It can be exciting to feel your baby kick for the very first time. Those little flutters will make you feel closer to the little life within you, and they reassure you that your child is developing fine. For the first 18 to 20 weeks, a pregnant woman is unlikely to feel any fetal movement. During the initial stages of pregnancy, the fetus isn’t big or strong enough to make any noticeable movements. However, the timelines can be relative, depending on several factors. Women pregnant for the first time may not feel anything until around 25 weeks. However, women who’ve been pregnant before may feel baby flutters as early as week 13. Other factors, including the placental position, pregnancy with twins or triplets, and your body type, may affect when you feel fetal movement for the first time. For instance, a woman with an anterior placenta may feel flutters later than one with a posterior placenta. Also, petite women and those expecting twins or multiples may experience movement earlier. Read on to learn more about baby flutters.
Why The Baby Moves
You’ll find that your baby’s first flutters are cute. However, they’re also vital. According to Healthline, movement signals that your baby is growing and developing. The baby is doing things like stretching and flexing his limbs. He’s also rolling and punching. Once your child is born, you’ll notice that he has fine-tuned these moves after months of practice. You may even notice that as the weeks go by, your baby moves in response to your emotions or noises or your emotions. Sometimes, she’ll move if she’s uncomfortable in a specific position. You can expect quiet times when your baby is sleeping. You may also notice a pattern that he sleeps more during the day when you’re more active and moves around more at night when less active and still.
How Do Flutters Feel?
According to Medical News Today, the feeling of baby flutters differs among women. Here are some common descriptions:
- Feels like gas pains but without passing gas.
- Feels like there are butterflies in the stomach
- An internal tickling sensation.
- An internal poking sensation
- a bubbling or popping sensation
- Feels like pressure or vibration.
The specific location of the flutters depends on where the fetus is in the uterus. Also, they may be slightly higher or lower in different women. Sometimes, a pregnant woman will feel flutters in the middle or off to one side.
How Often Should You Feel Flutters?
According to Medicine Net, you may only feel a few flutters now and then in the early stages of pregnancy. However, as your baby grows-usually by when the second trimester is ending- the kicks become stronger and more frequent. Research shows that the baby moves approximately 30 times each hour by the third trimester. So, flutters typically get stronger over time, and eventually, other people who touch your tummy will be able to feel the movements.
Also, babies tend to move more at certain times during the day as they alternate between sleep and alertness. Babies usually are most active between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m., just as you’re trying to get to sleep. This increased activity is because of your changing blood sugar levels. Also, other moms notice increased movement if they’ve just eaten something, had a glass of cold water, or completed some type of exercise. Babies can also respond to touch or sounds or touch and may even kick your partner in the back if you’re snuggling too close in bed.
When To Reach Your Doctor
Flutters and movements are a good sign that the baby’s health and growth are fine. Even though you can’t feel movements during the early weeks, a doctor will notice movement when examining the fetus during routine ultrasounds. Once you feel the first movements, let your doctor know at the prenatal checkups. However, these may be inconsistent, and they’ll come and go. So don’t worry if you’re not feeling a lot of kicks. At 28 weeks, your doctor will probably talk to you about counting kicks. At this point in your pregnancy, the movements are getting more consistent. Still, some babies are more active than others, and your placental position may cushion or muffle the feeling. During this appointment, you can ask your doctor several questions, including:
- Whether you should count your baby’s movements.
- At what point in pregnancy you should start counting– To do a quick count, you should find a similar time daily to relax and focus on your baby’s movements. Movements and kicks are harder to observe when you’re active.
- When you should call your doctor if you feel the baby isn’t moving enough– You can reach your doctor if you notice a sudden decrease in movement or if you have other concerns. It’s advisable to call if you don’t feel at least ten movements within two hours.
- Whether you have an anterior placenta or any other reason, the baby’s kicks may be harder to feel.
An early sign there may be a problem with your pregnancy is if you notice a drastic decrease in symptoms. A late sign is if fetal movement decreases.
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