Pregnancy
15 weeks and 4 days pregnant

In this 2D ultrasound, the top of the baby’s head is in shadow, although the hand can be seen in front of the face. All the bones are growing and maturing at this stage of pregnancy.

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 much later.

The dermis is made from connective tissue comprising collagen (90 per cent) and elastin fibres 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.

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 bump 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 bump can trigger a number of conflicting feelings in a pregnant woman, making her sometimes doubt her looks and knocking her self-esteem.

You can help your partner by steering her towards her more positive “goddess” side and reassuring her about her looks. It’s worth reminding her that what she’s doing is amazing and that you think she’s absolutely gorgeous.

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Boost her self-esteem: as her body changes shape, make her feel beautiful and wanted.

In the case of women who are at high risk of pre-eclampsia, low-dose aspirin throughout the pregnancy may be prescribed.

Pre-eclampsia causes excessive blood clotting and low-dose aspirin could help to counter this. Always seek medical advice before taking any type of medication during your pregnancy.

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