Now that you're moving into the 'blooming stage' or second trimester of pregnancy, you should hopefully be starting to enjoy your new feelings more and finding it much easier to get on as before. By now, most women have overcome the worst of their morning sickness and are starting to enjoy having an increased appetite, good mobility levels, and better quality of sleep.
Changes to you and your bodyYou may start to notice that your hair feels thicker and healthier than usual during this time and also start to pick up on changes to your skin tone and appearance. Many women develop a dark line down the centre of their lower abdomen and pelvic region. Known as the linea nigra, this harmless and temporary line is caused by increased skin pigmentation during pregnancy and will disappear after the birth.
The majority of women also begin to noticeably gain weight from around this time as your bump continues to grow in size and baby gets hungrier. Healthy weight gain levels usually range between 2.5 and 4.5kg - any more or less is probably either under nourishing baby or taking the maxim of ‘eating for two’ a little too seriously!
Changes to your babyBy Week 15, baby will have grown to around 9.1cm in height – similar to the dimensions of a medium-sized mango – and weighs in at around 70g. Given that he or she is learning to breathe, albeit in a fluid, rather than air-filled environment, baby may also start to experience occasional hiccups, some of which you may be able to feel.
Your baby’s ears are now fully formed and his or her hearing ability is functional, which means that they will be able to hear your voice from inside the womb. Arms and legs continue to elongate and scalp patterns, determining later hair growth, will be starting to form on their tiny head, although hair will still take some time to develop.
Some mums like to fine-tune their baby’s newfound ability to hear by playing music into the womb through headphones. Although it may seem a little strange at first, talking to your baby also helps to familiarise them with your voice, which is said to help with bonding after birth.
Tips for a happy pregnancyEating more protein such as nuts, seeds, and dairy products is advised as it is thought to help power baby’s on-going growth and development. Many scientists think that taking Omega-3 fatty acids can help with baby’s brain development, so eating fish such as salmon, as well as walnuts and eggs are a good idea.
However, you may want to limit your intake of food that could carry microorganisms such as listeria, salmonella, and toxoplasma gondii, since they can harm your baby. These include raw or undercooked meat, eggs, or shellfish, unwashed vegetables, ripened cheeses, whipped ice cream and unpasteurised milk. You should always follow the latest government guidelines on which foods to avoid during pregnancy ad these do change frequently.
Choosing to undertake some form of gentle exercise, such as walking or water aerobics is also a good idea for keeping both you and baby fit and healthy - check online for local antenatal exercise classes or check with your midwife. These are also an excellent way of making new friends to share your pregnancy with. Always remember thought to be sure to keep hydrated by drinking lots of water, whatever exercise you settle on.
Now is also an excellent time to consider going on holiday, as you will be feeling less nauseous or tired than the first trimester and not as heavy as you may get in your final trimester. The next few weeks are also the best time for travelling by air as it poses less of a risk to your unborn child. Take a look at our guide on travelling when pregnant for more advice.