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Pregnancy at week 15

5-minute read

Your baby

Your baby is gaining weight quickly now, and their body is growing faster than their head.

The bones in your 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. Now is a great time to start talking to your baby. You might feel silly doing this at first, but you'll soon get used to it and may even enjoy it.

Around this time your baby becomes covered in a fine, soft hair called 'lanugo'. Although the exact reason for this is unknown, it is believed it may be to keep your baby at the right temperature. Usually babies shed this hair before they are born, but if they still have it when they're born, it will soon disappear on its own.

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.

There are many changes happening in your body. You will be gaining weight as your baby and pregnancy grow and develop and you may also find that the skin around your nipples (areola) may be getting darker and your hair and nails are growing more quickly – this is all very normal.

Things to remember

From 15 weeks, you might be offered a blood test, known as maternal serum screening. This is only offered if you didn't have prenatal screening in your first trimester. These screening tests are offered to assess your baby's risk of being affected by a chromosomal difference, like Down syndrome. These tests are optional although you may find it useful to talk to a genetic counsellor, your midwife or doctor, or use a decision aid tool to decide if this is right for you.

If an amniocentesis is recommended, this can be done from 15 weeks. An amniocentesis is not a routine test in pregnancy; it's used to confirm if your baby has a genetic or other chromosome condition.

Amniocentesis may be offered to you if:

  • you have had a high risk prenatal screening test result
  • you have already had a child with a genetic or chromosomal condition
  • you are 35-37 years of age or over when your baby is due
  • if you or your partner are carriers of a particular condition

Before you have the test it's a good idea to think about why you are choosing to do it, and how you will feel once you get the results. Consider also who you want to discuss any important decisions with. Your partner, a friend or family member, or a health professional such as your doctor or midwife are all good options.

Resources and support

Speak to your doctor, midwife or obstetrician if you have questions about your pregnancy.

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby also has more information on:

Speak to a maternal child health nurse

Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.

NEXT WEEK...YOUR PREGNANCY AT WEEK 16 — Learn about your pregnancy journey and what is happening to you and your baby.

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Last reviewed: August 2023

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Need more information?

Amniocentesis: what you need to know -

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.

Read more on myDr website


Amniocentesis is a diagnostic test, done during pregnancy, to assess whether the baby has an abnormality or serious health condition. Find out what’s involved.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Maternal screening | Pathology Tests Explained

The maternal serum screening tests involve the measurement of different pregnancy-associated hormones, which are found in all pregnancies. 

Read more on Pathology Tests Explained website

Antenatal tests: chromosomal anomalies | Raising Children Network

Antenatal tests can tell you if your baby has chromosomal anomalies or other conditions. Your health professional can help you make choices about these tests.

Read more on website

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

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

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is a test done during pregnancy, where a sample of cells from the placenta is used to check for genetic conditions.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Routine antenatal tests

During pregnancy, you'll be offered various blood tests and ultrasound scans. Find out what each test can tell you about you and your baby's health.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

What is a congenital disorder?

Congenital disorder, also known as congenital disease or birth defects, are conditions present from birth. Find out more about congenital disorders.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby 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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