Your baby this week
15 weeks pregnant

In the know

The placenta is now a completely functional organ. The placenta functions as a barrier: Blood and most bacteria cannot pass through, though it does allow for the transfer of nutrients from mother to baby (and wastes from baby to mother).

Remember that what you eat, drink and breathe, the baby eats, drinks and breathes, too! Watch the sugar, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine intake -- and don't take any herbal remedies or medications (even over-the-counter ones) without approval from your healthcare provider.


See that dentist!

Woman

With a calendar full of caregiver appointments, visiting the dentist may be the last thing on an expectant mother's mind. It is essential, however, that mothers-to-be recognize the role oral health plays in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

A woman's hormone levels rise considerably during pregnancy, resulting in increased blood flow to the gums. This causes swollen, sensitive gums that are easily irritated by plaque build-up and prone to gingivitis -- a condition resulting from unremoved plaque.

Expectant moms can prevent gingivitis by keeping teeth clean and, if necessary, increasing dental visits. The American Dental Association warns of studies indicating that women who have severe gum disease may be at risk for pre-term delivery, which increases the chances of having a low birth-weight baby. Go here to read more!


Cheesy

Brie cheeseListeria monocytogenes (commonly known as Listeria) is a type of bacteria found in some types of cheese -- primarily soft, white, Mexican style (such as Queso Blanco and Queso Fresco) cheeses are affected, although the FDA reports that past studies also have implicated Feta, Brie, Camembert, and blue-veined cheeses such as Roquefort. They also note that no problems have been found with hard cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss), processed slices, cottage cheese or yogurt.

During pregnancy, you and your baby are both vulnerable to infection, so avoid risk and skip the soft cheese. Also be wary of undercooked poultry, hot dogs that have not been thoroughly reheated, and items you might find behind a deli counter -- especially those which may have come into contact with infected cheeses. To find out more, click here.


Beauty during pregnancy

Women who had trouble keeping their skin clear from acne before pregnancy may enjoy clear and glowing complexions during pregnancy, while others may have their first acne breakouts.

To fend off breakouts, try to keep your face as clean as possible, but not too dry. Whether your acne is severe or mild, choose makeup that's water-based and non-comedogenic (meaning it won't clog pores). More on acne here!

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