In association with professional midwife experts at birthEd, find out everything you need to know about pregnancy at 15 weeks, including how your baby is growing, changes to expect in your body and pregnancy health, nutrition and wellness advice.

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15 Weeks Pregnant – Your baby, your body & you

Your Baby

This week your baby is working on some of the finer workings of their little body. Baby is developing the mechanisms for hearing and they will soon start to hear muted sounds from outside the womb, and the sounds from your body.

They find the whooshing noises of your digestive system very soothing, keep that in mind when in a few months you are trying to soothe your wee one! Your baby is also growing and forming taste buds, although there’s not much to taste in the womb. Your baby’s eyes are still closed at this point, but they are starting to register bright lights.

Your Body

During pregnancy your blood volume increases by 20% (and then even more later on!) this is to support the growth of that whole other person in your abdomen!

This increase in blood can lead to swelling and an increased sensitivity in the membranes of your nose. This can result in bleeding, and stuffiness and congestion as well. Be careful when blowing your nose as such aggressive irritation can cause nose bleeds. It is important to keep on top of oral hygiene as this increased blood flow also influences your gums.

Over 90% of pregnant women experience swelling, pain, and bleeding of the gums. Keep on top of brushing and flossing every day as the gums become highly sensitive to bacteria and plaque and lack of hygiene can result in infection.

If you haven’t seen your dentist in the last 6 months, it’s important to book a dental check up to make sure that your teeth and gums are as healthy as they can be.

At this time you will likely begin to gain weight. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to weight gain in pregnancy. There are factors that determine a healthy weight gain for you and your baby. Your pre-pregnancy weight and Body Mass Index (BMI), which is your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared, and yours and your baby’s health.

If you are having twins, it is important to work with your LMC or health care provider to determine your healthy weight gain, as your weight affects your babies weight and twins are often born before their due date.

Gaining too much extra weight is associated with pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, large-for-dates babies, depression, caesarean section and difficulty losing the weight after birth. Not gaining enough weight is associated with preterm births and low birth weight babies.

Don’t buy into the old saying that you are ‘eating for two’ to excuse any excessive weight gain. A pregnant woman only requires an additional 340 kilocalories (kcal) per day in her second trimester, and 452 kcal per day in her third trimester.

Healthy weight gain during pregnancy not only keeps you and your baby healthy and gives you the best chance of optimal outcomes, but it also contributes to the health of future pregnancies. Keep yourself and your baby healthy by being mindful of your eating habits.

Eat whole food in abundance, and treat yourself to any cravings you have, but aim to only have unhealthy foods in small amounts. Dieting and restricting foods is not recommended in pregnancy.

Recommended weight gain during pregnancy

Pre-pregnancy BMI (kg/㎡) Recommended weight gain (kg) Rates of weight gain 2nd and 3rd trimester (kg)
Underweight: <18.5 12.5-18 0.51 (0.44-0.58)
Normal: 18.5-24.9 11.5-16 0.42 (0.35-0.50)
Overweight: 25-29.9 7.0-11.5 0.28 (0.23-0.33)
Obese:≥30.0 5-9 0.22 (0.17-0.27)

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018, Weight gain during pregnancy

You

The first trimester of pregnancy can feel tentative and a bit scary. Now is the time to get excited! Here’s a reminder about journaling.

Take a moment at the end of each day to document how you are feeling and what you are excited about. Take time to think about the positive aspects of your pregnancy and your life in general. Research has shown that acknowledging what you are grateful for can have a profound effect on your mental wellbeing and overall health. It is also a pleasant keepsake to look back on in later years.

Your Relationships

If you haven’t already, now is a great time to start seeking out some support groups for women due around the same time as you. Online forums or Facebook groups are a great place to start.

Pregnancy is a unique time to share with others.

It is important that you don’t compare your experience to your newfound friends though, use these groups as support networks, not comparisons, as every pregnancy is very different. It is often found that such groups can form lifelong friendships, what a special friendship to have that you can watch your children grow from pregnancy through childhood.

This Week’s Preparation

Continue to be mindful of what you are eating
Ask your LMC for the Ministry of Health, Eating for Healthy Pregnant Women resource, if you need it.
Find online pregnancy forums or groups
Book a dentist appointment
Take time to be thankful

Back to 52 Weeks of pregnancy.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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