Pregnancy Week 15
What to expect when you're 15 weeks pregnant
Baby development at 15 weeks pregnant
Welcome to week 15! You may have found a renewed sense of self and maybe an increased libido, too. Take advantage if your partner is up for it.
At 15 weeks pregnant, your baby is 4.75 inches long (120 millimeters). Your baby is now the size of a can of LaCroix. Cheers!
This week, your baby is starting to look even more like a baby. Their little facial features are still moving into place, and ears can be seen on the sides of their head. Your 15-week-old baby can also start to see light around this time, even though their eyes aren’t open yet. You may not be able to feel it yet, but your baby is moving around quite a bit, thanks to newly working joints.
Week 15 pregnant belly
At 15 weeks pregnant, your body continues to make more blood for you and your baby. By the end of your pregnancy, you will have gained almost 4 pounds of extra blood! You may start to experience bleeding gums or get the occasional bloody nose.
Common pregnancy symptoms at 15 weeks
During your 15th week of pregnancy, you are most likely feeling on top of the world! Right now, your baby bump isn’t making it hard to get around. It’s time to get back to exercising, plan for the future and keep moving.
- Increased sex drive: Now that your energy is back, your libido may also be feeling more ready for action. This increased sex drive, however, doesn’t hit everyone. If you’re not feeling up for getting down, it’s totally understandable.
- Swollen gums: Your gums are more sensitive during pregnancy. Your oral health is really important; take care of your mouth by brushing and flossing regularly. Don’t forget to see a dentist.
- Shortness of breath: Getting winded? Your lungs are starting to get crowded as your uterus moves up. It’s a little bit harder to get a full breath of air these days.
- Lower back pain: At 15 weeks pregnant, the increased size of your uterus and stomach can do a number on your posture and put pressure on your back. It’s important to practice good posture while sitting and standing to relieve some of the pressure on your lower back.
- Urinary tract infections: Pregnancy can make you more prone to UTIs. If you suspect you have one, notify your doctor right away. They may prescribe antibiotics to prevent a more serious infection from occurring.
- Pregnancy brain: Are you more forgetful or mixing up your words more often? It’s totally common. There isn’t a scientific reason for “pregnancy brain,” but an increase in hormones, stress or lack of sleep could be why you’re feeling a little less sharp than usual.
- Sciatica pain: The sciatic nerve lives under your uterus and runs down your leg. Added pressure on this nerve from your expanding uterus can cause sharp pains down your leg and will typically affect only one side of your body.
- Spider veins: Increased blood volume and blood flow can cause your veins to become more prominent. You may notice thin red veins under the skin on your face or legs. Keeping your feet elevated and exercising can help circulation and reduce the chance of getting spider veins.
Pregnancy checklist at 15 weeks pregnant
Between weeks 15 and 20 of pregnancy, you’ll be offered the quad screen test. This test screens for genetic and spinal cord abnormalities. In this timeframe, you will also likely have an ultrasound to view the baby’s organs and measure placenta growth.
It’s normal to be consumed with all things baby. It is your number one priority, after all. But make sure you are right up there with your baby. Taking care of yourself during pregnancy is just as important.
- Schedule your multiple marker screening (MMR). The optional MMR is a blood test typically done between weeks 15 and 20 of pregnancy. This screening tests for hCG, AFP and estriol levels, which indicate the risk of certain congenital disabilities.
- Exercise. We can’t say it enough: Exercise is good for you and baby. Moving throughout your pregnancy can keep your weight gain in check, prevent spider veins and even reduce pain levels during delivery.
- Eat selectively. Some foods carry an increased risk of illness. While you're pregnant, it's important to load up on fruits, vegetables and iron-rich foods. But stay away from foods like raw fish, unpasteurized dairy, alcohol and anything that contains raw eggs (like Caesar dressing).
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