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Week 15

How Big is the Baby at 15 Weeks Pregnant?

Your baby is a about the size of an orange by pregnancy week 15, between 4 and 4 and ½ inches long and weighing more than 1 ½ ounces!

Your Baby's Growth and Development

Your baby is growing rapidly as always as you continue your pregnancy week by week journey. You would still be able to see your baby's blood vessels through his paper-thin skin if you were to peek inside your uterus during pregnancy week 15. In fact the vessels forming in your baby's body make him look rather like a map! This week your baby will start producing lanugo, which is fine hair that will cover your baby's body up until a few weeks before birth. Lanugo covers every part of your baby in utero, except for the palms, soles of the feet, lips, penis, nails and inner fingers and toes. Typically babies will shed this hair by the 8th month of pregnancy, but it can persist in some after birth for a short period of time. Pre-term babies are more likely to be born with lanugo than full term babies. Your baby might start sucking his thumb this week.

The bones in your baby's body are also starting to get harder during pregnancy at 15 weeks and will continue to do so throughout your pregnancy. Your baby is spending most of his time practicing breathing, by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid. Believe it or not, the very act of doing so will help your baby's air sacs develop during pregnancy. Your baby continues to form taste buds at this point in time.

Your Growth and Development

You should start noticing a more bloated abdomen by pregnancy 15 weeks time. Most women have gained anywhere from five to ten pounds by now. Your uterus has now risen or is starting to rise past your hipbones by pregnancy week 15. Your healthcare provider will be able to actually feel it about three inches or so below your belly button.

Later in your pregnancy your healthcare provider will start taking measurements of your uterus, which they will refer to as the "fundal height". This measurement can help confirm your due date, as it usually correlates with the number of weeks you are pregnant. The fundal height is formally defined as the distance between the top of your uterus and the pubic bone.
Changes in You

At 15 weeks pregnant you are starting to feel more pregnant. Some women start experiencing some unexpected side effects well into their pregnancy. For example, excessive salivation is not uncommon during pregnancy. This is nothing to be alarmed about, though it can be a bit inconvenient at times.
Other women start experiencing more stuffy noses during pregnancy at 15 weeks. This is due to swelling in the mucous membranes of the nose, largely the result of increased hormonal production. You may also find however that you have a cold at 15 weeks pregnant.

Pregnant women are more susceptible to common illnesses, in part because their immune systems are compromised during pregnancy. Be sure that you take great care to wash your hands religiously when out in public.
Many women find themselves the victim of an unwanted urinary tract infection during pregnancy. Unfortunately for some this is another unpleasant side effect of pregnancy.

Believe it or not urinary tract infections are more common during pregnancy, particularly because the muscles of their ureters are relaxed due to increasing levels of progesterone. The uterus can also compress the ureters causing urine to flow more slowly to the bladder, which can allow bacteria to accumulate. Some women also have more concentrated urine during pregnancy that can contribute to UTI’s.

Your healthcare practitioner will actually test your urine for bacteria that is associated with a UTI during your first prenatal visit. Generally most women whose test is negative at this point will not contract a UTI during pregnancy. However, it is possible that you still might. If you have bacteria present during the first prenatal visit, your healthcare provider will likely prescribe antibiotics to help clear it from your system. IT is important that your infection is cleared out. If it is left untreated, there is an increased risk that you will develop a kidney infection during your pregnancy, which can be very serious in some situations.

There are some telltale signs of a UTI in most women. These include: pain when urinating or burning, lower abdominal pain, a frequent urge to urinate though little comes out, blood in the urine or cloudy urine. The symptoms may be different during pregnancy however, and may include nausea or fever. The symptoms of a kidney infection are more severe, and typically include high fever, pain in the lower back or abdomen and nausea or vomiting.

Fortunately there are many things you can do to help prevent a UTI during pregnancy. These include: drinking at least 10 8-ounce glasses of water ever day, peeing as soon as you feel the urge and wiping yourself from front to back. You can also drink cranberry juice to help discourage bacteria from forming in the urinary tract.

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