When Should I feel My Baby Move?

When should I feel my baby move? What are kick counts?

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A fleeting flutter dances about your belly. You stop, placing your hand gently on your lower abdomen. Did you just feel your baby for the first time?

Feeling your baby move for the first time is amazing. There are not enough words in the world to describe the beautiful feeling of a baby moving – that is until there is NO room left and their feet are jamming into your ribs. You’ll still enjoy it, but damn does it hurt.

Please read the disclaimer. 

When Will I Feel My Baby Move?

Every mom is different and the location of the placenta plays a role, as well as your build. Smaller women may feel them sooner while larger women may feel them later. So not everyone will feel the baby move at the exact same time.

Your little bean becomes one heck of a wiggle worm by 7-8 weeks, but you won’t feel anything until 16-22 weeks.

If you’re a second time mom, you may notice the movements or “quickening” a bit sooner. The movements are easier to distinguish from gas, or other belly movements,  if you have been pregnant before.

Quickening is the sensation of your baby’s early movements.

What Does It Feel Like?

Everyone has their own description. Some say it feels like butterflies. A quick fluttering movement or tiny little taps upon your uterus. It may feel like gas bubbles, swishes, or a little fish swimming.

How Often Should I Feel My Baby? 

One day you may feel your little one moving and the next not at all. Don’t be alarmed. Your baby just isn’t big or strong enough to really get you to notice every single movement. As you get closer to the second trimester you will really start to notice the movements.

By the second trimester you may even notice your baby’s pattern. He or she may be active at a certain time of the day or after you eat or drink something.

My tip, don’t stress if your experience is different from your friends’. Each baby has their own pattern of activity. As long as your baby’s usual activity level doesn’t decrease, they are doing fine. Remember every pregnancy is different.

When Should I Start to Count Kicks?

Once you’re feeling kicks regularly, usually by the third trimester (28 weeks), pay attention to how often your baby moves. If at any point you notice that your baby’s movement has decreased call your healthcare provider right away.

By the third trimester some providers recommend that you chose a time each day to do kick counts. Pick a time of the day that your baby is usually active.

Each provider may give you their own instructions on how to do this, but here is an example:

Pick the time of day that your baby is active (usually the same time each day). Then sit or lie on your side and time how long it takes to feel 10 movements. And I mean any movements such as whole body movements, punches, and kicks. Sometimes orange juice or eating something can stimulate your baby to move. If you don’t feel 10 movements in two hours, call your healthcare provider.

When baby’s movement decreases it may signal a problem. Your provider may have you come in for some tests like a non-stress test, ultrasound, or biophysical profile. Every hospital and provider varies, please refer to them for instruction.

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