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Week 15

Week 15

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This time in your pregnancy is one of the most exciting you get to see your baby up close during an ultrasound! Not only are facial and body features much more prominent, but you can find out the baby's sex if you choose to. The baby has grown to be about 4.5 inches, and can now suck his or her thumb.

Inside the body, the bones are continuing to get harder (ossification), and the skin is getting thicker. At this mark, the fetus skin is nearly transparent, and the veins are easily visible underneath. A fine covering of hair called lanugo protects the baby's skin, and will disappear around the 26th week of pregnancy. Your body is also changing the uterus is past your hipbones at this point, and you can feel it under your navel.

When you have your doctor's visit, the physician will measure something called fundal height to ensure that your baby is at the proper size. This is measured from the top of the uterus to the pubic bone, and will be done at each doctor's appointment until you deliver your baby.

Now comes a difficult decision do you want to know the sex of your baby? Some parents want to know, while others prefer to keep it a surprise until the baby's birth. If you have an amniocentesis, your baby's gender can be determined from the chromosomes and is very accurate. Keep in mind that an ultrasound is not free from error, so remember that it's not always accurate before you decorate the nursery in pink or blue. The ultrasound technician will ask if you want to know the sex of the baby, as it's often difficult to tell.

Your doctor will offer you a test called quadruple marker screening. This test will measure four different chemicals in your blood, and can pick up on certain genetic abnormalities. If the results warrant further testing, your physician will advise you to get an amniocentesis, which tests a sampling of the amniotic fluid.

The growing weight of the baby can start to cause you to be uncomfortable after standing for a long period of time or while sleeping. As your uterus expands and the baby grows, your circulation is affected, and you may feel aches and pains. You can try tucking a pillow between your legs while you sleep on your side, and trying to avoid standing for long periods of time. Yoga or water aerobics can help keep your body limber and relaxed as your belly expands.


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