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15 Weeks Pregnant

15-weeks-baby

Image: Fetal Development At 15 Weeks

This is a very exciting time. Your baby may be able to hear your heartbeat and even your voice! So now is the time to start talking to her.

If your little one is going to have dark hair, the cells that are responsible for it start to produce colour around this time. The amniotic fluid is constant in its temperature, at half a degree higher than your own body heat. So your baby is all tucked up nice and warm, probably stretching and perhaps even clenching her little fists, although you probably won’t feel it yet.

Your skin may be changing and showing a bit of pigmentation – for example a dark line down the centre of your tummy (called the linea nigra). Your nipples may appear darker too – particularly if you have dark or olive skin. Not to worry – this will disappear after the birth.

Lots of women experience constipation in pregnancy and one of the best ways to treat it is with lots of fluid and fruit and vegetables, especially prunes!

While this is not every woman’s experience, there’s a good chance you’re feeling a sense of wellbeing right about now. You might also find you have double your mojo back, which may be great news for your partner!
 
When will I first feel my baby move?
You baby started to move around at 7 or 8 weeks, however you should feel your baby move sometime between 18 and 22 weeks if it is your first, earlier if it is your second or more.

How early you’ll feel those flutters will often depend on your build (thinner women tend to feel them sooner) and whether you’ve had kids before (if this is not your first, you’re more likely to recognise these flutters, also known as ‘quickening’).

What will the early kicks feel like?
Some women have likened them to butterflies fluttering, or even the popping of popcorn. Even though you probably won’t think of them as anything more than trapped wind at first, soon those little movements from your beloved nipper will begin to stand out and you’ll know the difference soon enough. If you’re eager, try lying or sitting quietly – you may be more likely to feel them while restful.

How often should I feel my baby move?
There’s no right answer to this question because every baby is different and has her own patterns of movement. At first you’re likely to feel these movements only sporadically. But as your baby grows and space in your womb becomes more limited, you should feel the kicking more and more. You will grow to recognise your baby’s level of activity and as long as it doesn’t decrease, there’s generally no need to worry.

Do I need to monitor my baby’s kicking?
When you begin to recognise the fluttering as kicks, start to notice their frequency and intensity so that you can let your doctor or midwife know if there is a change in the pattern. In such cases, you need to contact your medical professional straight away because less movement could be a sign of a problem.

Some midwives recommend performing ‘kick counts’ of your baby’s movements in later pregnancy. There are a number of different ways to do this so ask your midwife about it.

One approach often used is to pick a time in the day when your baby is normally quite active. Really you’ll want to try to perform the kick counts at around the same time every day. Lie down on your side or sit in a comfy chair. Turn off the TV etc. Time how long it is before you feel ten separate movements – this could be a mixture of punches, kicks and other body movements. If you feel any less than ten movements in two hours you should call your doctor or midwife straightaway.

Possible Scan at Week 15
A Reassurance Scan can be performed anywhere from 14-22 weeks. It’s not usually necessary but might be advisable if you have had bleeding or have been unwell.

The baby’s head, abdomen, and leg length will be measured. The placenta can be located and the amniotic fluid and umbilical cord assessed. The measurements will be plotted on a graph which you will be given.

Reassurance Scan

Reassurance Scan Picture (Click image to enlarge)

The scan is performed through the tummy (a trans-abdominal scan), and usually takes 5-15 minutes. You don’t need to have a full bladder and no special preparation is needed. You’ll have a few pictures of the baby to take away with you.