15 weeks pregnant

You and your baby's development

What's happening in week 15 of your pregnancy

Week 15 and your life is now probably totally baby-centric!

At a glance

  • Your baby is now in proportion size wise
  • The dark line running down your bump is called linea nigra
  • Start thinking about the type of birth you want
15 Weeks pregnant

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How big is my baby at 15 weeks pregnant?

Your baby is now in proportion size wise, with their body having caught up with their head in terms of growth. They will now be around 10.1 cm long, around the size of an orange and growing quickly!

They have also started to grow a layer of fine downy hair called lanugo. This fine hair keeps them warm until they develop the layer of subcutaneous fat that will keep them warm once they’re born.

Although their eyelids are still fused shut, your baby can recognise light and if you were to shine a light on your belly the baby might move away from it. They will also be developing their sucking, gasping and swallowing skills and have such sophisticated taste buds that if they had conscious thought, they’d be able to recognise flavours! By week 15 they can also hear your voice now, so be sure to chat and sing to them often (like you aren't already!). 

Did you know?

  • By now your baby's taste buds are formed and functioning 
  • 1 in every 2000 to 3000 babies is born with a tooth

You at 15 weeks pregnant

You might be noticing some more changes in your body around this stage of your pregnancy – one of them might be the appearance of a dark line running down your bump. Its medical term is 'linea nigra' and it is something some women develop during pregnancy. It's absolutely nothing to worry about and will fade after your baby is born.

You should be starting to receive results back by now from initial antenatal screening tests so should know your blood group and initial haemoglobin levels by now as well as the results of the combined screening test if you chose to have one.

You might be finding your bump is making itself known more now and you are having to adapt your sleeping, sitting and even driving position to accommodate it! 

In the car, ensure your seatbelt is positioned so that the lap part is under and not across your bump, with the upper part going over the top of your belly and between your breasts. If you can adjust your steering wheel you might need to at this point, too – this is particularly important if you have an airbag fitted – try and position your seat as far away from the dashboard or steering wheel as your can, while still being able to safely and comfortably drive.

If you haven’t already, make pelvic floor exercises part of your daily routine. Your pelvic floor holds your bladder, womb and lower bowel in place. After having a baby (and sometimes before even) some women find that they leak a little wee when they cough, laugh, jump or run. 

Daily pelvic floor exercises help strengthen your muscles for labour too.  

Talking about exercise you may be wondering - How much exercise do I need to do? Should I carry on as normal? Shouldn’t I start exercising? 

It is important to be active during your pregnancy as this will boost your physical health and baby's - as well as helping you to balance your emotional wellbeing. Exercising in pregnancy is safe and healthy. You can do most types of exercise including running, Pilates, weights, yoga and swimming.

If you’re doing exercise classes, make sure you tell your instructor that you are pregnant and if ask the instructor if they are any exercises that you shouldn’t do.  They’ll usually suggest ways to adapt the exercises for you. 

Contact activities, such as kick boxing, or self-defence classes, or games like squash where there is a chance of being hit should be avoided. Sports which have a risk of falling like horse riding or skiing should only be done with extreme caution.

Don’t worry if you did not exercise before getting pregnant, it is safe and healthy to start now. Start with 15 minutes of exercise three times a week and increase it gradually to 30-minute sessions four days a week or every day. Exercise doesn’t have to be planned sessions. There are exercises and pregnancy DVDs you can do at home or at work and that fit in around your day – like building in a bit of walking on your commute to work and taking the stairs instead of the lift.

Facts to know about you in week 15

  • A heightened sense of smell is a way of steering you away from food that could be bad for your baby
  • 1 in 3 women get red palms (aka palmar erythema) caused by increased body temperature & blood flow, it's not harmful, the soles of the feet can go red too
  • Ryan, Kian and Alex are the baby boys’ names that fell most in popularity last year

What to think about in week 15 of pregnancy

It might still be early days, but you could already be thinking about the type of birth you might like to aim for with your baby. Now is the ideal time to do your research and arm yourself with lots of information. 

  • Do you have midwife-led birthing centres in your local area, or is the maternity unit part of your main hospital? 
  • Would you like to think about a home birth or water birth?
  • What were your friends' experiences of labour and birth like in your local hospital?
  • Is there anything based on the info you've already gleaned from them that you'd like to discuss with your midwife? 

It's never too early to find out what your options are!

Now you’re into your 15th week of pregnancy, most people will know you are pregnant. 

Your bump will be growing and buttons beginning to burst meaning it’s time to get shopping….oh well, if you must! 

What better excuse do you need to refresh your look now that you need a few extras in your wardrobe? Now is the perfect opportunity to reinvigorate your wardrobe with a few maternity essentials that suit your all new shape.

There are a few tricks you can try to keep wearing your wardrobe favourites for longer, such as by attaching stretchy belts and fabric panels to the waistband of your favourite trousers - you’ll grow around 18cms of extra bump space! Or try a bump band to bridge the gap between trousers and top. There’s a huge range of colours to choose from too.

Now that maternity fashion is embraced by so many high street retailers, whether you’re tall, short, plus size or super skinny, there’s lots of  ranges out that there that will help to show off that beautiful bump and killer cleavage! 

If you shop smart for your maternity clothes, ie jeans, smart trousers, a day/night dress etc there should be no need to dip too far into the baby budget, and don’t be afraid to delve into the back of your wardrobe and you may just find a little gem or two you forgot you had that would add to your new maternity look.

Signs and symptoms at 15 weeks pregnant

Pregnancy brain

It may sound like a myth, but actually pregnancy brain is very real. It can cause you to do things you would never normally do and certainly forget a lot of things. It tends to silly everyday things, like rather than once in a while, you’re frequently finding yourself spending 10 minutes each time you plan to leave the house searching for your keys or your purse. The reason for this in pregnancy is, yes, you’ve guessed it. Your hormones. The fact that your sleep is also interrupted and this can take its toll on your memory causing your random pregnancy brain moments , hence finding your car keys in the fridge!

Swollen gums

You may have already noticed your gums bleed a little when brushing your teeth now you’re pregnant but as time goes on you may notice they are swollen too. It can be a sign of gum disease (gingivitis). Mums-to-be are particularly susceptible to gingivitis due to the increase in blood volume pregnancy brings as well as the pregnancy hormones leading to gums swelling and bleeding more easily. Don’t forget your entitled to  free dental care in pregnancy and this continues for a year after your baby is born, so make the most of it. It’s a good idea to visit hygienist regularly if you have signs of bleeding or gingivitis.

Watch our video below on: 

Video 1: What will happen to my body during pregnancy? - From the NHS

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Video 2: The fetal anomaly scan (20 weeks)

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At a glance

  • Your baby is now in proportion size wise
  • The dark line running down your bump is called linea nigra
  • Start thinking about the type of birth you want

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