Now that you’re 15 weeks into your pregnancy, you may have noticed that you are starting to look a lot more pregnant. Not only this, but if you could look inside your tummy you’d see that your baby is starting to look a lot more like a baby as well!
Where are we up to?
At this stage in your pregnancy, your uterus is constantly growing in order to accommodate the growing fetus. As you get bigger and bigger every week, you’ll start to notice other issues such as back pain and leg pain as a result. However, as you have moved into the second trimester, you should at least be less nauseous and more physically stable. This should make up for the new issues that crop up.
If you are still feeling sick often, don’t worry about it. Every pregnancy is different, and we all change at individual points. If you have concerns, talk to your doctor and try to get it sorted so you can enjoy this point in your pregnancy as much as possible. With the lack of nausea and morning sickness, you will likely find you have been revitalized with a new energy. This is an exciting time, and you should celebrate as you wish, by taking up a hobby or going out for a nice meal.
At this point, you could use your energy to knock some tasks off your to-do list. That way, you can help yourself get more prepared for the baby that’s on its way. The child is starting to become a lot more lifelike, so it’s wise to get your things in order while its not too difficult to do so. You’re in your fourth month of pregnancy, so there’s only five more until the baby enters the real world.
At 15 weeks your baby is 4 inches long, and weighs approximately 2.47 ounces. This might still seem quite small, but it’s a lot bigger than it was a couple of weeks ago, and they are continuing to grow more and more as each week goes by. Soon enough they’ll be the size of a melon, and then you’ll notice how quickly things change.
As part of these changes, your baby is practicing their movements by kicking, curling their toes and stretching their arms and legs in your uterus. At this small size you won’t be able to feel the baby kicking around, but it’s happening. Not only are they moving around, but they’re practicing their sucking and swallowing too, so they’ll be ready to eat when they’re born. They’re even rehearsing their breathing technique for when they get out in the open air.
These are the skills that will keep the baby alive in the real world, and it can be amazing to think that they are already preparing for life outside. The movements they make with their arms and legs are helped by the fact that they’re joints now work too. They can bend and roll about inside your belly without you even noticing. As well as joints, their bone structure has been taking shape, and if you could look inside you’d be able to see a skeleton has appeared.
The fetus has developed a thin layer of skin too. This is translucent and essentially see through, but it is there as a form version of the skin they’ll have through life. Although the child is still tiny, they are really taking shape and becoming more human.
They’ve even gained senses. Sure, they don’t have open eyes yet, but they can sense light as they roll around in your belly. They can also hear noises. This ranges from the sounds within your digestive system to even some muted noises from the real world. You can’t hear their tiny movements yet, but they can hear you, even if it is a bit muffled.
Your Growing Body
The most important thing at this stage in a pregnancy is how well the mother is doing, as the baby’s growth will start to have a larger effect on the changes in your body. Fortunately, you should now have lost your nausea and morning sickness, or will do shortly. This gives you more freedom to carry on with life as normal and enjoy your pregnant glow, but some other changes are expected.
Two more obvious signs of being in your second trimester are nosebleeds and swollen gums. A side effect of carrying your child is the increased blood flow around the body, and this means that nosebleeds become much likely to occur. Nosebleeds aren’t much of a problem, but can be an inconvenience when you’re getting on with your day, so don’t be surprised if they happen more often. Similarly, your gums will be swollen due to the blood flow, so it’s important to take care of them to avoid gum disease and bleeding.
Another unpleasant side effect of your pregnancy is discharge. Most people can get frightened by unusual discharge from the body, especially when it’s from the vagina, but this is very common at this stage. If you notice a clear or white discharge from your vagina, it’s nothing to worry about. It shouldn’t give off a bad smell either. However, if it does have an odor, or it is making you itchy or sore, you should contact your doctor to check if there is some infection at play.
Eating might start to produce more difficulties at this stage too. There’s no need to diet or have any severe restrictions on your food, but you are more sensitive to the consequences that certain foods bring about. Foods which normally cause indigestion and heartburn, such as greasy takeaways and spicy curries, are much more likely to do so now that you’re 15 weeks pregnant. You may have more of an appetite than usual, but you shouldn’t be eating for two just yet, and you’ll end up feeling gassy.
Finally, there are a few screen tests which are available to you now that you’re in your second trimester. Your doctor may offer you a quad screen test or amniocentesis. Both of these will test to see the likelihood of your child getting a genetic condition that you may be carrying. The quad screen test does this but testing the hormones and proteins in your blood, while amniocentesis tests amniotic fluids. These are optional tests, but remember a positive or negative result doesn’t guarantee that your child has a condition.
If the morning sickness has stopped you will feel more energetic and able to carry on with your life. This is a great opportunity to get things done, as you have entered your ‘golden period’. This means you are past the early nausea, but without the big belly to inconvenience you. Why not take advantage of it by starting a project you want to do, or finding a new hobby? You might also find you have a higher sex drive.
There are some other tips to help you stay comfortable too. For example, you can try to increase the amount of iron in your diet for the extra blood in your system. You can also do more stretches and light exercise to prevent round ligament pain and strain on your back. Otherwise, just try to enjoy your second trimester as much as you can.