At 15 weeks pregnant, you’re in the second trimester. You may start to feel better if you’d been experiencing morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy. You also may be feeling more energetic.
You may notice several outward changes. Your belly, breasts, and nipples may be getting larger. And you may consider switching to maternity clothes for comfort.
In just a few weeks — usually during weeks 17 to 20 — you’ll feel your baby’s first movements.
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 while your body changes.
Your baby is still small, but there’s a lot happening during week 15. Your baby is now the size of an apple or orange. Their skeleton is beginning to develop and they are wiggling and moving their body parts. You’ll begin to feel little flutters of movement soon. Your baby is also growing more skin and hair, and even eyebrows.
Your babies’ length from crown to rump is around 3 1/2 inches, and they each 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.
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. 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
- continued weight gain
By week 15, you may still feel lingering symptoms from early pregnancy, like nausea or vomiting. But it’s likely that you’ll be getting your appetite back soon. It’s also possible you may experience hyperemesis gravidarum.
Some women may experience hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme morning sickness condition that may require hospitalization. If you experience severe morning sickness, you may become dehydrated and need IV fluid resuscitation and other medications.
Second trimester hypermesis gravidarum may lead to complications in your pregnancy, including increased risks of preterm preeclampsia and placental abruption (premature separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus 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.
By this stage of pregnancy, you should have your appetite back. This may be a perfect time to draw up a healthy eating plan to follow for the rest of your pregnancy.
You must also 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 a normal weight before you became pregnant, 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 (USDA) offers a Daily Food Plan for Moms that will help 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 foods that give you and your baby plenty of nutrition. This plan can also help you make smart choices if you are eating out.
Contact your doctor 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 routinely see your doctor once a month during this stage of pregnancy, so be sure to call if any unusual symptoms arise between visits.