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Fetal Movements during pregnancy

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

You can feel the baby's movements as early as 13 weeks, but it may take some time to feel the baby's movements strongly. There is a term called quickening, which is when the person feels a baby's movement in their uterus, feels like flutters, bubbles, or tiny pulses.

Initially, it may be difficult to identify, You may not know if it is your baby moving, gas, or something else. As the days progress, you can understand the difference between baby movement and gas.

How often should my baby move?

It varies. There is no hard-core number of counts that you need to keep an account of. The important thing is to get to know your baby’s usual movements during the day and night.

You can check with your Ob-Gyn to get an idea as to what you can expect during the early weeks, and how you can check the fetal movements.

As you progress in your pregnancy, you will feel the movements stronger and stronger. Babies tend to be active between 9 pm to 1 am. Babies can feel the touch, hear the sound, also respond accordingly.

Fetal movements during pregnancy
Fetal movements during pregnancy

Why baby’s movements are important?

Baby’s continuous movements show that they are alright. That is the way you understand that baby is all hale and healthy. If you feel at any time that your baby is not that active, you have to let your doctor know immediately. Remember, your baby may not be active throughout the day.

Sometimes, the baby’s movement may not be that strong to feel, or it may not be literally a kick. Talk to your healthcare provider if you're concerned. They can reassure you that your baby is OK or perform additional tests.

What does fetal movement feel like?

Baby movements in the womb, also known as fetal movements or ‘kicks’, can feel like anything from a flutter, kick, swish, or roll. The type of movement may change as your pregnancy progresses.

At first, it may be hard to tell whether your baby has moved if you are a first-time mother. Second-time mothers are more adept at understanding baby movements. As the pregnancy progresses, and as your baby grows, you can feel the movements strongly.

Baby movement timeline -

this is to give you an idea and it is generic. You would have to check with your doctor with respect to you and understand when your baby is active.

Week 12 - Your baby will start to move, but you probably won't be able to feel anything because the baby is still so small, the size of a plum.

Week 16 - Some pregnant women will start to feel tiny butterfly-like flutters. The feeling might just be gas, or it might be the baby moving. It is still difficult to know the difference, as your baby is in size of an avocado.

Week 20 - By this point in your baby's development, you may start to really feel your baby's first movements, called "quickening." your baby is the size of an artichoke.

Week 24 - The baby's movements are starting to become more established. You might also begin to feel slight twitches as your baby hiccups. Your baby is the size of a cabbage.

Week 28 - Your baby is moving often now. Some of the kicks and jabs may take your breath away. Your baby is the size of lettuce.

Week 36 - Your uterus is getting crowded as the baby grows, and movements might slow down a bit. Let your doctor know if you notice significant changes in your baby’s usual activity. You should feel consistent movement throughout the day. Your baby is the size of celery.

Note: do not use any kind of device at home to check your baby’s heartbeat, it is better to consult an expert if you feel something is wrong.

Take care, Mumma!


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