Your Body at 15 Weeks Pregnant
Hooray! Your hormones are stabilizing and energy levels are usually at their peak. However, you may still have some days when you will feel a little tired and moody. Your weight gain should average about half a pound to a pound per week, depending on your pre-pregnancy weight. Your blood pressure will be a little lower during this part of the second trimester before it goes back to your baseline again in your third trimester. So you will have days when you feel a little light-headed. As always during your pregnancy, it’s important for you to stay well hydrated and to eat well.
You may be feeling some pelvic discomfort now, especially when you move, and, well, it can be pretty painful. Most likely, it’s the result of your stretching round ligaments. These are two ligaments, one on each side of the uterus, that usually keep your uterus in its proper position. During pregnancy, these ligaments become very stretched due to the large size of the uterus. Any movement of the uterus, due to your movements, will pull on these already overstretched ligaments and can cause sharp pains. When you get into your third trimester, this pain will subside.
Your Baby at 15 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is now about the length of a large apple and weighs about two and a half ounces. Her body is now longer than her head, and she can move all of her extremities very well. She can now sense light, although her eyelids will remain shut until 28 weeks. The genitalia have developed enough so that an ultrasound should easily determine the sex of your baby at this point.
Medical Appointments at 15 Weeks Pregnant
Second Trimester Screen/AFP-Quad Screen
You can now do your "second trimester screen" also known as the "AFP- Quad Screen" blood test. It can be done between 15 and 20 weeks. The second trimester screen is a blood test where the level of 4 proteins will be measured in your blood stream. The results will tell you if your baby possibly has a neural tube defect (NTD), an uncommon defect in the spinal cord or brain. The test results will also tell you if there is a chance of your baby having genetic conditions such as Down's Syndrome. The results of this second trimester screen will be incorporated with the results of the first trimester screen and together you will get your overall risk of having a child with a genetic disorder. The results will be given in the form of a probability and can be confusing to interpret. Do discuss the results with your health care provider.
Second Trimester Ultrasound
It’s also time to schedule the second trimester ultrasound (usually performed between 16-22 weeks), if you are planning to have one. This ultrasound will examine your baby's anatomy and growth closely. This is the ultrasound where the sex of your baby can be confirmed.
If you have chosen to have an amniocentesis, schedule it now as it is usually performed between 16 and 18 weeks.
The preceding information was adapted from The Pregnancy Companion.