At 15 weeks pregnant, you and your baby are getting bigger every day! You are getting closer to being at the ½-way-point of your pregnancy (time sure does fly!), and it will soon be time to start taking certain decisions into consideration. You’ll want to start educating yourself on the delivery procedure your healthcare provider suggests for your birth, start thinking about nursing versus formula-feeding, and decide if you’d be interested in taking any of the classes that are available to expectant parents (i.e. lamaz, breastfeeding, parenting, etc.). Although some of these topics may seem silly to be discussing at only 15 weeks pregnant, you’ve seen how fast these 15 weeks have gone by, and the upcoming weeks won’t pass any more slowly.
Your baby has reached a length of 4” by this week! Considering the average baby is between 18 and 22” long, she’s coming along nicely. In the 15th week, she starts developing a light layer of hair called lanugo that covers all of her body except her lips, eyelids, palms, and soles of her feet. Although you’re probably envisioning a monkey with this news, adjust your thinking to consider it as almost invisible and very important for protecting her against diseases and infection… and it will have faded by the 8th month of pregnancy. Her bones are getting harder and stronger, her veins are pumping more efficiently, and her lungs are practicing with the inhalation and exhalation of amniotic fluid.
Although it may be more apparent that you’re expecting, the 5-10 pounds of new baby weight you’ve added to your frame should be welcomed as a sign of a healthy pregnancy. Eating well-balanced, healthy foods in proportionate amounts will ensure that your weight gain stays in the recommended range for your and your baby’s optimal health. Being 15 weeks pregnant comes with all of the pro’s and con’s everyone knows about, but one tidbit of information most don’t discuss is the tendency to develop Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) in pregnancy. With all of your hormones fluctuating and accommodating the pregnancy, your ureters are just another part going through changes and undergoing the added pressure of your expanding uterus. This, coupled with not enough water or holding urine too long, can spell disaster in the form of undesirable UTI symptoms: frequent urination, constant feeling of the need to urinate, burning sensation accompanying urination, nausea, headaches, and even fever and chills! Your best bet to avoid this terrible mixed bag of misery is to wash your hands frequently, drink ten 8 oz. glasses of water daily, do NOT fight the urge to use the restroom, wipe from front to back, and consider introducing pure cranberry juice (not cranberry juice cocktail) into your daily diet.
To recap, your 15th week of pregnancy should be about maintaining your health and looking forward into the excitement to come. You and your baby are both developing right on schedule, and there is not much to do at this point other than to take care of yourself, thus taking care of her. To prevent any terrible experience with a UTI, you can make sure you stay hydrated, visit the restroom as needed, and drink pure cranberry juice. Staying healthy is priority #1 and every action to be as healthy as possible is an important one. If you feel ready, start educating yourself about the happenings that go on around the time of the birth of your baby and discuss questions, answers, and options with your partner (you’d be surprised how many men actually have an opinion about breastfeeding!). Getting things taken care of now will only minimize the stress of decision-making with a new addition.