Fetal Movement: Feeling Your Baby Kick!

pregnant couple

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.

pregnat woman

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.

pregnant woman

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.

pregnant couple

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.

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Tips

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.

{ MORE: 5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Prenatal Appointments }

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.

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Fetal Movement: Feeling Your Baby Kick!

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51 comments

  1. Felicia says:

    Love feeling the movements especially as they increase in frequency the further along you are in the pregnancy!

  2. Nancy says:

    Congrats Harrison I’m not there yet but I felt my baby kicking a few days ago it was a little strange but i know it’s baby 🙂

  3. sharrion says:

    Flutters at 14 weeks and outside kicks at 16. Im currently 22 weeks and he kicks me all day. they are starting to get pretty painful but I definitely love it either way.

  4. kimberly says:

    just a couple of days ago i felt the baby kick/move. I am 17 weeks 4 days and i had been feeling fluttering and such but this time their was no mistaking. I just left the grocery store with my husband and we were driving to the next store and all of a sudden my stomach was really tight then boom. it scared the hell out of me for a minute. Jase pulled right over to grab me and he was like babe the baby just kicked you. it was wonderful

  5. mommy nhoj says:

    It was not until 19 weeks when I felt her first real kick! I was lying down at the couch, tired from stressful day and oops, did she just kick me?! She’s maybe moving around before that but that was so memorable because she kicked me several times, strong ones!

  6. Alanna says:

    I’m 17 weeks and have been feeling movement. It’s like a tiny jumping bean or a grasshopper in a jar. I’m soo excited. 🙂

  7. Amy says:

    I am 17 weeks and think I have felt the “fluttering” but not sure… Hoping here shortly I will feel my baby move for sure… Getting way excited….:)

  8. Krystal says:

    This is my first pregnancy too, and I too am going through the exact same thing too! Approximately at 10 weeks, I would feel this awkward gas bubble movement except that sometimes I wouldn’t fart afterwards, and it was almost like there was two different types of bubbles going on inside me. It took me awhile to figure out that the second, non-gasy, strange set was actually the baby moving. Currently I am at 16 weeks and 6 days, and for the past handful of days, I’ve been feeling the baby kick on the outside, much to my partner’s aggravation who has been late for the kicks each time. I was actually starting to wonder if quite possibly I was farther along than what I was told until I just saw your comment here. Just last night, I’m pretty sure what I was feeling was the baby at least trying to roll over.

  9. Miranda says:

    I started feeling my baby move about 16 weeks. However it kind of freaks me out when I go days without feeling anything. I might get a really hard, painful spot that seems obvious baby is all bunched up there but otherwise don’t feel it:( I try not to stress about it as I’m only about 17 and a half weeks but I’m really getting anxious to share the movements with family and friends- still can’t feel him/her from the outside only from within like sharp jabs, or swooshing movements. I can’t wait. Ultrasound in about a week and a half.

  10. Alesha says:

    I felt my baby moving at about 16 weeks. It scared me at first because I wasn’t expecting it!

  11. christal says:

    I am almost 18 wks. I felt my baby’s first movement at 16 wks. Everyday since, especially when I eat after 10 am , I feel “her” moving around. The past 2 days I haven’t felt much movement. Should I be concerned?

  12. I felt my sisters baby kick and I thought it would feel very different.

  13. Dario says:

    She said she think she feels the baby move but i’m yet to : (

  14. Kumora says:

    this is my first and i felt flutters around 16 weeks as well as 17 weeks. the movements have been strong enough for my SO to feel as well since week 20. i am currently around 23 almost 24 weeks and the baby is moving so much and with such strong movements it actually keeps me up at night lol its distracting.

  15. KaelinRae says:

    I’m 20 weeks 3 days. There have been a couple time where I thought I’ve felt the baby move, but since its my first pregnancy I’m really not sure. The doctor explained what it should feel like, I just am never sure.

  16. LadyTitan says:

    18 weeks and nothing felt yet, but my tummy is still growing. I am getting a little worried though. First ultrasound this tuesday, so we will see

  17. LadyTitan says:

    Me neither, Lauren. I am 18 weeks, but this is my first. So maybe that is why I don’t really tell it. But I hope we feel it soon, Lauren.

  18. 2 months after first really noticeable movements and now he’s kicking and squirming everyday! Can’t wait to meet him and tell him what he’s been doing.

  19. Catman says:

    this is my second and I felt movement since week 15 and I am now 18 weeks.

  20. kristal says:

    am wait to get in 2 see a doc. am at 17weeks and 4 day this my 5th. with my others i have had movement by now, have apt. tomm. at 9am. so am hopeing all is well

  21. This very morning, after writing about his faint little movement, my little boy started kicking or head budding harder 🙂 yay

  22. Tempesttls says:

    Love the feeling of my baby kicking!

  23. Lauren says:

    I’m 19 weeks and one day and haven’t felt anything I’m starting to worry but the heart beat is very strong my doctor said

  24. hannah83 says:

    I am 17 weeks. Started feeling our baby move a week ago. Our baby feels like butterflies moving all around. I love it!

  25. skylar says:

    im 17 weeks and i felt the baby move the other night! was laying in bed reading, and there it was – a little goldfish feeling! i knew what it was right away, the best feeling ever. my doctor had told me though, that i would feel movement early and possibly deliver early since im 16 and smaller. i cant wait to meet my baby girl! 🙂

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