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When Can You Feel The Baby Move – According to the American Pregnancy Association, some women can feel fetal movements within 13 to 16 weeks from the start of their last period.
- Surprisingly, your baby may start moving as early in the first trimester around 8 1/2 weeks gestation. At this age, your baby is only ½ inch long at this point.
- If you’re familiar with the tearm quickening it was coined by the 18th-century legal scholar, William Blackstone. The term “quick” meant “alive”.
- As soon as 8-12 weeks a fetal heart rate can be detected through the use of a Doppler device.
- Hiccups are likely to occur around 11 weeks after their neurological system form.
Hearing the news that you are pregnant is quite exciting. With all the excitement that surrounds your pregnancy, you’re probably conscious of every single change in your belly. A woman’s body goes through a tremendous amount of adjustments throughout a pregnancy. Every day brings new changes, starting with an increase in hunger pangs and stomach upset to feeling stronger that first kick. First-time moms are excited to feel the first movements of their fetus in their tummy. Moms question every twitch and wonder “How early can you feel the baby move?”
Pregnancy includes many firsts, and first-time moms are particularly excited to feel the first movement of their fetus in their tummy. How can you tell when your baby is actually moving in your belly? How early can you feel the baby move?
When Does Baby Start To Move
Your baby may start moving as early in the first trimester around 8 1/2 weeks gestation. They are only ½ inch long at this point. Your health care provider will be able to detect fetal movements before you are able to discern your baby’s in utero movements. These first movements are irregular and uncoordinated due to the early development of the baby’s central nervous system .
What Do You Mean by Quickening?
The term “quick” meant “alive” hence the term “quickening” was coined. William Blackstone, a legal scholar, described quickening as the beginning of life in the womb during the 18th century long before the invention of ultrasound. When mothers feel the first movement of their baby, it is called the quickening .
How Early Can You Feel the Baby Move?
There is no set time when the quickening will occur as it varies from woman to woman. According to the American Pregnancy Association, some women can feel fetal movements within 13 to 16 weeks from the start of their last period. First-time moms may have a harder time recognizing these movements. They may think this is gas until they notice a pattern. Thus, first-time moms may not recognize fetal movement until 18-20 weeks. Therefore, there is a very broad range of feeling quickening that is usually between 13-25 weeks .
Your sensitivity to your baby’s movements is heightened when you have already given birth because, one, you already know what to look and feel for, and two, your uterus has already relaxed from your first pregnancy. But for first-time moms, the question, “how early can you feel the baby move?” is one of their first questions. It’s understandable as they can start feeling stomach twitches, nausea, gas or even muscle spasms early in the pregnancy .
These days, doctors aren’t dependent just upon babies moving to detect life. As soon as 8-12 weeks a fetal heart rate can be detected through the use of a Doppler device.
When Can You Feel the Baby Move?
Movement and Your Belly Button
Baby movement is first felt when the baby is large enough (usually about one pound) and your uterus is about at the same level as your belly button. As your baby grows and moves, you may feel it to the right or left of the belly button. Remember, the placenta can muffle sensations. Babies can also experience periods of deep sleep. During periods of sleeping, your baby may not move.
When Can You Feel The Baby Move – First Feelings
Aside from the question “how early can you feel the baby move?” pregnant women often ask what does a baby kick feel like? Women often describe a “fluttering” in their similar to gas bubbles forming. It may take a bit longer for first-time moms recognizing these movements.
When Can You Feel The Baby Move – Going Forward
As your baby grows, you’ll be able to discern when your baby is moving and stretching inside of you. The movements will become stronger so that you’ll be able to feel your little one by placing their hand on your stomach. As you move on to the latter part of your third trimester, you may see a foot or even an elbow sticking out as your baby’s arms and legs stretch and move about. These may feel closer to jabs and kicks. Some may feel pain when there are sudden movements in their belly. But for most mothers, it is a welcome relief to finally see their little one showing signs of activities inside of them.
At times, it may feel difficult to feel movement. Sometimes, the placenta moves so that movement may be difficult to detect. In the early months, a baby’s kick is erratic, so it may be hours or days between each kick is felt.
What Do Babies Do When They Move?
Another question that women ask is what their baby is doing? Babies often do big body movements, such as extending and flexing their limbs. Hiccups are likely to occur around 11 weeks after their neurological system form is better formed. There are times when women can feel their baby’s switching positions too. For example, you may experience pain in your rib cage which suddenly disappears as your baby changes position .
When Can You Feel the Baby Move – Best Times
Feeling your baby kick is an exciting experience for those who are expecting their first child. Normally, your day-to-day movements can lull your baby to sleep.
However, there are specific times when your baby becomes more active such as:
- You’re in bed. When you are in a relaxed state, you’ll become more aware of what’s happening in your body. Hence it’s easier to feel your baby kicking.
- Feeling nervous. There may a time when you feel a bit nervous. It is during these times when you may find yourself feeling the baby moving around move.
- After a snack or meal. Sugar rushes can start in the abdomen. Eat a sugary shack and your baby may feel a burst of energy.
During the second trimester (fourth, fifth, sixth months of pregnancy), women become increasingly aware of their baby moving. Your baby is growing and there is still ample room for them to move. It may feel like they are a mini-acrobat as they somersault their way through the day. You’ll gradually become aware of their sleeping and waking cycles and what activities seem to trigger movements.
How To Get Your Baby Moving
Counting the Kicks
Set aside time each day to count your baby’s jabs and kicks. Counting kicks allow you to learn when and how they are active. This can help identify any potential problems. Don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if you question the movements, but don’t forget that the fetal placenta can get in the way .
Are you noticing reduced fetal movements in your little one? Sometimes, your baby just needs a little encouragement to stimulate moving.
Do jumping jacks
Doing some jumping jacks then sitting down after will get your baby moving for sure. Sometimes an OB-GYN doctor will ask his pregnant clients to do a few jumping jacks before their ultrasound to encourage their little one to move into a new position.
Shine some light
Another trick to wake your baby up is to shine a flashlight at your belly. At 22 weeks, your baby can perceive a change in the darkness and will move away from the light source.
Talk to your baby
If you think that talking to your baby while they are in your womb isn’t helping them one bit, you might be surprised that it does create a reaction to them. Your baby’s hearing starts to develop around week 16 to 22 which means that your baby can actually hear you speak, the loud noises that are happening inside your home, as well as the sound of your blood moving around you. This is where their startle reflex begins so go ahead and talk to your baby bump to keep your little one active.
Sing a song or play music
What if your baby talk isn’t working? Either sing a song or play some music, but not too loud, mind you. You can even place headphones around your belly while playing some music with most moms claiming that their little one appears to be dancing inside their belly. Make sure that you aren’t playing too loud as this can cause damage to your baby’s hearing while inside you.
Feeling nervous can also create a response in your baby. The adrenaline that is running through you can make your baby active.
Constant movement during the day can rock your baby to sleep. However, once you lie down, you’ll probably feel your baby waking up and starting to move around. If this is the case, try lying down at odd hours during the day to get some movements from your baby. And if lying on your back is not getting any response, try lying on your side to see if this will make your baby more active.
Jiggling your baby bump
What else can you do to wake your little one up? A little poking and jiggling of your tummy can trigger movement in your baby. The doctor may shake the wand during an ultrasound to make it easier to feel your baby moving.
Babies often respond to eating. When your blood sugar increases, so do your baby’s. Don’t be surprised if your baby gets active a couple hours after a meal.
Feeling your baby moving around for the first time is an exciting experience and one that many first-time mothers are looking forward to. If you are wondering when your baby will be making his or her presence known, use this as a guide to knowing when to expect your little one to start moving and how to make them move as well. For sure, your pregnancy will be something to anticipate especially when you get to feel your baby moving inside of you.
As they progress through their third trimester, babies have less room to move around, so you can expect the baby’s movement to decrease. Movements slow down when mom is around 36 weeks pregnant and the baby starts moving downwards toward the pelvis. Every week, after that, the head continues to move down until the head is engaged .
Your relationship with your baby starts long before they are born. Your unborn baby is exposed to the foods you consume during pregnancy via the amniotic fluid that they swallow. They become familiar with mom’s eating and drinking habits. Then, they start to exert their own personality becoming mini-acrobats. Finally, the baby settles down, and it’s time to go to the maternity ward to meet your new baby in person.
You may also enjoy reading – 5 Meaningful Facts About Why Your Baby Kicks In The Womb
When Can You Feel The Baby Move Resources:
 Today’s Parent; When do you start feeling the baby move?, Holly Pevzner, July 06, 2018.
 Mama Natural; When Can You Feel the Baby Move? Quickening in Pregnancy, Genevieve Howland, Cynthia Mason, CNM, APN, MSN, November 05, 2018.
 American Pregnancy Association; First Fetal Movement: Quickening, September 2, 2016.
 WebMD; Feeling Your Baby Kick, Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH, July 17, 2018.
 Parents; What Does a Baby Kick Feel Like?, Kate Rope, Leigh Cooper.