One of the highlights of pregnancy is when you feel your baby move. It is unlike anything else and can certainly be described as one of the miracles of creating life. So when will it happen? Will it be a full on kick the first time you feel it? Or will it be more subtle?
You baby started moving around at about week 7 or 8, and you may have even got to see her acrobatics in an ultrasound if you had one. However, it will take a little while longer before you will feel these movements where they will be readily apparent. Most women feel those first flutters and kicks sometime between 16 and 22 weeks. This also depends on your size. Slimmer woman may feel baby movement earlier.
If this is not your first pregnancy, you may feel your baby earlier than first time moms, mainly because you know what to expect and can recognize them as baby movement, something that the first time mom may not recognize yet.
When you first feel your baby move, women describe it being like a fish swimming around, popcorn popping, butterfly flutters and bubbles. You may mistake these first movements to be gas, or hunger pangs in the beginning, but will soon learn the difference once they become more frequent. You are more likely to feel these first movements when you are resting, as opposed to when you are active (say when you are walking) and your hips movement put baby to sleep.
Later in your second trimester, your baby’s gentle movements will become stronger, and you will feel them more frequently. At that point you will need to pay closer attention to his kicks and let your healthcare provider know if movement has decreased. During the third trimester your doctor may ask that you devote up to an hour a day to monitor your baby’s movement (usually after a meal).
Your baby’s movement will change in character and intensity over time with your baby growing bigger and the space in your uterus growing smaller. Later on in your pregnancy you may even see a small hand or foot pushing your belly in his attempt to stretch or move.
Enjoy this amazing experience while it lasts. There is no feeling like it!