Your baby this week
15 weeks pregnant

Up in the air

Planning to fly? We don’t mean to gross you out, but it’s important to realize that airplanes are notoriously germy. Airlines cram a lot of people into a small space, and there’s a lot of turnover… which means a lot of bacteria and viruses are living it up on the plane's surfaces and in the ventilation system. Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to maximize your odds of staying healthy.

Traveling woman

1) It's okay not to be super-friendly -- you need to stay away from anyone who seems sick. (Ask to change your seat if need be.)

2) Try not to touch your tray table or the arm rests with your hands, and wash your hands before eating or touching your face. Bring along pre-moistened hand wipes (or some hand sanitizer) -- and use them!

3) Stay nice and hydrated so your body can keep its natural defense mechanisms working.

4) Wear a face mask. Yes, you might look kind of strange, but you’ll really reduce your exposure to germ-laden airborne droplets circulating through the cabin from other people’s coughs and sneezes.

Get more helpful tips for air travel here!


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Midlife moms

Twins

Why are older women more likely to have twins? Dutch researchers have demonstrated for the first time that older women are more likely than younger women to have multiple ovulations in the same menstrual cycle, thus explaining why non-identical twins become more common as women approach the end of their reproductive life.

According to co-authors Professor Roy Homburg and Dr Cornelius Lambalk from the Reproductive Medicine Division at Vrije University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, the findings give credence to previous theories that the rising concentrations of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)1 that occur as women age can cause some ovaries to go into overdrive, tripping them into a state where they have a simultaneous double ovulation. Click here to learn more!


In the know

Amniocentesis, a prenatal test, identifies fetal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome, fetal infections, skeletal and blood diseases, and is also the most accurate way to determine the baby's gender.

This test is performed on "older" mothers (typically those over 35 years of age) more often than younger ones because the risk of fetal abnormalities increases with age. The test itself -- which involves drawing out some of the amniotic fluid with a needle -- has risks, however. Read more about them here.