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Week 15 of pregnancy

At week 15 of pregnancy, you are most likely to feel high energy and libido. The thought of having a baby in less than a year can freak you out. You are now in the second trimester and experience less volatility in the symptoms. You may feel pretty good, although some moms-to-be might not feel the same. 

You may even start to look like you’re pregnant as your baby starts to grow at a rapid pace. You would experience a lot less nausea and fatigue. This article will guide you through what pregnancy in the 15th week looks and feels like and what are the things you can consider in week 15.

What does week 15 of pregnancy look like?

Your 15-week belly is making a massive transition. It is finally the time when you would start looking pregnant. During the first trimester, your uterus expanded within the pelvic region. Now that the uterus is stretching out of the pelvic region and towards the lower abdomen to accommodate the growing baby, the bump also starts to grow around this week.

Every mom-to-be has a different experience with pregnancy. Usually, moms-to-be who have been pregnant before, are most likely to notice a bump much earlier than others.

During this week you are most likely to be energetic, although some women might still be struggling with fatigue and morning sickness. The recommended weight gain in week 15 is about 1 or 2 pounds, so you have to be careful with your cravings and calorie intake.

Your breasts, nipples, and belly might get larger and tender, visible stretch marks over these areas. Make sure you have enough maternity clothes. As your body enters the mid-pregnancy phase, you will also observe some shifts in emotions.

Make sure that you get enough support from your partner or therapist because it has a significant impact on the labor and health of the baby. You may find yourself getting anxious and worried about your pregnancy and what’s about to come. Make sure you get the necessary help and be vocal about it

Fetal development at week 15

The baby is small enough but there’s a lot that is happening this week. Your baby is now the size of an orange and has started to make more movements. You will soon be able to feel these movements. The baby is around 4 to 4 and 1/2 inch in length and weighs about 4 ounces 

  • You can notice your baby-making swift movements this week, although you cannot feel it.
  • The outer part of the skin is thin and translucent, with bones and blood vessels visible.
  • The bones have started to harden. The parts of the skeleton have also started to form and harden.
  • The ears and the eyes and developing and moving to their place. There is a slow migration of these parts to the right places. 

Related articles: Week 10 of pregnancy | Week 14 of pregnancy

What are the symptoms?

Bleeding gums 

The pregnancy hormones have an impact on your dental health. You may notice your gums getting sore, red, and swollen. The hormones make the gums sensitive, making it more prone to bleed, especially while brushing your teeth.

The symptom starts by the end of the first trimester and worsens as the weeks go by. Make sure you maintain good dental hygiene and dental infections go into the bloodstream and spread everywhere. Also, don’t worry much they will resolve as soon as the baby is born.

Nosebleeds

As the baby grows more every single week, it requires more blood to develop and function. With the rise in pregnancy hormones and an increase in blood flow, the tiny blood vessel in the nose can break out causing bleeding through the nose. Make sure you keep your head straight and not tilt back to stop the bleeding. Keep the nose humidified as air tends to dry the mucosa of the nose leading to nosebleeds.

If you suffer from the congested nose, you can use some saline drops as a decongestant. Do visit your health care provider for a list of safe drugs. 

Gaining weight

As the pregnancy weeks progress and now that you are in your second trimester, you would notice less morning sickness and fatigue. This may eliminate the cause of weight loss and you will find yourself gaining lots of weight. 

The baby is also getting bigger and bigger constantly, and you should too. Maintaining a healthy increase in weight is recommended as instructed by your healthcare provider.

Tingling in hands and legs ( Carpal Tunnel Syndrome )

It is a pain observed in the wrist due to excess pressure over the median nerve. Inflammation can also cause swelling. It occurs due to fluid retention from pregnancy and is a compression defect.

Severe cases may require surgery, however milder cases resolve spontaneously post delivery.

Similarly, the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh may be compressed, causing pain in the thigh and the leg. Regular stretching exercises are highly recommended.

Hemorrhoids

With the increasing pressure in the abdomen due to the growing baby, the blood vessels in the anal area undergo a lot of pressure due to increasing pressure and gravity. Regular use of laxatives is advised and surgery is best avoided.

week 15 of pregnancy

Self-care tips

Oral health and hygiene

Good oral health is the only way to reduce the sore gums symptom of pregnancy. Make sure you have a proper dental care routine, brushing at least twice a day with flossing once in a day. It will help you deal with bleeding gums and soreness.

Weight tracking

As your baby grows, so should you. Don’t get overweight or underweight. Make sure there is a consistent increase in your every week. With average being a pound in a week, it is okay to gain a half more pound. Don’t stress yourself with the weight gain, rather look into your diet and follow it religiously.

Consult your healthcare provider for your diet chart and requirements.

Stay fit with healthy snacking

Along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it is also important to have a healthy diet. Big meals are a big no-no during pregnancy. Rather, break your meals into small different portions and add on healthy snacks to your diet. Remember, consistency is the key.

Dealing with nosebleeds

Nose bleeds can make you worried but are not dangerous. You can treat it at home by sitting down, keeping the head straight. Don’t tilt your head. Place an ice pack over the nose as it helps stop the bleeding. The blood vessels get smaller and constrict the blood flow. If none of the remedies work, ask your doctor to recommend a safe nasal spray that will help soften and moist the nose inside.

Week 15 of pregnancy

Visit the doctor

If you and your partner decide on prenatal genetic testing, the screening test will begin by week 15. Also, if you notice unusual symptoms like severe cramping, abdominal pain, bleeding, etc. contact your doctor immediately.

Maternal serum alpha fetoprotein (MSAFP)

It is a protein produced by the fetus and yolk sac. High level indicates neral defects, fetal abdomen or kidney defects. They are usually suggested for amniocentesis. Low levels indicate genetic abnormalities.

Triple Test

It includes MSAFP, hCG and unconjugated estriol. The result confirms the need for further invasive procedures.

Quadruple Screening

It includes MSAFP, hCG, unconjugated estriol and inhibin – A. It has a very high chance of detecting Down’s Syndrome.

Amniocentesis

This is a USG guided procedure, where cells from the developing fetus are obtained and are tested. Although this procedure is traumatic to the baby, it is highly accurate and provides vital information regarding various genetic deformities and can help decide termination of pregnancy, because henceforth the risks for termination are pretty high for the mother.

The procedure is quite simple and takes about 10 minutes. The doctor will provide instructions following the procedure.

Special considerations and complications

High-risk pregnancy

A high-risk pregnancy is one that has a combination of two or more complications. In the case of high-risk pregnancy, your healthcare provider refers you to a perinatologist, as they specialize in the care for complicated pregnancies and fetuses. Your healthcare provider would work in sync with your perinatologist. Don’t worry, as this just means that you just need some extra care to ensure you and your baby are doing fine.

Hyperemesis gravidarum 

Some women experience hyperemesis gravidarum, a case of severe morning sickness condition. It can leave you dehydrated and you have to be hospitalized. You would require IV fluid resuscitation and other medications to reduce dehydration and morning sickness. If left untreated, it can cause severe neurological defects in the growing baby. 

It usually occurs if you tend to skip dinners, cause a caloric deficit in your body, causing a vicious cycle of vomiting – starvation – ketosis – vomiting. Make sure you break it by having plenty of fluids and healthy gut-friendly meals. Avoid coffee at all costs. Vitamin B6 and B1 has proven helpful as well.

Important checklist for week 15 pregnancy

  • Eat healthy and balanced meals
  • Regular pelvic exercises
  • Track your weight
  • Write questions and inform the doctor about somebody changes
  • Appointment with the dentist

Bottomline

By week 15, you will feel much more energized. Use this time to get your routine on track and observe your body changes. Be sure to get nutritional foods and exercise regularly. Be sure to get a proper nutritional diet to prevent gaining too much too quickly. 

If you don’t look pregnant yet don’t worry. You might start showing your baby bump by week 16.

Reference:

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Written by Neetu Verma

I am a certified Nurse in General Nursing - Midwifery. I am currently fighting coronavirus in a government hospital in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India as a nurse on special duty. I have a special love for writing and write as and when time allows me to do so.

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