At fifteen weeks pregnant, your baby is about the size of an apple or pear, and about 10.16cm in length. The baby’s muscles are now developed enough for controlled movement, especially in the face where a lot of frowning, squinting, and grimacing is taking place, this is merely your baby flexing and stretching his or her facial muscles, and not actually an expression of emotion. Your baby is also practicing motions that will be needed in order for them to survive after birth, such as swallowing and sucking: skills they will need in order to breast feed.
Although your little one is not big or heavy enough to feel it yet, he or she has become extremely active! Although these actions are subconscious, your baby is now not only clenching their fists and curling their toes, but also kicking out and waving their arms and legs.
Your baby’s skin is transparent and the network of veins and capillaries beneath the skin is visible. Short, ultra-fine, downy hair called lanugo covers your baby’s body, protecting their delicate skin from the amniotic fluid, and keep them warm; this will disappear shortly before or after birth.
By now your baby’s body has gained proportion and their ears are properly in place, your baby can now hear you! So be sure to chat and familiarize your little one to your voice, if you haven’t been doing so already.
As your bump becomes more prominent and your body continues to undergo extraordinary changes, a dark line running down your bump from your naval may appear. The medical term for this mysterious line is ‘linea nigra’, if you do have one, rest assured, it is nothing to worry about and will fade after birth.
Be careful with your teeth at this time, progesterone, which also causes you to suffer from blocked nose and nose bleeds, can change the way your gums react to the bacteria in plaque, causing tenderness in your mouth. On closer inspection you might also notice tiny bumps which are completely benign pregnancy tumors, and will go after birth, if not beforehand.
You may also experience skin darkening on the nipples, areolas, navel, armpits and inner thighs, this is very common and is known to affect ninety percent of pregnant women, and should fade after birth.
At this stage of pregnancy you may feel the end is very far away. Keep busy with things you enjoy that are not pregnancy or work related. You may be preoccupied with your increasing bump which can vary in look at different times of the day. It is not just the growing baby that affects this but also your digestive system so it is normal for it vary, don’t worry! You may have a sense of wellbeing now that your hormones are subsiding and you are not yet large enough to be uncomfortable or less mobile. It is a good time to take up something you enjoy especially if it is exercise related like yoga or Tai Chi – this will add to your sense of wellbeing and also provide excellent physical benefits. Always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise.
If you have any symptoms that concern you it is important to consult your doctor as soon as you can.