Fetal Movement: Feeling Baby Kick

Fetal movement introduction

One of the most exciting moments in your pregnancy is when you feel those first little flutters of your baby kicking. These tiny movements reassure you that your baby is developing and help you feel closer to the little life inside of you.

When Will I Feel My Baby Kicking?

You should feel your baby's first movements, called "quickening," between weeks 16 and 25 of your pregnancy. If this is your first pregnancy, you may not feel your baby move until closer to 25 weeks. By the second pregnancy, some women start to feel movements as early as 13 weeks. You're more likely to feel baby move when you're in a quiet position, either sitting or lying down.

What Does the Baby Kicking Feel Like?

Pregnant women describe their baby's movements as butterflies, nervous twitches, or a tumbling motion. At first, it may be hard to tell whether your baby has moved. Second- and third-time moms are more adept at distinguishing those first baby movements from gas , hunger pangs, and other internal motions.

By your second and third trimesters, the movements should be more distinct, and you'll be able to feel your baby's kicks, jabs, and elbows.

How Often Should I Feel My Baby Moving?

Early in your pregnancy, you may just feel a few flutters every now and then. But as your baby grows -- usually by the end of the second trimester -- the kicks should grow stronger and more frequent. Studies show that by the third trimester, the baby moves about 30 times each hour.

Babies tend to move more at certain times of the day as they alternate between alertness and sleep. They are usually most active between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m., right as you're trying to get to sleep. This surge in activity is due to your changing blood sugar levels. Babies also can respond to sounds or touch, and may even kick your partner in the back if you snuggle too close in bed.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/6/2012

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Fetal Movement - Baby's Movements Question: Describe your baby's movements when you were pregnant.
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Monitoring Your Baby's Activity

After 28 weeks, keep track of your baby's movement. This will help you to notice if your baby is moving less than normal, which could be a sign that your baby is in distress and needs a doctor's care. An easy way to do this is the "count-to-10" approach. Count your baby's movements in the evening - the time of day when the fetus tends to be most active. Lie down if you have trouble feeling your baby move. Most women count 10 movements within about 20 minutes. But it is rare for a woman to count less than 10 movements within two hours at times when the baby is active. Count your baby's movements every day so you know what is normal for you. Call your doctor if you count less than 10 movements within two hours or if you notice your baby is moving less than normal. If your baby is not moving at all, call your doctor right away.

SOURCE:
Womenshealth.gov. Pregnancy.

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