Your body at week 15

You are now 15 weeks pregnant (or in your 16th week if that’s how you count it).

How your baby is growing

Your baby remains small enough to fit into the palm of your hands. You might be able to feel your baby’s hiccups. Your baby’s legs are becoming longer than the arms and all his limbs and joints can now move. Read more on the development this week of your baby here.

How your life is changing

One of the most cherished moments of pregnancy is feeling the baby move. Its the first time you feel the presence of your baby. Many women feel quickening, as it is called, between 16 to 20 weeks. These wiggles may be felt by you as a flutter low down in your tummy. Make a note to inform your physician during the next visit. Some women sense the baby move a little later or less regularly than others so there’s no need to worry if you haven’t noticed your baby moving yet.

Around this time, your doctor might prescribe an antenatal test to screen for congenital defects. The multiple marker screening test, which measures levels of Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) among additional items, is generally performed between 15 and 20 weeks. Amniocentesis, another important test is often recommended for those with a history of birth defects and for women over 35. It’s typically performed at around 14 to 18 weeks. The tests for chromosomal problems are not routine, but if they are prescribed, your physician will discuss them in detail with you.

Your immune system is partially weakened when you’re pregnant. You might catch more colds than usual during the period. Even though they’re frustrating and tiring, these won’t hurt your baby. However, not all illnesses are benign. Conditions like vaginal herpes, chicken pox, or rubella can cause difficulties for your baby according to the period of pregnancy when you get it. But chances are may have previously had these illnesses, or in the case of German measles, been inoculated against it, so you will be immune anyhow. You are screened for infections during the first trimester and must inform your doctor if you encounter any worrying symptoms.