At 15 weeks your baby is able to form a fist. Hair begins to grow and eyebrows start to appear.
A fine layer of hair, known as lanugo, is starting to cover your baby’s body. This hair keeps the baby’s body temperature constant. The lanugo performs this temperature function until the baby is born; it disappears soon before birth.
His or her skeleton continues to take shape in your 15 weeks pregnant belly, with more bone building and muscle development happening every day.
You may notice that it is harder to catch your breath than usual, which is one of the common week 15 pregnancy symptoms. Try to take it easy and avoid overexertion, if possible.
At 15 weeks pregnant, what to expect also may include yeast infections. This issue is easily treatable with topical fungal creams, but it is best to consult your doctor or pharmacist first if you notice any itchiness, odour, or unusual discharge.
While week 15 pregnancy symptoms vary from mum to mum, you will experience some weight gain at this point.
Depending on your age and medical history, your doctor may suggest you undergo prenatal testing. The two most common tests are the maternal serum screening test and amniocentesis, both of which can be performed between this week and week 20.
The maternal serum screening test is a simple blood test that’s intended to test for markers which can indicate whether you are at high risk of having a baby with a neural-tube defect like Spina Bifida or a genetic condition like Down Syndrome.
Amniocentesis more invasive but it can give you a definitive diagnosis if previous tests have indicated a possible abnormality. When you have an amniocentesis, the doctor inserts a long, skinny needle into your belly to extract a sample of fluid from the amniotic sac.
When examined in a lab, the amniotic fluid can reveal a number of genetic disorders as well as chromosomal abnormalities like Down Syndrome and neural-tube defects.
It’s important to be aware of the possible risks of an amniocentesis by consulting your midwife or doctor for more information.
Meditation and deep breathing exercises can help if you find yourself short of breath or anxious about upcoming tests.