Fetal Movement: Feeling Your Baby Kick!
One of the most exciting things to look forward to in your pregnancy is ‘quickening,' or the first time you'll feel your baby move. It's equally exciting when the baby grows enough for others to feel the movement and the kicks. It's a wonderful thing to share with your partner or family, and it's part of the essential bonding process between you and your unborn baby. Knowing what to expect and when to expect it can help prepare you for the joy of feeling your baby move.
When to Expect Movement
For most women, this will happen sometime near the 18th week. However, every woman and every pregnancy is different, so you shouldn't be nervous if you feel your baby moving before then, or if your baby doesn't move at exactly the 18th week. Several factors might affect when you're able to feel movement, from your own body weight to your baby's position, whether or not it's your first pregnancy, and the location of your placenta. If you do get nervous about not being able to feel fetal movement after your 18th week, speak to your obstetrician about it.
What it Feels Like
Many women want to know what the first fetal movements feel like so they can recognize the movement. It's true that at first the movements are very faint, so they can easily be confused with gas. It's also common for women to wonder whether they actually felt what they thought they felt. Women describe the first fetal movements as feeling like ‘bubbles,' ‘butterflies,' or ‘fluttering.' As you feel the movement more and more, you'll definitely recognize it as the movements of your baby. As your baby gets older, there is no doubt that you'll recognize the distinct feeling of the movements and kicking.
Sharing with Others
It's really fun to allow others to experience the movements of the baby as well, from your husband to an older sibling of the baby, to other friends and family members. Sharing enables others to form a bond with your little one and can be quite exciting. Typically, between the 20th and 30th week, others will be able to feel your baby moving.
During the third trimester, you should feel your baby moving every day. While babies all move differently and for different lengths of time, it's important that you do feel him or her moving. If the movement suddenly stops and you don't feel anything, you should call your doctor right away. Some experts suggest counting in your baby's most active time, to see how long it takes him or her to move ten times. If it takes longer than two hours for you to count ten movements, it's suggested that you call your doctor.
Feeling your baby kick and move is such a fun and exciting part of your pregnancy. Enjoy those movements now because you'll miss them when they're gone, although you'll have an exciting new world of firsts and new discoveries with your baby.