s worth by the end of your pregnancy.
Your physical changes this week
- Don’t be surprised if your shoes are feeling a little tight. It’s not your imagination. Progesterone, that all important pregnancy hormone, is great for relaxing the ligaments in your pelvis but that’s not where its effects will end. You may find your shoe size increases by at least half a size by the end of your pregnancy, perhaps even more.
- Pass the tissues. If you’ve never had a nose bleed, don’t be alarmed if you start having them now. All that venous engorgement will make you more prone to the sniffles, nasal congestion and nose bleeds. Nose bleeds usually stop on their own but it’s important to not panic and just sit quietly until they do.
- Notice your skin clearing up? Those pimples which took up residence on your face are probably clearing and your skin isn’t so spotty. Keep up your usual cleansing and moisturising regime. You may find your skin is more oily around now and you need to change your moisturiser to suit.
- Your breasts may still be the biggest part of you currently. It’s as if a switch has been turned on making them more heavy, sensitive and sore. If you’re finding your usual bra size just isn’t big enough, get properly fitted for new maternity bras. They are an essential wardrobe item during pregnancy.
Your emotional changes this week
- Feeling all Mother Earth? That’s not surprising. There’s something very grounding about the second trimester of pregnancy, when you’re awash with hormones and a sense of all being good with the world. Enjoy this special time when it seems that not much can phase you. Think about doing some yoga, massage, aqua aerobics or Tai Chi. Connecting with your inner Chakra is a heap of fun, even if you don’t know what it looks like.
- You could find yourself preoccupied with peering at your tummy at all times of the day and night, looking for any increase in size. Sometimes you may be sure you’re looking bigger, though other times you might not. It really depends on what’s happening behind your uterus, not so much what’s inside it. If your bowel is distended with poo or gas, it will make your tummy stick out more.
- The thought of your due date being so far away can make this seem an endless time. Although you know there’s all this activity going on in your tummy, there’s still not much to see and no end in sight. Try to do something everyday which gives you pleasure and isn’t work or baby related. You still have your personality and interests which need stimulation and can’t be put on hold just because you are pregnant.
Your baby’s changes this week
- Lots of arm and leg waving going on this week - your baby really is doing the Australian Crawl! There’s not much coordination to it all though lots of splashing about and then long sleeps just to recover. Wait a week or two and you’ll be feeling the effects of all that movement too.
- The three small bones in your baby’s inner ear start forming this week, so it will be able to hear you. Practice singing to it, saying hello and generally building an emotional connection which will last between you for life.
- Your baby’s legs are now longer than its arms and its little head isn’t their biggest body part. Their body is becoming longer and is not as flexed and curled up on itself.
Hints for the week
- Drink lots of clean, fresh tap water every day. The fluoride in it will help your baby’s tooth formation and to build protective enamel. It also helps to liquefy your saliva and keep you mentally alert.
- Avoid getting a urinary tract infection if you can. This is a common condition during pregnancy and though not a major problem, can be more than a little irritating. Drink lots of water, after weeing - wipe from the front to the back, not the reverse. Before and after having sex, go to the toilet and empty your bladder. If you have any problems with burning or scalding when you wee or it just smells odd, check with your doctor.
- Cranberry juice has good protective qualities and is high in Vitamin C as well. This is an important nutrient right now as it helps your body absorb iron from food and supports the formation of connective tissue in your baby.
- It’s not too early to be thinking about baby names. You may have some favourites which you’ve always loved, or this may be something which has never occurred to you. Try the Huggies Baby Name Tool, there are over 18,000 names to choose from.
Week 16 comes next.
For more information see Pregnancy or Week by Week.
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. To reduce the risk of injury, never force or strain yourself during exercise. If you feel pain, stop and seek medical attention if necessary.
These programs have been created by Katie Brown - yoga teacher and infant massage specialist
If you are in week 15 of your pregnancy...
Your baby’s due date: October 18 - October 30, 2016
Baby’s star sign: Scorpio
Chinese year: Monkey
Famous people born around your baby's birth date:
- Snoop Dogg
- Martin Luther King III
- Julia Roberts