You and your unborn child will experience many changes throughout the entire nine month time period, and pregnancy week 15 is no exception. Here is what you can expect this week!
1. Week 15 Baby and Mother Growth Benchmarks
Your unborn baby will weigh approximately as much as an apple by the time you reach the 15th week. You might be surprised by how much your body has already changed when you consider that your child is only two-and-a-half ounces and about four inches long, but you should still have full mobility. Most women will not experience a lot of weight gain by this point either. However, your body is preparing to accommodate a much larger baby in the near future.
Meanwhile, the baby is beginning to be able to sense light. You can probably find out the baby’s gender at this stage, but it may still take a few more weeks to get a definitive answer. Either way, the lungs are beginning to develop air sacs, and taste buds are starting to form. Your child’s legs have outpaced their arms, and all of the limbs and joints can are now movable.
2. Symptoms to Expect During Pregnancy Week 15
The majority of women will stop dealing with morning sickness by pregnancy week 15, but do not be surprised if you still occasionally feel nauseated. At this stage, new symptoms may begin to develop that have nothing to do with your stomach. It’s relatively common for pregnancy hormones to cause dental issues such as gingivitis. This means that your gums may be swollen or red, and they could bleed or feel sensitive when you brush your teeth.
Other symptoms that you can expect during the 15th week include varicose veins, a stuffy nose, headaches, round ligament pain, dizziness, faintness and the dreaded pregnancy brain. In most cases, none of these symptoms will lead to any serious issues. However, it is important to tell your doctor if you experience any severe round ligament pain. Additionally, you should sit, lie or kneel down immediately whenever you feel dizzy or lightheaded in order to protect yourself and your baby.
3. Pregnancy Week 15: Items of Concern
Gingivitis is much more than just an irritant. If you fail to get this problem properly addressed, it could lead to issues such as preeclampsia and even premature labor. Although both of these potential complications are most likely to happen much later on, you need to take steps during the 15th week to protect your baby.
4. Activities for Week 15
As previously mentioned, your baby is beginning to sense light, even though their eyes are still fused shut. If you shine a flashlight toward your belly, you just might feel your baby move. This is also the perfect week to begin talking to your baby on a regular basis to initiate the bonding process. This can be anything from speaking directly to the child all the way to reading emails aloud.
At this stage, it is normal for both soon-to-be parents to feel stressed out. Therefore, you should also set aside some time this week to do something relaxing as a couple. You could go on a date, take a candlelit bubble bath or even indulge in some adult coloring together. Ultimately, the activity itself does not matter as long as it is able to help both of you relax.
5. What to Expect When the Baby Moves
You might not feel your baby move for a few more weeks even with the flashlight trick, but it is still a good idea to know what to expect. Be aware that he or she has been moving undetected by you for at least seven weeks already. Once you begin to feel it, you may initially assume that you are merely hungry or experiencing gas. Over time, though, the tapping or popcorn popping sensation will become more noticeable and distinguishable.
6. Weight Gain Goals
By pregnancy week 15, it is normal to have gained anywhere from nothing to 10 pounds. Most women have a difficult time putting on more than a few pounds by this stage because of the morning sickness that plagues them until the first trimester is over. However, now that you are able to keep food down, it is time to focus on gaining a healthy amount of weight for you and your baby.
A good goal to shoot for is one pound per week from now until the baby is born. Do not be distressed if you gain a little less or more than this, though, as long as you average about four pounds a month.
7. Tips for a More Comfortable 15th Week
Gas and bloating are very common by week 15, but you do not have to allow this to make you physically uncomfortable. Instead, avoid foods that are known to cause gas, including beans, broccoli, cabbage and anything that has been fried. You can also cut down on bloating and indigestion by eating several small meals per day. This may take more effort than making three larger meals, but your body will thank you for it.
As you progress further into your second trimester, it will be time to tell everyone your big news if you have not shared this information yet. You will also want to read up on tips that will help you do everything from relieve lower back pain to continue having a pleasurable sex life throughout the rest of your pregnancy.
Featured photo credit: Vladimir Pustovit via flic.kr