How's the foetus during week 15?
- Your baby is about the size of an apple, weighs about 70g and is about 10.1cm long from crown to rump.
- Her heart pumps about 24 litres of blood per day.
- She may start sucking her thumb and gets frequent hiccups as the diaphragm goes into spasms.
- The skin is so transparent that the blood vessels are visible.
- Also see: Baby week-by-week update
What's with my body: Bigger breasts and sex determination
- Your heart is pumping up to 20% more blood than usual.
- Your uterus may begin to rise past your hipbones any time now. Your doctor will start to measure "fundal height" - the distance from the top of the uterus (fundus) to the pubic bone.
- Your breasts are becoming larger and heavier. Wear a good supportive bra to relieve strain on the ligaments and your back.
- Skin pigmentation, known as chloasma, is likely to increase. Stay out of the sun to reduce pigmentation marks, and become best friends with your sunscreen, even on overcast days.
- Discuss with your partner whether you want to know the sex of the baby. Some people like to know so they can prepare for a son or daughter, others prefer the drama of "It's a girl!"
- Also read: What sex is your foetus?
How your baby's growing:
Your baby's skin has started to develop and is fine and transparent. The bone and marrow that make up your baby's skeletal system are continuing to develop this week. Your baby's eyes and ears now have a baby-like appearance, and the ears have almost reached their final position.
Baby is now approximately 10 cm long from crown to rump and weighs 70 grams. By the end of this week, all of the major organs will be formed within your baby.
- Also read: The secret life of your unborn baby
How you may be feeling:
Many women who've gone through pregnancy report some bizarre behaviour or cravings - from copious amounts of chocolate milkshake and salt & vinegar chips to steak rolls for breakfast. Cravings for charcoal or soil are less common than old-wives' tales might have led you to expect. Such cravings are called 'pica' and need to be addressed as they indicate a deficiency in your diet and may harm you or baby if you indulge.
In addition to that, 'mommy brain' is a real nerurological issue as a result of powerful endocrine and brain chemistry changes. If you're used to being super-organised, you might want to start making lists to keep track - or just relax and embrace a more spacey existence, as least temporarily. You can also start eating brain food, such as oats and bananas, apples and blueberries and lean protein foods, to help boost your memory. Make sure you get plenty of sleep. including naps, and try to develop a structure in your home before baby arrives to help reduce any stress.
Tip of the week
Sometime between now and the next few weeks you may decide to have the Triple Test. This decision depends on your age, and how important it is to you to know the result.
This test detects the levels of the pregnancy hormones hCG, inhibin and estriol in the mother's blood, and the level of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), a protein produced by the foetus. High levels of AFP may mean that the baby has a neural tube defect (such as Spina Bifida), and lower-than-normal levels may indicate a chromosomal abnormality such as Down Syndrome.
The amount of amniotic fluid that your baby is floating in increases dramatically this week, which is why if you need an amniocentesis it would need to be performed during the coming weeks.
What have you found most exciting, scary or simply surprising about this week of your pregnancy? Tell us by emailing email@example.com and we may publish your comments.
- Antenatal tests week-by-week
- Can you choose your baby's gender?
- Would you choose a gender-neutral X on your baby's birth certificate?