Week 15 pregnant
This week your baby can swallow. It will soon become adept at swallowing the amniotic fluid and recycling it through its kidneys. This may sound less than tasty, but is a vital means of determining if they will have renal problems. It also helps the lungs develop.
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 the 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 will be better able to support itself outside the womb.
By the time you are 15 weeks pregnant, that new burst of energy you’ve been looking forward to has probably kicked in. You may find that 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 to help your body stay healthy and support your baby’s growth as well.
There is evidence to support 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 have developed a bit of a tummy by now. 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 waddling, 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 find that 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. It can be a great aid to sleeping and you’ll definitely get your money’s worth by the end of your pregnancy.
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 that 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 oilier 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 faze you. Think about doing some yoga, massage, aqua aerobics or Tai Chi. Connecting with your inner Zen is a lot of fun, even if you don’t know what it looks like.
You could find yourself preoccupied with studying 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 womb, not so much what’s inside it. If your bowel is distended with gas or, if you are constipated, 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 that there’s all this activity going on inside, there’s still not much to see and no end in sight. Try to do something that gives you pleasure every day, and that isn’t work- or baby-related. You still have your personality and interests which need stimulation and those can’t be put on hold just because you are pregnant.
Your baby’s changes this week
Baby is bopping around inside you this week with lots of arm-and leg-waving going on. There’s not much coordination to it, though there’s lots of splashing about and then long naps just to recover – growing is exhausting! 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 they will be able to hear you. Practice singing to it, saying hello and generally building an emotional connection that will last between you for life.
Your baby’s legs are now longer than its arms and its little head isn’t the biggest body part anymore. Baby’s body is becoming longer and is not as flexed and curled up on itself as before.
Hints for the week
Drink lots of clean, fresh water every day. The fluoride in it will help your baby’s tooth formation and help build protective enamel. It also helps to liquefy your saliva and keep you mentally alert.
A urinary tract infection is a common condition during pregnancy and should be treated if present. Try to avoid getting one by:
Drinking lots of water; after weeing – wipe from the front to the back, not the reverse.
Going to the toilet before and after having sex, and emptying your bladder. If you have any problems with burning or scalding when you wee or if 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.
Week 16 comes next.