At week 15, you’ve likely become used to the idea of being pregnant. Now that your second trimester is under way, you may start to feel better if you suffered from morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy. You also may be feeling more energetic in general.
Changes in Your Body
You may notice several outward changes in your body. Your belly may be getting larger as well as your breasts and nipples. With these outward changes, you may consider switching to maternity clothes for comfort. These physical changes may also make your pregnancy feel more real. In just a few weeks, you will feel your baby’s first movements, as this usually occurs during weeks 17 to 20.
As your body adjusts to mid-pregnancy, your emotions may shift. Remember to keep an open dialogue with your partner and share how you are feeling. You may feel anxious about your pregnancy or elated about what’s to come. Your sex life may even change during this time. Feelings about sex can heighten or disappear with the many changes to your body during pregnancy.
Though your baby is still small, there’s a lot happening during week 15. Your baby is now the size of an apple or orange. The skeleton is beginning to develop bones, and your baby is wiggling and moving its body parts. You’ll begin to feel little flutters of movement soon. Additionally, your baby is growing more skin and hair, even eyebrows.
Twin Development at Week 15
Your babies’ length from crown to rump is around 3 1/2 inches, and they weigh 1 1/2 ounces. Your doctor may encourage you to have an amniocentesis to assess the health of your babies. This test is typically performed after week 15 in pregnancy.
Now that you are in the second trimester, your symptoms may be less intense than in the first trimester. That doesn’t mean that you are symptom-free, though. During your second trimester, you may experience the following symptoms:
- body aches
- tingling in the hands and feet (carpal tunnel syndrome)
- darkening of the skin around the nipples
By week 15, you may still feel lingering symptoms from early pregnancy nausea or vomiting, but it’s likely that you’ll be getting your appetite back soon. Some women suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme morning sickness condition that may require hospitalization. If you suffer from severe morning sickness, you may become dehydrated and therefore need IV fluid resuscitation and other medications. Second trimester hypermesis gravidarum may lead to complications in your pregnancy, including increased risks of preterm preeclampsia, placental abruption (premature separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus), and small for gestational age birth, suggests a study in Evidence Based Nursing. Make sure to call your doctor if you experience unrelenting morning sickness in the second trimester.
Things to Do This Week for a Healthy Pregnancy
By this stage of pregnancy, you should have your appetite back after several months of living on saltine crackers and ginger ale, or whatever else sounded good. This may be a perfect time to draw up a healthy eating plan for the remainder of your pregnancy.
Though you are eating for both you and baby, you must keep in mind that any additional calories you consume during pregnancy should be nutritious. The American Pregnancy Association advises that you add an additional 300 calories per day to your diet. These extra calories should come from foods like:
- lean meats
- low-fat dairy
- whole grains
These foods will provide you with extra nutrients like protein, calcium, folic acid, and other vitamins. These nutrients will help provide your body with what it needs during pregnancy.
If you were at normal weight before you became pregnant, you will aim to gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. During your second trimester, you may gain a pound a week. Eat a variety of healthy foods and limit your focus on the scale.
To determine a healthy diet while pregnant, the United States Department of Agriculture offers a Daily Food Plan for Moms that helps you develop a healthy eating plan. You also want to make sure to avoid foods that are not safe to consume while pregnant, and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. The Office on Women's Health provides guidelines for preparing and consuming certain foods when pregnant.
With a healthy eating plan in place you can enjoy food that gives you and your baby plenty of nutrition. With increased energy levels in the second trimester, you may even feel ready to go out again. This plan can help you make smart choices if you are eating out with your partner, friends, or family.
When to Call the Doctor
Contact your obstetrician if you experience any of the following symptoms in the second trimester:
- unusual or severe cramping or abdominal pain
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath that is getting worse
- signs of premature labor
- vaginal spotting or bleeding
You only routinely see your doctor once a month during this stage of pregnancy, so be sure to call if any unusual symptoms arise. During prenatal visits, make sure to bring up any issues to ensure your peace of mind.