When will you feel your baby move?

When should you expect to feel your baby kick for the first time during pregnancy and what will it be like?

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Feeling your baby move is one of those milestone moments in your pregnancy – except sometimes the feelings are so faint you’re not sure if you have or haven’t felt anything. 

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So when should I start to feel my baby move? 

The first time you feel movement in your stomach varies from baby to baby. “Most women start to feel their baby kick between 18 to 20 weeks. If it’s your second or third baby, this may be earlier – around 15 weeks,” says midwife Nikki Khan. “Other women are past the 20-week mark before they feel anything, and that’s normal, too.”

So you may have had your 20 week scan and seen your baby move around on the monitor, but it doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily feel them too.

“I was 22 weeks before I felt my 1st baby move,” says MFMer MrsGarfieldAckers. “For my second pregnancy, I was around 15 weeks, just a little fluttering, but a proper kick a couple of weeks later.”

“I was approx 15 weeks when I first felt a popping/fluttering feeling,” says xxmrsjohnstonexx. “Then at 18 weeks I felt my 1st real kick, best feeling ever.”

It really goes to show that every baby is different when you hear what Maybebaby2014 has to say – her baby went straight into practising for the World Cup. “I started feeling my baby kick at 14 weeks, I didn’t notice the little flutters at all.”

Sometimes the position of your placenta can affect when you’ll start to feel your baby’s movements. If you have an anterior placenta, which means your placenta is positioned at the front wall of your womb, this may cushion your baby’s kicks, so delaying the feelings for you. 

“I was about 26 weeks when I felt the first proper kick as I had anterior placenta,” explains Claire H. 

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What exactly will my baby’s movements feel like? 

“The first movements are known as ‘quickening’ and feel light and fluttery,” says Nikki. “Some women don’t realise it’s their baby at first, mistaking the movements for wind or a grumbly tummy. The movements get stronger as the baby grows, and you start to recognise and look out for them.”

Sparkly140404 recalls, “I had this weird bubble/flutter moving on my right side. It was so weird, then 10 minutes  later  it happened again, and from that day I felt the same sort of movements.”

When will my partner be able to feel my baby move?

Again, this varies, but according to MFMers, this is often a couple of weeks after they started to feel movement themselves. MFMer lucy_spoon reveals her husband could feel her baby kick at the 22-23 week mark. “My baby was really, really active so that hubby could start feeling the kicks! She usually goes quiet though if her daddy touches my belly (might be a good sign that he’s going to be some sort of baby whisperer)!  But now that I am 34 weeks, when I’m giving hubby a hug in bed she kicks his back!”

For amybailey, her husband felt her baby moving a week after her. ” I started feeling definite movement at 19 weeks and then my hubby felt it when I turned 20 weeks. My baby has been moving a lot ever since, and every now and again gives a big kick/prod. Although it often stops when daddy tries to feel. I think it was just luck that daddy was there when baby had its first big kicks. Either that or our baby is a show off!”

How regularly should I feel my baby move?

There’s no ‘correct’ frequency, as it’s different for every woman.

“Mums-to-be used to be asked to keep a record of their baby’s movements, but it can be more worrying than reassuring, so we no longer do this,’” says midwife Nikki. “It’s better to become familiar with your baby’s ‘routine’ and monitor that.”

Is there anything I can do to encourage my baby to move?

Torch2010 suggests, “Try having a really cold drink and laying still for 15 minutes.” While demii says,”I’m quite active in the day so don’t tend to feel him that much but as soon as I relax he’s wriggling all over the place.”

Why are my baby’s movement important?

Feeling your baby move is one of the ways you know your baby is fine. If your baby’s movement pattern changes, it may possibly indicate that something isn’t right and time to contact your midwife. It can be helpful to keep a mental note of your baby’s regular movements, so you know if something changes.

I’m not feeling anything at all. Do all women feel their baby kicking? 

Despite what we’ve just said, not all women do feel their baby kicking, due to the position of the placenta. “If your placenta is at the front of your bump – what’s known as an anterior placenta – this may cushion your baby’s movements so that you don’t feel them until later on in your pregnancy and, even then, not much at all,” says Nikki. “This is usually nothing to worry about, and your sonographer will be able to advise you on the position of your placenta at each scan.”

“I’m 20 weeks and haven’t felt the baby move at all… no flutterings, nothing,” says Mowani. “I must admit I was dreading today’s scan in case something was wrong – and there was baby waving away! Apparently I have an anterior placenta, which can dull the sensation of your baby moving.”

Count For Kicks, a UK charity that aims to inform mums about the importance of their baby’s movements, advises that if you haven’t felt you baby kick by week 24, then contact your midwife and she will arrange a scan for you.

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