Sensory development in week 15
Around week 15 of your pregnancy, your baby’s ears are developed enough1 to hear sounds from within your body, such as your heartbeat, voice and digestive system2. They can also pick up muffled sounds from the outside world2. However, the auditory centres in their brain aren’t functioning, so they can’t make any sense of these sounds yet1. Their eyes are also in the early stages of development, and although they are still fused shut, they now have some sensitivity to light2.
“Your baby’s ear mechanisms are now developed enough to hear your heartbeat.”
Your baby’s skin is still very thin in your 15th week of pregnancy, and if you were able to look inside your womb, you’d be able to see their ribs and blood vessels under the surface1. They’re becoming increasingly active now, using their time awake as a chance to practise moving their body and flexing their muscles. They may even have started sucking their tiny thumb3.
Keep it fluid
It’s more important than ever to stay hydrated when you’re pregnant. The European Food Safety Authority recommends that women drink around 2 litres of water a day with an extra 300ml per day recommended during pregnancy4. That’s equivalent to about 9–10 250ml drinks per day.
“It’s more important than ever to stay hydrated when you’re pregnant.”
In addition to water, this includes all drinks like milk, fruit juices, squash, and even soup. Tea and coffee also count but it’s important to limit your intake of caffeine as drinking too much has been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage5. And, just like any other time, you’ll need more drinks in hot weather or after physical activity.
Why is it important to stay hydrated while pregnant?
The human body is approximately 60% water and loses on average 2 litres of water a day. It’s essential that this fluid is replaced to:
- Avoid dehydration
- Enable your blood to carry nutrients around your body and get rid of waste
- Reduce the likelihood of getting urinary tract infections, which can be more common in pregnancy6
- Maintain healthy bowel function
How do I know if I’m dehydrated?
These are some of the signs that you may be dehydrated7:
- Feeling thirsty
- Passing dark-coloured urine infrequently (less than 3 or 4 times a day)
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Dry mouth, lips and eyes
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, then make sure you drink more fluid as soon as possible.