Last updated on April 27th, 2021
That first baby kick becomes a memory for a lifetime; it is a story that will be told over and over again.
Although the baby exists as an embryo much earlier, the movements in the later months actually help a mother sense and build a bond with the child inside her. But, unfortunately, many moms-to-be, especially the first-timers, mistake the faint flutter for a bout of gas.
Never mind. We’ll make sure you don’t miss out on this treasured moment.
Learn about the exact time in your pregnancy when you should officially expect those tiny baby kicks. Scroll further to know what they feel like.
The Early Fetal Movements
The fetal movements actually begin at 7- 8 weeks of gestation. The first movements of the baby occur after its heart begin to beat. It is still an embryo and measures not more than half an inch in length. Ultrasound is quick to catch these early movements. You can see it kicking its feet or waving the arm buds on the computer screen. However, the embryo is so small and the movements so faint that they cannot be felt by the mother.
When will you first feel your baby?
Officially, a woman will feel her baby kick or move for the first time, roughly between 16- 22 weeks of gestation. By 20 weeks, most women state that the kicks and movements are very distinct and obvious. This phase is called quickening. However, like most other symptoms experienced during pregnancy, there is no hard and fast rule about it. It may be earlier (as early as 13- 16 weeks) in some and later (after 22 weeks).
Many-a-times the onset of fetal movements occurs earlier, but women fail to distinguish between them and the rumbles caused by gas (a very common occurrence in pregnancy). Women for whom it is their second child can detect the movements earlier than others because they know what the kicks feel like.
Your build will also determine the time when you will feel the kicks and movements. Thinner women feel the kicks earlier while women on the heavier side may experience it in a little later stage of the second trimester.
Babies are most active at night. Therefore, you will experience many bounces, jumps, jabs, kicks (or whatever you choose to call them) while you try to catch a few winks of sleep. Doctors also state that specific foods, the sugary and spicy varieties tend to trigger the kicks and movements. For this reason, you may often feel your baby kick when you’re eating lunch or dinner.
What do the kicks feel like?
Different women choose to describe these baby kicks in different ways. At 16 weeks they are very light. They feel like a gentle tap, popcorn popping, a goldfish swimming or butterfly-like flutters. As the pregnancy progresses, weeks 24 to 28, the movements become more established and distinguishable. The kicks and jabs can really take you by surprise at times. It may be accompanied by some rolling and squirming too. In addition to these light football kicks, you will be able to identify hiccups in the slight twitches your body experiences. There is a decrease in the movements as the pregnancy reaches its homestretch.
So, the first time your little one kicks, pay attention. And when he repeats it again call daddy-to-be to feel it, he surely is missing out on a lot of fun.
Count Baby Kicks – How To Keep Track Of Your Baby’s Movements?
The most exciting moment in your pregnancy is when your little peanut starts to move around. A kick-boxer in training it seems! His acrobatics in your stomach disturb your sleep, but you don’t mind. For every time you feel those tiny movements, you’re relieved that all’s well with your baby.
It’s true! Doctors recommend keeping track of the movements to monitor the health and well being of the growing fetus. We will discuss how mothers-to-be can count their baby’s kicks.
Why is it necessary to keep track of your baby’s kicking?
Kick counting is a system of counting a baby’s movements. These movements are not restricted to a baby’s kicks alone. It involves counting twists, rolls, jabs and punches as well. Like already mentioned above, movement is an indication that the baby is developing normally. On the contrary, decreased fetal movement signals a problem. These complications could include the death of the fetus beyond 20 weeks or stillbirth.
Although counting kicks will help you monitor the well being of your unborn baby, you should also cross-check with your health care provider regularly.
How often should you feel your baby moving?
Around the 22nd week of pregnancy, a mother can feel the baby’s movements for the first time. It could be a faint flutter, a light kick, a punch or a jab. The movements are few and spaced apart. The movements also tend to be irregular. One day your baby may be highly active, and on the next, he does not give a single signal.
By the end of the second trimester, the movements become more pronounced and regular. A mother should start monitoring the frequency of the baby’s movements from the 28th week of gestation. In the third trimester, a baby’s movements are roughly 30 times per hour. Despite the progression of pregnancy, you may not feel all.
Counting The Baby Kicks
There are numerous approaches to count a baby’s kicks. We have listed one of them. It should be done in the third trimester of pregnancy. The kick counting should also be done at a time in the day when your child is the most active; maybe in the night or after a meal.
- Drink a glass of water. (This step is optional. You can skip the step and go directly to the second)
- Lie down on your side or sit down. Choose a quiet place in order to avoid distractions.
- Focus on the frequency of the baby’s movements.
- Keep a count of the time. You should feel at least ten movements in an hour.
What if you cannot feel your baby kick?
If you do not record ten movements within an hour, wait and try again later in the day. Your baby may be asleep. If you still do not feel ten kicks or any movement after waiting two hours, call your health care provider. Besides, you should also contact your doctor if in addition to the decreased movements; you can sense a feeling of pressure and pain occurring in intervals.
After 32 weeks of pregnancy, the movements will automatically decrease. The baby has grown to full size and the decreasing space in the uterus restricts movement. During this phase, the mother should not worry about decreased movement as long as baby averages 10 movements per hour.