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The baby still looks like a tadpole as a tiny tail (extension of the tailbone) is still there; but, it is retrieving fast and will disappear within a few weeks [3].
Sensory organs and facial development: The lens and retina attaches themselves as the eyes develop.
Internal organ and system development: This is also the week when the liver begins producing red blood cells until the bone marrow is mature enough to take over the job. Growth of the arms and the legs: The limb buds start to flatten and form cartilage (which will later turn into bones) [1], preparing to grow the hands, foot, fingers and toes. Nervous System Development: Your baby’s nervous system continues to grow [1] as about 100 nerve cells are developing every minute [4]. At the seventh week of growth, the embryo is about 1.25 cm long (crown-rump length) [1] – almost as big as a cherry [2].
Most women are likely to gain some weight by this time while those suffering from severe morning sickness may even lose some weight. Another major change occurring during this period is the formation of the mucus plug in the cervical canal opening to keep the uterus safely sealed. A pelvic exam will show an increased size of the uterus [10] but, the baby is still too small for you to start showing.
Ultrasound scan performed during this stage shows two black dots partially covered by folds of eyelids, which will later form the baby’s eyes [11].
Most women continue to experience the common early pregnancy symptoms while it is also normal to have few or no symptoms [3]. The symptom of morning sickness is likely to be comparatively severe in women carrying twins due to higher pregnancy hormone levels. Watch out for the following symptoms as they may indicate certain complications such as a yeast infection, kidney infection, ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. You are now entering the third week of the second trimester and are probably enjoying your pregnancy more than before.
Your baby is now developed enough to hear your heartbeat, breathing and speaking, as the bones in his ears begin to harden or ossify [1].
The legs are gradually growing longer than the arms, coming in proportion with the head and rest of the body.


The ears have now reached their final position while the eyes are almost at the front of your baby’s face [5].
The fetal movement is gradually getting more complex with your baby curling those tiny toes while kicking and punching the legs and arms.
Weight gain is a principal body change during this stage with most women gaining about 5 pounds by the 15th week. You are probably finally starting to feel pregnant (if you did not earlier) as the baby bump is finally starting to show enough for others to notice that you are carrying [10]. An ultrasound image can show your baby grimacing, swallowing, moving his arms and legs and sucking on his tiny thumb [11] while you can still see the growing blood vessels through the thin skin [12].
This is the right time to talk to your doctor regarding the necessity of any screening tests. Amniocentesis can detect most of the chromosomal and genetic diseases [3], while the multiple marker is performed for measuring the alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels in the mother’s blood [13]. Including lots of vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables in your daily diet as, it is necessary for the proper connective tissue formation in the fetus. The jaw, mouth, lips, teeth, tongue [4] and the tip of the nose also begin developing at this stage while tiny veins start to grow beneath the thin skin layers [3].
The appendix and pancreas begins to form, which will later produce insulin hormone to help in digestion.
Your doctor may be able to hear and see the heartbeat on an ultrasound and show it to you as well [3]. Ultrasound pictures also show the head to be disproportionately larger compared to the body due to the rapid brain development [6].
But, there is no need to worry if you continue to experience the first trimester signs like morning sickness, insomnia, food aversions and metallic taste in your mouth into the second, especially if you are carrying twins. The nails on the little fingers and toes are growing fast [1], while all the joints in his body are already developed enough to move [4].
He continues to practice different facial expressions to give the muscles a proper work out.
He is also practicing swallowing, grasping and sucking so he can survive on his own after birth [5].


However, do not get too concerned if you are not showing yet as each pregnancy is different. There are no routine exams for week 15, but women over 35 years of age and those with high risk pregnancies are usually prescribed to have certain tests to assess the fetal health at this stage [13]. A part of the growing intestine connects to the umbilical cord for carrying oxygen and nutrients through the blood vessels in the area [5]. Although, it is too early to start wearing maternity clothes, you may pick some loose clothing to stay comfortable.
The pregnancy hormones responsible for most of these symptoms function differently in each pregnancy, making it unique in many ways.
Lanugo, the fine layer of downy hair now covering the fetus’s back, shoulders, forehead and ears, will continue helping him retain body heat until there is enough fat in his body to keep him warm [6]. Another new development this week is the frequent hiccups that come before the fetus starts practicing breathing [7].
It is quite normal to lose balance or trip a few times for no reason as your center of gravity is changing due to the growing belly [9]. Although gender detection might be possible through an ultrasound at this stage, it is advisable to wait a few more weeks to get an accurate result. Multiple marker screening (blood test) [14] and amniocentesis are the common screening tests performed between the 15th and 20th weeks [8]. The sex glands also start to form; however, it is still too early to see whether it is a boy or girl on an ultrasound picture [4]. However, these hiccups do not make any sound as the fetal trachea is filled with amniotic fluid instead of air. The pregnancy hormone relaxin continues to loosen your joints and muscles, making you a bit clumsy. The kidneys are already in place and will soon begin to produce urine which will form a significant portion of amniotic fluid.




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