Feeling Baby Move: When it Happens and What it Feels Like

Feeling Baby Move: When it Happens and What if Feels Like

Waiting to feel your baby move for the first time during pregnancy can feel like an eternity. You might experience stomach gas or subtle twitches, unsure if it's your baby or something else. But when you finally recognize those unmistakable baby kicks, excitement washes over you!

When can I expect to feel my baby move?

Typically, women start feeling their baby's first kicks between 16-22 weeks of pregnancy. However, some may feel them earlier, while others may experience them a little later.

First-time moms often notice their baby kicking later, possibly because they are unsure of what to expect or how it feels.

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What does it feel like?

The sensation of baby's first kicks varies from woman to woman, and it might even differ between pregnancies. Some describe it as a butterfly fluttering in their stomach, something wiggling inside, gentle twitches, or even popcorn popping.

Initially, you may feel the baby kick several times in a day, followed by a period of no movement. This fluctuation is completely normal.

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At first, your baby's movements may seem irregular, but eventually, a recognizable pattern of activity will emerge. Your baby may sleep while you're active and start kicking when you're at rest. So, don't worry if you've been busy throughout the day and haven't felt the baby move much. Your movements lull the baby to sleep, and when you're resting, they have more space to wiggle around.

Observing the kicks

If you haven't felt your baby kick for a while, it's likely that you simply didn't notice it, especially if you've been active during the day.

If you're concerned about your baby's reduced movement, try drinking some juice, eating a snack, and lying down. This can provide a burst of energy to the baby and encourage movement.

Toward the end of your pregnancy, your doctor or midwife may suggest keeping track of “kick counts.” The goal is to feel at least 10 movements within a 2-hour period. It's best to do this after eating and while lying down in the evening.

If you notice a significant change in your baby's kicks and movements, reach out to your doctor or midwife. They will likely want to see you and ensure that everything is well with your baby.

Vanessa Pruitt, PLMHP, MS