Pregnancy
15 weeks and 2 days pregnant

The fingertips are prominent and the fingers still quite short. Each finger is separate and moves independently of the rest. This is the most comfortable position for the hand, with the thumb and fingers outstretched rather than curled into a fist.

You’re unlikely to feel her move yet, but your baby is becoming increasingly active inside your uterus.

By now, your baby may be active for up to five minutes at a time.In the next few weeks, you may begin to feel some slight fluttering movements, particularly if this is not your first pregnancy. You’ll only be aware of those movements that cause your baby to make contact with the inner muscular wall of your uterus.

The placenta itself can act like a cushion absorbing the impact of all but the strongest of the baby’s movements. For this reason, women with an anterior placenta (one lying on the front wall of the uterus – that closest to the skin) often feel the movements at a much later stage than those with a posteriorly sited placenta (one that lies closer to the back).

Your baby’s brain is continuing to develop. The nerve cells that will form the outer grey matter start centrally within the brain, and need to move outwards to their final position. This process takes place in waves that occur from 8 to 16 weeks. The migration process is not complete until 25 weeks and electrical activity cannot be detected until 29 weeks. Even after this point, grey matter continues to mature and organize neural connections in the brain throughout the pregnancy. Your baby’s body is now longer than her head for the first time.

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3D ultrasound scanning uses computer technology to produce more detailed images than conventional 2D scans. This scan shows a 15-week-old fetus in the uterus. At this stage all of the organs are formed, as are the vocal cords.

Can using sunbeds and jacuzzis harm my unborn baby?

Although there’s no evidence that sunbed or jacuzzi use harms the baby, it has been reported that a rise in the mother’s temperature, which can happen while on a tanning bed, or in a hot tub or sauna, may increase the fetus’s temperature. A temperature above 39°C (102°F) has been associated with spinal malformations in developing babies, and if a rise in temperature is maintained for long enough, it may cause brain damage. The temperature of the amniotic fluid can also increase and it is thought that an extreme rise in your temperature can cause problems with the flow of blood to the baby.

So limit sunbed and jacuzzi use, don’t have hot baths, and be careful in hot climates.

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