You are 15 Weeks and 3 Days 172 days to go…
It’s time for another routine prenatal appointment to ensure everything is progressing well with you and your baby.
Now the toes are lengthening and a gentle arch to the foot is
beginning to take shape. Your baby can grasp her feet at will but has
difficulty bringing them up to her mouth: this is not a problem a little
later in pregnancy.
Your baby today
You may have another prenatal appointment at around 16 weeks, if you had your last appointment at around 12 weeks. You’ll be weighed.
Your urine will be
tested, and your blood pressure measured, as well as the baby’s heart
rate monitored. Furthermore, the doctor should be able to hear your
baby’s heartbeat (see You are 16 Weeks and 4 Days), which can be very reassuring.
Women who do not have the nuchal translucency scan at around 11–14 weeks, may be offered one of two blood tests, known as the triple test or quadruple test, which are screening tests for Down syndrome.
This appointment also
offers you an opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have, and
your doctor will report the results of the routine tests you had at your first prenatal appointment, or shortly thereafter.
If your blood test results show that your hemoglobin levels were low, you may be offered a prescription for iron.
… Your body
Does my belly look big in this?
You’ll need to choose clothes that accommodate your growing belly, but that doesn’t have to mean investing in a whole new maternity wardrobe just yet.
The following innovations will help keep you comfortable and extend the life of your normal clothes for a few weeks at least:
Pregnancy support pants: these stretch with you and ease the strain on your lower back, while giving you a smoother outline.
an elastic belt that enables you to wear your jeans with a burgeoning
belly. Alternatively, loop a hairband—or, for extra girth, a slice cut
from a pair of tights—around the button, through the buttonhole and
Belly band: a wide band of stretchy fabric that you wear on your belly, to conceal the gap between your top and waistband.
Bra extenders: hook on to the fastening at the back of your bra to add up to 3 in (8 cm).
Borrowing: you can borrow clothes from your partner or friends who are slightly larger than you.
A belly band is a versatile item that covers your belly, enabling you to continue wearing some of your favorite tops.
Maternity wear first appeared around the middle of the 19th century.
At this time a
prudish society felt that pregnancy should be hidden. For this same
reason, and for the well-being of mother and child, women were
encouraged to stay in bed in the weeks leading up to the birth.
You are 15 Weeks and 4 Days 171 days to go…
Your baby’s skin is still transparent and there is little fat lying beneath it at this stage of the pregnancy.
Your baby’s skin is made from three layers.
The outer layer is the epidermis, and beneath this lie the dermis
layer, and the subcutaneous layer. The epidermis started as a single
layer of cells but is now three or four cells thick. The most
superficial layer of epidermal cells flatten but do not harden until
The dermis is made from
connective tissue comprising collagen (90 percent) and elastin fibers
that allow for stretch and resistance. Within the dermis are blood
vessels and nerves that support the epidermis and provide sensory
feedback. At first, the junction between the dermis and epidermis is
smooth, but increasingly dermal ridges form and it becomes irregular.
At the same time your
baby starts to develop hair follicles. There is no significant
subcutaneous fat present at this stage and the skin is almost
transparent. Fat plays a part in temperature control and acts as a
barrier to the passage of water. These barriers are not yet in place so
the skin is still very permeable.
The “goddess” within
Your partner may have mixed feelings about her changing shape.
She may at times appear to be a “pregnant goddess” who enjoys the fact
that she’s carrying a child. After all, there is nothing more female
than being able to conceive and give birth. When she feels positive
about this, she may seem strong and content.
However, at other
times, rather than loving her belly she may feel down about gaining
weight and losing her body shape. When some fashion magazines show
extremely thin women as a symbol of “beauty,” it is little wonder that
the arrival of the belly can trigger a number of conflicting feelings in
a pregnant woman, making her sometimes doubt her looks and knocking her
You can help your
partner by steering her toward her more positive “goddess” side and
reassuring her about her looks. It helps to remind her that what she’s
doing is amazing and that you think she’s absolutely gorgeous.
Boost her self-esteem: as her body changes shape, make her feel beautiful and wanted.
Low-dose aspirin may reduce the risk of preeclampsia in women at the highest-risk.
Some research has
shown that mothers who previously had severe early preeclampsia who take
low-dose aspirin (81 mg daily) can lower their risk of getting it
again. But don’t use aspirin unless directed by your doctor, since it
can cause serious side effects.