Baby's Growth and Development at 15 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby's internal and external growth continue at a remarkable pace throughout the 15th week of pregnancy.
- When you’re 15 weeks pregnant, your baby is about 4½ inches from head to rump, and weighs about 2 to 3 ounces. She’s about the length of a large apple.
- Your baby's hair might appear on her scalp and eyebrows. Hair follicles even begin to generate the pigments that give hair its color.
- By your 15th week of pregnancy, your baby's ears probably have reached their permanent position on the side of her head, and her eyes are moving to where they belong on the front of her face.
- Your baby's skin is developing, but remains extremely thin.
- Your baby's skeletal system and muscles further develop and strengthen.
- By the end of your 15th week of pregnancy, your baby might be able to wiggle fingers and toes, make a fist, or even suck her thumb!
Your Changing Body at 15 Weeks Pregnant
By your 15th week of pregnancy, your body has made major adjustments to nurture your growing baby inside. Starting at about 15 weeks pregnant, your body's next challenge is to make room for your growing baby.
- Your lung capacity increases, allowing your body to carry more oxygen to your baby.
- Your rib cage might enlarge — up to 2 to 3 inches around — to accommodate the increasing size of your lungs!
- At 15 weeks pregnant, if you have heartburn — that burning or sour sensation in the back of your lower throat — you’re not alone.
- Heartburn begins when muscles (that are more relaxed than normal due to increased hormones) allow digestive acids to back up into and irritate your esophagus, which connects your throat to your stomach.
- The bad news? Unlike some pregnancy symptoms, this one might continue throughout your pregnancy!
- The good news? With a little care and guidance from your doctor, you often can find relief from heartburn irritation.
Hints for Heartburn
- Watch what you eat, and don't give up the balanced nutrition your body needs.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
- Eat slowly.
- Avoid eating late at night and don't lie down for several hours after eating.
- Ask your doctor about antacids that are okay to take during pregnancy.
Heartburn and Hair — It Is Related!
- Chances are you've heard the old wives' tale: The more heartburn you have throughout pregnancy, the more likely your baby will be born with a full head of hair.
- Actually, recent research turns this tale into truth!
- The specific hormones that are causing your heartburn are the same ones that prompt fetal hair to develop.
Wellness and Nutrition at 15 Weeks Pregnant
By your 15th week of pregnancy, you’ve accomplished a lot. Whether it has been smooth sailing or a bumpy road, it’s not unusual to have concerns or occasional worries about your baby's health.
Prenatal Testing: Knowledge Is Power.
- The more you and your doctor know about your baby's health, the better equipped you can be to address any potential problems.
- You might want to know specifics about your baby's health before she is born, particularly if you have any increased risk factors.
- Prenatal tests include screening tests, which your doctor can describe for you, and diagnostic tests, which are done when a screening test indicates the doctor needs more information.
- Many women choose to have ultrasounds, blood tests, or other tests for a variety of reasons. You and your doctor should discuss which tests you need.
- When examining prenatal testing options, you may want to ask yourself:
- What will you do with the information?
- Will the information help your doctor better care for you and your baby?
- How accurate are the results?
- What are the risks?
- Triple test is a screening test that checks for chromosomal disorders, such as Down syndrome, and spinal abnormalities, such as spina bifida, by measuring:
- AFP (alpha-fetoprotein - Produced by your baby's liver, this protein might show up in your blood.)
- HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin - A hormone produced by your placenta)
- Estriol (An estrogen produced by your baby and your placenta)
- This test is most accurate when completed between the 16th and 18th weeks of pregnancy.
Good nutrition now can help protect your baby after birth from diseases. It's yet another reason to eat well!
Your Fit Tip
As your body shape begins to change, so should your exercise routine. By your 15th week of pregnancy, you might need to make changes to stay safe, balanced, and comfortable while working out.