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Your Baby in Week 15 of Pregnancy
One way to deal with the havoc of pregnancy hormones: Focus on how much is happening with your baby. She's about the size of an orange this week, her ears have migrated to the sides of her head, and her eyes are moving to the front of her face. Plus, your little smarty-pants can now wiggle her fingers and toes and make breathing movements in preparation for life outside the womb.
Your Body in Week 15 of Pregnancy
Pregnancy hormones are pretty rough on your body, especially the teeth and gums, causing inflammation and making them more susceptible to plaque and bacteria. Your formerly healthy gums may have become super-sensitive and prone to bleeding. In addition, you might be coping with a chronic stuffy nose or even nosebleeds during pregnancy, also brought on by progesterone surging through your system. Fear not — it'll all pass.
Week 15 Pregnancy Tip: Weight Gain
Whether you were barely able to gain an ounce during the first trimester (thanks to all that toilet hugging) or you gained more ounces — and pounds — than you care to admit (courtesy of all those comforting carbs your queasy self was overloading on), it's weight-gain time now. Starting in the second trimester, your baby's getting bigger and bigger — and consequently, you should be too. Make slow and steady your motto and aim for a weekly weight gain of about one pound. But keep in mind that's an average — which means that it's perfectly fine to gain half a pound one week, and a pound and a half the next, as long as you're netting about four pounds a month. If you're weighing in at home, once a week (or once every other week) is plenty; just make sure you do it consistently — at about the same time and under about the same conditions (undressed, right after getting up, for instance). Or leave the weigh-ins to your practitioner at your monthly visits.
Week 15 Pregnancy Symptoms
Heartburn or indigestion: Now that you’re hungrier, you may find that eating large amounts of food in one sitting can lead to heartburn or indigestion. Guard against gastrointestinal discomfort by eating several small meals throughout the day (rather than three large ones) so as not to overload your digestive system.
Flatulence: The hormones relaxin and progesterone are relaxing the muscles in your body (including those in your gastrointestinal tract), causing gassiness. Avoid gas-inducing foods such as broccoli, cabbage, beans, and fried foods.
Bloating: The hormones that are causing your gastrointestinal system to relax and produce gas can also lead to bloating. A solution you’ll enjoy: Take time out to relax and get pampered (massage, pedicure, you name it) because tension can also cause you to swallow air, both during meals and during the day — increasing bloat.
Occasional headaches: Headaches during pregnancy can be caused by just about anything — hormones, fatigue, stress. To lessen your pain, place a cool compress on your forehead or on the back of your neck and sit in a dark, quiet room.
Occasional faintness or dizziness: If you can’t find a place to lie down or sit when you feel light-headed, kneel and bend your head forward as though you were tying your shoe. This will help prevent you from fainting and taking a spill.
Varicose veins: The good news about varicose veins? They’re unlikely to cause any harm. Plus, their presence is a good excuse to sit down and kick back with your feet up, since elevating your legs helps keep blood circulating and reduces pressure on the veins in your legs.
Lower abdominal achiness: As the muscles and ligaments that support your growing uterus stretch, you might notice some pain on the lower sides of your belly (technically called round ligament pain). This is perfectly normal — but if the pain becomes severe, let your practitioner know.
Your baby is as long as four and a half inches right now, and weighs a bit over two ounces. Hold a large navel orange in your hand — that's how big your little darlin' is.
So what keeps your baby busy all day? Mostly, your fetus is in rehearsals — practice, practice, practicing, and getting ready for that big debut. Babies practice breathing, sucking, and swallowing so that when they leave your comfy womb and move into your comfy house, they'll have the skills necessary to survive.
Fetal body movements continue to get practice this week, too. But because your baby weighs so little (a bit over two ounces), you won't feel the calisthenics going on inside your abdominal gym. But don't let that fool you. Your fetus is holding daily aerobics classes — kicking, curling toes, and moving those little arms and legs.
And with each passing week, your fetus is looking more and more like the baby you're picturing in your dreams. By now, the ears are positioned properly on the sides of the head (they used to be in the neck) and the eyes are moving from the side of the head to the front of the face — where they'll soon meet your loving gaze.