If your pregnancy didn’t quite feel real throughout the first trimester, by week 15 there’s no denying it. Your baby bump is growing, you’re starting to feel a bit more human, and excitement about this little life is taking root.
Pregnancy Week 15 Guide
In this week’s guide, we’ll learn how your little one continues to grow, what symptoms you may be experiencing, and what the recommendations are for exercise during the second trimester.
Baby’s Growth at 15 Weeks Pregnant
In the past week, your baby has grown another half an inch and packed on another ounce (currently at 3.5 inches long and 2.5 ounces). This is approximately the size of a navel orange or an apple.
While your little one’s eyelids are still fused shut (and will remain so until about week 28), he can distinguish between light and darkness. He’s also developing taste buds and will soon begin to experience some of the flavors of your pregnancy diet.
Your little one continues to grow and learn new skills in utero. She’s sucking her thumb and can swallow and even practice breathing. She’s now able to wiggle her fingers and toes. She also builds her tiny muscles by moving, kicking, and flexing.
If you’re a first time Mama, you likely have several more weeks before you feel baby’s first tiny movements. There’s no set time frame though; it all has to do with your body build and how you’re carrying the pregnancy.
Symptoms at 15 Weeks Pregnant
In many ways, you’re likely feeling more normal this week. By week 15 I can focus on tasks (and people) other than how to keep my nausea at bay and while I look ahead to bedtime.
While the second trimester is definitely a golden period of pregnancy, there are some small symptoms you’ll likely notice cropping up. These may include:
- Heartburn or gas, often worsening in the evenings.
- Swollen or bleeding gums.
- Stuffy nose or nosebleeds due to increased blood volume.
- An increased sex drive.
- Skin darkening around your nipples, areolas, navel, armpits, or inner thighs. This fades several months after delivery.
If you’re over age 35 or have concerns about possible genetic conditions or chromosomal disorders, you’ll want to discuss an amniocentesis with your doctor. This test is most commonly performed before week 18 so make sure to bring it up at your next appointment.
Pregnancy Exercise During the Second Trimester
Throughout my first pregnancy, now a solid 10 years ago, the recommendations about exercise during pregnancy were cautious. Although I had no doctor-imposed limitations, common advice concluded that if I hadn’t been in a regular exercise regimen pregnancy wasn’t the time to start.
Fortunately, since that time, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have updated their recommendations on exercise during pregnancy. They now strongly recommend that pregnant women exercise daily, even if it means beginning as a couch potato and working your way up.
Here are the highlights from the ACOG update:
- Always get cleared to exercise by your doctor before beginning an exercise regimen.
- If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, you should be engaged in moderate to intense exercise 5-7 times a week for approximately 30 minutes each day.
- If you haven’t been exercising regularly you should begin an exercise program gradually and work up to the recommended time frame.
- The following are considered recommended exercise: walking, swimming, modified yoga or pilates, running/jogging, racquet sports, and strength training.
Exercising regularly during your pregnancy can have some big benefits. Your pregnancy symptoms may be more manageable, you’ll be more ready to sleep, you’ll stay at a healthier pregnancy weight, and you might even be setting yourself up for a shorter labor and postpartum recovery.
I’ve found that exercising regularly during pregnancy is a great way to let off some steam while taking care of my body. My youngest children regularly exercise with me which means I take small breaks to laugh at their antics (and break up their squabbles). Listening to my body means that some days I stop earlier than usual to stretch and give myself a chance to rest.
A Dad’s Perspective Throughout Pregnancy Week 15
I notice at this point in my wife’s pregnancy I feel roughly the same as I did in the earlier months: although somewhat normal, I’m a little stressed about the impending life change and certainly tired out after picking up more tasks around our home.
For this reason, I’m always impressed at my wife’s sudden surge of energy and motivation to start working out again. Seeing her fitting a workout into her day inspires me to get my rear in gear and try to keep off my own sympathy pregnancy weight!
Week 15 Pregnancy Wrap Up
Solidly in the second trimester, it’s time to get excited about your newest family member! Keep checking back as your pregnancy progresses to read even more from me and my husband as we detail our own pregnancy journey together.