Baby movements during pregnancy
The first time you feel your baby move is a special and magical moment for every mother. Here’s what you need to know.
Those first few movements are one of the most exciting experiences an expectant mother can experience. The first light flutters are often much-anticipated and can be a reassuring sign to you that your baby is happy and well.
It is important to note that the timing of those noticeable stirrings can be different for every expectant mother. For first-time mothers, the first movements are usually felt between 18 and 24 weeks. If you have children already, they may be felt a little earlier, between 16 and 24 weeks.
Many mothers find their babies will develop a pattern of movements that they become very familiar with. You may find that your baby becomes active around meal times or when music is played or when you are just about to fall into a deep sleep.
It’s important to remember that babies in the womb will have quiet or rest periods too – like their mothers, they need rest!
In the beginning you won't feel your baby's movements very often. As your baby grows, the activity will become obvious and you will gradually start to feel them more regularly. You won't feel small movements, such as thumb sucking or stretching of fingers and toes. You will feel kicking and rolling and perhaps hiccups (small rhythmic twitches) during the last trimester of your pregnancy. All these changes are obvious in the last months of pregnancy and should be felt up to the time you go into labour.
What do movements say about your baby?
Usually, an active baby is a healthy baby. Some women may not feel their baby move as much as others, even though their baby is doing well. Women who are of larger body size, or whose placenta is located at the front of the uterus may not feel their baby's movements as strongly.
Always remember that normal movements are a sign of a healthy baby - when a healthy baby is awake they will usually move at least 10 times in two hours. If you feel a decrease in the normal daily activity of your baby this may be a cause for concern.