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15 WEEKS, 1 DAY

174 days to go...

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Your baby today

In this artificially colored ultrasound scan of the baby within the uterus, the spine shows up especially clearly. The two blue crosses, at the top of the baby's head and at his bottom, indicate where the rump to crown measurement is taken.

Your belly "bump" may be clearly visible by this 16th week of pregnancy, and you'll be amazed at how quickly it grows.

At around this stage you may begin to "show," that is, instead of having a slightly bigger waist you develop a definite "bump" and start to look pregnant. You may begin to notice people's eyes are drawn toward your abdomen. If you'd rather keep the pregnancy quiet in some circles-for example, at work-wear baggy clothes.

While some women have neat little bellies positioned more to the front, others have bellies that are more spread out. The size and shape of yours will be individual to you, so try not to compare. There are old wives' tales that if you're carrying in front you're having a boy, and if you're carrying spread out over your hips you're carrying a girl, though this hasn't been proved.

If you haven't bought any maternity clothes, you may want to shop for some or adapt your clothes (see ... Your body).

As A Matter Of Fact

Twin bonding occurs well before the babies are born.

Advanced video technology has captured the special relationship between twins in the uterus. They have been seen to interact and even grasp each other's hands.

Your belly may not be obvious to others when you're wearing baggy clothes, but in tight-fitting ones it will be quite prominent. Although your shape changes gradually, some women find that their belly gets larger more quickly during some weeks than others.

Ask A... Nutritionist

I keep waking up hungry at night-what should I do?

It is normal to get the nighttime munchies during pregnancy, but annoying, especially if you're already having difficulties sleeping. Try to preempt nighttime hunger by snacking on the right foods before you go to bed:

  • Eggs, milk (and therefore cheese, and yogurt, too), and turkey are good sources of the amino acid tryptophan, which encourages the body to produce the B vitamin niacin. This helps the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that has a calming effect and aids sleep.
  • Eat slow-release carbohydrates, such as whole-wheat bread or pasta. So, for example, half a cheese or turkey sandwich, a small amount of whole-wheat pasta with some cheese, or a bowl of good-quality whole-grain breakfast cereal with some warm milk and honey will fill you up, while also helping you sleep better.
  • A handful of nuts and seeds, or some plain yogurt with honey and fruit, are high in protein and will stop your stomach from rumbling.

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Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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