Mother and Baby

15 weeks pregnant: advice, symptoms and what to expect

Baby at 15 weeks pregnant

At fifteen weeks pregnant, our body should finally be showing signs of being pregnant. Here’s what’s going on with your baby, your body and the common symptoms to expect at 15 weeks pregnant.

How big is my baby at fifteen weeks pregnant?

This week, your baby is around the size of a large navel orange and weighs about the same as a chicken’s egg. 

What’s my baby doing at fifteen weeks pregnant?

With each week that goes by, your little one is starting to look more and more like a baby. By 15 weeks, they will have ears on either side of their head and their eyes are moving from the side of her head to the front of her face. The eyes will start to become sensitive to light, even though they remain closed, they can now register bright light.

But what else is your little one doing in there? Aside from spending lots of time growing, they are practising breathing, sucking and swallowing so they have all the skills necessary to survive in the big wide world. You still won’t feel it, but they are also moving around a lot.

Around this time in your pregnancy, your baby will also start to hear muted sounds from the outside world; the noises your digestive system makes (believe it or not, they finds the whooshing comforting), as well as the sound of your voice and heart.

Common symptoms to look out for at 15 weeks pregnant:

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1) Heartburn and indigestion

Now that the morning sickness has (hopefully) eased off, you’re probably feeling a lot hungrier, yet this also causes that uncomfortable heartburn you’re desperately trying to avoid. If you are suffering, try eating several smaller meals, rather than three large ones.
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2) Faintness or dizziness

Feeling light-headed is a common side effect during pregnancy, as your blood sugar levels change. If you do feel faint, sit down and put your head between your legs as this will prevent you from falling and hurting yourself.
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3) Varicose Veins

We spoke about these last week; as much as you might hate them, they are a normal side effect of the increased blood flow during pregnancy. Sit down and your your feet up – this will keep the blood circulating and reduces the pressure on your legs.
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4) Nose bleeds

Nose bleeds might occur because of your increased blood and swollen or sensitive nasal passages.
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5) Pregnancy brain

Can’t remember when bin day is or where on earth you left your car keys? Pregnancy brain is a real thing as your brain cell volume actually decreases during pregnancy. Now is a good time to start using that notes section on your mobile!
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6) Shortness of breath

If you notice that you're easily out of breath it might be because your growing uterus is pushing upward on the lungs making it harder to draw a big breath. It can also be down to the increase in blood during pregnancy as your heart has to work harder to move blood around the body - the increased workload can make you feel short of breath. 
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7) Swollen gums

Swollen gums, otherwise known as 'gingivitis' is a common side effect during pregnancy. The hormonal changes and increase in blood flood can cause gums to be more sensitive, irritable, swollen or susceptible to bleeding. Keep taking good care of your teeth by brushing and flossing and it will soon pass!
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8) Increased sex drive

This might have been going on for a few weeks now. Once nausea has subsided and your energy levels are back up you might have more of a urge to have sex. During pregnancy your breasts can grow in size and become more sensitive which can result in more pleasure. As well as this, your vulva is engorged from the increased blood flow which might even lead to more enjoyable sex!
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9) Cramps and pains

Medically referred to as round ligament pain, as the muscles and ligaments that support your uterus stretch, you might get pains on the lower sides of your body. This is very normal, but if you’re in too much pain, it might be worth checking with your GP.

What is my body doing at fifteen weeks pregnant?

As your baby continues to grow and develop, you may notice that you feel permanently bunged up. You could also suffer from nosebleeds and sinus pain thanks to the increased blood flow to the membranes in your nose and sinuses. Avoid rooms with the central heating or air conditioning on full blast, as they’ll dry out your nasal passages.

You might notice around week 15 your gums are red, swollen and sore. They might even be prone to bleeding when you brush or floss. This is down to those pregnancy hormones again. More than 90% of women suffer from gum problems during pregnancy, and this can lead to some nasty complications, so prevention is key. Keep up good oral hygiene during pregnancy and you'll be fine.

You should also now be gaining more weight as your baby gets bigger. Don’t go overboard, but don’t panic either – aim to gain around one pound a week, or about four pounds a month.

What you should be doing this week:

Talk to your doctor. If you’re at a high risk of preeclampsia, or genetic or chromosomal issues, now is the time to chat with your GP as they’ll do the relevant tests between weeks 16-20. 

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