The 15th week of pregnancy

Now you are already in the third week of the second trimester, your baby is learning to move their arms and legs more and more even though you are unlikely to feel it just yet.

Pregnant mum having a consultation with midwife

Many women report intense and vivid dreams during this stage of pregnancy. Amazingly the pregnancy hormone known as progesterone can cause you to wake up just before the end of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and this makes it much easier for you to remember your dreams!

Your baby is now the size of a grapefruit. So in week 15 your baby is around 10 cm long and weighs up to 70 grams.

Right now your baby’s skin is protected by a thick white substance called vernix. This is a marvellous protective feature that helps to prevent the baby’s delicate skin from softening in the amniotic fluid. Also around now your baby's hair develops, but this does not mean that they have a head full of hair right now or even at birth, lets leave that up to the genes to decide! Your baby is now moving its body muscles, arms and legs regularly, you will start to feel those movements yourself in the coming weeks.

In baby girls the ovaries and the eggs within them are now developing, incredible! If you choose to have a screening ultrasound at around 20 weeks of gestation, this is the time when the ultrasonographer may also be able to tell you the sex of your baby.

What you should pay attention to in the 15th week of pregnancy

  • As in the weeks before, it is important to continue to pay attention to a healthy diet during pregnancy and to engage in physical activity that is right for you.

  • If you notice that you are suffering from some swelling (oedema) in your ankles, this can be reduced by elevating your legs regularly throughout the day.

  • If you have not already done so, start thinking about what you will discuss with your employer about maternity leave.

Note:

*Height and weight are average values and cannot be applied to individual cases. Every baby develops individually.

References

1. Marshall, J.E. and Raynor, M.D. (2020) Myles Textbook for Midwives. 17th ed. London: Elsevier

2. Vitamins, supplements and nutrition in pregnancy Vitamins, minerals and supplements in pregnancy - NHS (www.nhs.uk)