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Pregnancy at week 15

3-minute read


Your baby

Your baby is gaining weight quickly now, and their body is growing faster than their head. They weigh about 80g and measure about 12cm from head to bottom – about the size of an orange.

The bones in the baby’s ears are developing, which means they are starting to hear for the first time. They will be able to listen to the sound of your heartbeat, digestive system and voice. Their eyes are still fused shut, but they can respond to light.

They may be able to suck their thumb, grip with their fingers, squint and grimace. Fine hair, called lanugo, is starting to grow all over their body.

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Your body

More blood is now flowing around your body, which might be giving you a pregnancy ‘glow’. It can also cause some side effects, including changes to your blood pressure, bleeding gums or nose, and headaches.

The nausea of the first trimester should have cleared up by now, but talk to your doctor if you’re still feeling sick or vomiting.

You will be gaining weight and your body may be changing. The skin around your nipples may be getting darker and you may notice your hair and nails are growing more quickly. You might feel a bit achy and have tingling in your hands or feet – but this is normal.

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Things to remember

From 15 weeks, you might have a blood test and detailed ultrasound, known as maternal serum screening. This is usually done if you didn’t have the combined first trimester screening. Maternal serum screening will indicate whether your baby is at risk of certain physical or intellectual conditions such as Down syndrome– but it’s not foolproof. While screening might suggest about 5 in every 100 babies could be at increased risk, most of these won’t experience problems.

If you need to have an amniocentesis, this can be done from 15 weeks. An amniocentesis is not a routine test in pregnancy; it’s used to diagnose any problems or serious health conditions affecting your baby.

You might also need an amniocentesis if you’re older than 35, if there is a history of genetic disorders in your family, or if the screening tests you had earlier in your pregnancy showed there might be a problem. An amniocentesis will give you a clear diagnosis.

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Your pregnancy journey

Click here for week 16


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Last reviewed: August 2019


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Need more information?

Pregnancy - Pregnancy Topics - Amniocentesis

Amniocentesis is one of a number of tests that can be used to detect birth defects in pregnancy

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Amniocentesis: what you need to know - MyDr.com.au

Amniocentesis is a test that can be done in pregnancy. It is possible to tell from the test whether the fetus has certain birth defects.

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Amniocentesis is a diagnostic test carried out during pregnancy to assess whether the baby has an abnormality or serious health condition.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

RANZCOG - Amniocentesis

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) is dedicated to the establishment of high standards of practice in obstetrics and gynaecology and women’s health.

Read more on RANZCOG - Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website

Amniocentesis - InsideRadiology

InsideRadiology provides free and easily accessible, accurate, up to date and credible information about medical imaging tests and procedures.

Read more on InsideRadiology website

Pregnancy tests - ultrasound - Better Health Channel

betterhealth.vic.gov.au

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Placental abruption - Better Health Channel

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Read more on Better Health Channel website

Pregnancy - Pregnancy Topics - Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) is one of a number of tests that can be used to detect birth defects in pregnancy

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Pregnancy - Pregnancy Topics - Your relationship with your partner during pregnancy

 A baby will bring about some major changes in every couple's relationship - well before the baby is even born! For some couples, these changes happen very easily, other couples may need to make more of a conscious adjustment to these changes  Many couples also find that pregnancy and parenting mean they need to make changes in their physical relationship

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Pregnancy - Pregnancy Topics - Screening tests for Down syndrome

Screening tests can be done to work out the chance that your baby has Down syndrome

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

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The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

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