Week Fifteen of Your Pregnancy

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Week 15 Info

WEEK 15

Your baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs about 2 ounces "about the size of an apple".  About one cup of amniotic fluid surrounds your baby in the sac.  The fluid is swallowed by the baby and then processed by the baby's kidneys back into the amniotic sac.  This fluid is also moving through her nose and upper respiratory tract.  This helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop.  Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs.  Her eyelids are still fused shut but she can sense light.  She's beginning to form taste buds.  Lanugo, a very fine hair, covers her body and will continue to grow until around 26 weeks.

You've probably gained about 5 pounds by now.  You may be able to feel your uterus above the pubic bone and it may occasionally harden from contractions.  During your prenatal appointments, your provider may start measuring your fundal height to make sure your baby is growing consistently and adequately.  The fundal height is the distance from the top of the uterus "or fundus" to the pubic bone.  Your clothes may be fitting tighter but don't try to force your body into them.  You can wear elastic top pants such as stretch pants or sweats until you can either invest in or borrow some proper maternity clothing.  If all else fails, borrow some of your partner's clothes if needed or just unzip your pants.

Your heart is increasing its output to supply the baby with oxygen.  Your enlarged heart is pumping about 20% more blood than prepregnancy.  This volume will actually increase throughout your pregnancy until it reaches and increased heart output of 30-50%.

If you are planning an amniocentesis it will be scheduled anytime between now and 18 weeks.  This test can identify hundreds of genetic and chromosomal disorders and can reliably determine the gender of your baby.  If you are undecided about the amniocentesis and missed the first trimester screen, you may be offered the second trimester screen called a maternal alpha-fetoprotein test  sometimes called the quad screen.  This blood test is most accurate if drawn between 15 and 18 weeks of gestation.  Whether or not you are having an amnio you will be scheduling a mid trimester scan, usually between 18 and 20 weeks.  Before either of these tests make sure you and your partner have asked yourselves whether you really want to know your baby's sex.  The majority of parents nowadays seem to want to know, but if you love a surprise, it's perfectly ok to make sure your tech or provider know ahead of time your preference.

Continue to avoid smoking and second hand smoke, alcohol and keep caffeinated drinks to a minimum.  Avoid using paints, pesticides and spray cans.  Take only medications prescribed by your provider.

Exercise each day by walking, swimming, or biking for 15 minutes.

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