Can the Baby Feel When I Rub My Belly at 15 Weeks?

Medically Reviewed on 1/26/2022
Can the Baby Feel When I Rub My Belly at 15 Weeks
According to some researchers, it isn’t until about 21 weeks of pregnancy that your baby may begin to feel sensations when you rub your belly

At 15 weeks of pregnancy, you are in your second trimester and will start to notice big changes. However, according to some researchers, it isn’t until about 21 weeks of pregnancy that your baby may begin to feel sensations when you rub your belly. Studies have shown that fetal movements may increase at this stage of pregnancy when the belly is rubbed. 

You may begin to feel your baby kick as early as weeks 13-15, although it's more common to feel them closer to weeks 18-20.

What is fetal development at 15 weeks?

By the end of 15 weeks, your baby will measure about 5 inches long and weigh about 3 ounces.

Your baby can now detect light and sound even with the fused eyelids. The bones in their ears will start developing, and they will be able to hear your voice as well as sounds made by your heart and digestive system

Primary air sacs in the lungs are developing through the process of moving the amniotic fluid through the nose and upper respiratory tract. Blood vessels develop under the transparent skin, and soft hair called lanugo starts to appear on the head. 

Your baby will also start to use their arms and legs as their joints become more flexible and their limbs grow longer in proportion. They will develop the ability to suck their thumb. During this week, your docto can also detect the sex of your baby.

What are symptoms at 15 weeks of pregnancy?

Your total metabolism and basal metabolic rate will increase because of the needs of the growing fetus. Hormonal changes and increased blood production to compensate for the demand for oxygen and nutrients can put pressure on certain areas in the body, which can cause symptoms such as:

During the second trimester, the fully developed placenta provides enough oxygen and nutrients to the fetus and carries out fetal waste products. Placental hormones such as progesterone and estrogen support the uterus to maintain the pregnancy. 

Symptoms such as morning sickness, constant nausea, fatigue, and irritability start to decrease, and you may begin to feel better and more active. Your stomach will continue to expand to make room for your baby’s growth, and you may gain more weight.

What screening tests are done at 15 weeks of pregnancy?

The following screening tests may be done at 15 weeks of pregnancy:

  • Ultrasound scan: An ultrasound scan at week 15 is highly recommended because it can give your doctor a clear idea about how the baby is growing. Developmental and structural abnormalities can be detected early at this stage.
  • Amniocentesis: The small amount of amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus is aspirated and checked for chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus cells. This test is commonly used for the detection of chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome and trisomy 13.
  • Multiple marker tests: Tests such as sequential screening, quad screen, and alpha fetoprotein test are performed to screen for neural tube defects such as spina bifida, anencephaly, and chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, practicing good oral hygiene, and exercising regularly may be recommended both during pregnancy and after delivery to avoid any complications.


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Medically Reviewed on 1/26/2022
Image Source: iStock Images