Ultrasound at the 15th week of your pregnancy is an exciting week for you whether it is your first ultrasound examination or not. Your baby is growing rapidly and every week it has something new for you to see. Some changes are happening in your body as well, and some symptoms have disappeared. Each pregnancy is unique in many ways, but some symptoms are common and they signify normal pregnancy. So, there isn’t a place for worry if the results of the screening tests are normal. You will decide whether you want to undergo some of the tests and exams if your doctor recommends them to you. Be sure that it could bring some useful information about your health and the health of your baby.
What Can You See At 15 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound?
Probably, it isn’t your first ultrasound, so you can compare changes in baby’s growth and development. If you want to know the gender of your baby, you can now. But you have to be reconciled with the result may not being 100% accurate.
Your baby is more like a human now. His/her legs are longer than the arms. Tiny little fingers are distinguished. You can see the baby moving them, as well as putting them into his mouth. Your doctor can record or take a snapshot of these very exciting moments, on your request. The picture on the right shows the 3D/4D image of a fetus in 15 week.
Also, you will hear a baby’s heart making about 150 beats per minute. That means it is pumping 28 liters of blood per minute. The body is about 10 cm long from crown to rump and 70 g in weight. Your baby has enough place to feel comfortable within your womb since it is growing along with him. You can still see the blood vessels through the thin skin of its body, as well as his swallowing and grimacing.
The ultrasound picture shows identical twins at 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Which Should Be Tests And Exams Carried Further?
Ultrasound examination is routine at this stage of pregnancy. But the women over 35 years of age and those with a high-risk pregnancy are usually candidates for certain tests and exams with ultrasound as well. Amniocentesis and Multiple Marker Screening are the screening tests performed between the 15th and 20th weeks.
The Multiple Marker Screening Test, also called The Quad Screen Test is a blood test. It is recommended to prove if you are having an increased risk for having a baby with birth defects. It is desirable to do it between 15 and 19 weeks of pregnancy to screen for Down syndrome and spina bifida.
By doing amniocentesis, you get a chart of your baby’s chromosomes. That means it shows malformed chromosomes, as well as the normal ones, thus, detecting most of the chromosomal and genetic diseases. During the procedure, doctors measure the level of the alpha-fetoprotein, human chorionic gonadotropin, unconjugated estriol and inhibin A. Very high levels of the alpha-fetoprotein might indicate a neural tube defect so as anencephaly or spina bifida. Although amniocentesis is an invasive procedure, the percentage of miscarriage is very low since the procedure usually performs the doctors with a lot of experience in this field.
What Can You Expect At 15th Week of Pregnancy?
Changes in the Baby’s Body
Sensory Organs. Your baby can now sense light although his eyelids aren’t open yet. He can hear your heartbeat, speaking, even your breathing and it can distinguish the taste of the food you have eaten.
Limbs. The legs are longer than the arms at this point. The fingers are distinguished and the nails are growing. The body is coming in proportion with the head. The arms and legs are already developed enough to move.
External Appearance. Baby’s forehead isn’t so wide like before and the ears are not so low. The eyes are almost at the front of your baby’s face and the facial muscles are properly developed for making grimaces. Your baby is smiling, yawning and creasing. He has the fine layer of downy hair covering his back, shoulders, forehead and ears. It keeps him warm until there is enough fat in his body. The hair begins to grow and thicken; the eyebrows and eyelashes are forming and becoming visible.
Movements. Your baby begins to move, turn, open and close his fists. He can curl his toes as well as kick and punch the legs and arms; while swallowing, grasping and sucking its hands. His lungs are developing as he swallows and spits the water. All the muscles of the baby are also developing actively.
Your Body Changes
Weight. Most women gain about 2 to 2.5 kg by the 15th week, but it is individual.
Hormones. You can be a bit clumsy due to a hormone relaxin which continues to loosen your joints and muscles. The changes in hormones and the secretion of a pigment will cause a brown line between the belly button and the lower abdomen, which will disappear after the birth of the baby. Secretion of melanin is causing the nipples become darker. A little swelling, especially of the fingers, hands and feet due to a water retention caused by hormone progesterone is normal.
Emotional Changes. Distraction, forgetfulness, and poor attention, but also feeling happy or depressed for no obvious reason may happen due to hormonal changes.
Tips for Improving Your Health
This week of your pregnancy is the right time to practice better posture while sitting, standing, walking or sleeping. It’s better to sleep on the left side, but preferably to select a comfortable position for both yourself and the baby. Therefore, you can use a pillow to get into a comfortable position.
Proper nutrition plays a very important role for both the woman and the baby. Drink plenty of fresh water as it contains fluoride that is beneficial for the proper tooth and enamel formation of your baby. Eat lots of vitamin C rich vegetables and fruits as well as cereals, eggs and meat. Vitamin C improves your body’s iron absorption capacity, so it helps the baby’s tissues to develop. Eat food rich in omega-3 fatty acids since the brain and retina of your baby need it for the development in order to be healthy. It is important to balance all the nutrients. It is important to maintain a proper oral hygiene to prevent serious gum infections.
The image shows a boy at the 15th week of pregnancy.
You may need to buy special clothes for pregnant women due to you need for loose and comfortable clothes.