- When do You Start Feeling the Baby Move
- At What Term a Pregnant Woman Can Feel Her Baby Moving?
- How to Recognize the First Baby’s Movements in Pregnancy
- What do Baby’s Movements Mean?
When do You Start Feeling the Baby Move
Baby movements during pregnancy are important both for the future mom and doctors. The woman always looks forward to this exciting moment, even if it’s not her first pregnancy. A gynecologist, analyzing frequency, regularity and character of movements, makes conclusions about the baby’s development and overall health status.
Despite the fact that the prenatal diagnostics is improving each year, still baby’s movements are the most important indicator. Therefore, it is necessary to control it throughout the pregnancy, count movements and analyze their characteristics. Today we will speak about first baby’s movements: when they appear, how they feel like and what they mean.
At What Term a Pregnant Woman Can Feel Her Baby Moving?
It's hard to believe, but the embryo starts moving very early – at 7-8 weeks of pregnancy. Certainly, movements are refleсtory and unconscious, not coordinated and very weak. At such a small term, nerve and muscle tissues are already able to produce weak motor activity.
The fetus at 8 weeks doesn’t exceed 2cm in size. It’s still very small and can effortlessly swim in the amniotic sac without even touching the walls. Certainly, the expectant mother may not feel these movements, but the baby develops and improves very quickly with each passing week, reaching the highest level of development. A week later the baby learns to swallow amniotic fluid, and it is very serious work. At 10 weeks, the baby is able to open and close his mouth, wave hands and clench fists.
At 11 weeks the baby starts stretching and peeing! Further he becomes even more active — tumbles, sucks fingers, yawns, reacts to changing of light and sounds. At 15 weeks the bone system is getting strong enough to make you feel pushes physically. Starting from 16 weeks, the fetus is already reacting to the outside sounds, at 17 weeks he is able to change facial expressions (the baby may frown), and one week later he starts using his arms: hides the face from the bright light, plays with the umbilical cord and makes fists. The baby’s growing and there is not much space left in the womb, so you are most likely to feel movements.
All this time the baby grows stronger, his movements become more coordinated, strong and active, and at 15-16 weeks, the future mom is most likely to feel the presence of “new life” in her lower abdomen physically in the form of pushes and movements. Yet in most cases, this happens a little bit later.
All women can feel their babies moving at different terms for the first time. Much of this depends on the sensitivity of the expectant mother. Quite often, women mix up bowel contractions and baby’s movements and vice versa. Therefore, terms when you can feel first baby’s movements vary. Yet, the doctors’ experience and feedback from the pregnant women show that on average it’s 18-24 weeks. It’s normal if you start experiencing such sensations one week sooner or later, as it’s subjective.
Midwives often suggest that the first movements during the first pregnancy are felt at 18-22 weeks. On average, the baby makes 200 movements per day. It’s most active between 28 and 32 weeks - the number of daily movements peaks at 600. The mom-to-be can feel her baby moving in a more intense way, when she’s relaxed – in the evening or at night.
How to Recognize the First Baby’s Movements in Pregnancy
These sensations can be described in many colorful words, but nothing compares to personal experience. Moreover, we all feel and describe them differently: some women in a funny way, others romantically or conversely prosaically.
As you have already understood from the mentioned above – first baby’s movements are similar to intestinal peristalsis: it seems that the belly’s murmuring. For this very reason sometimes it may be hard to define whether it’s the baby’s moving or your stomach’s murmuring.
However, without exception, all pregnant women say: it’s impossible to mix up first baby’s movements with something else. Albeit not for the first time, but very soon you'll realize: this is your baby moving!
Moms compare baby’s first movement with a swashing fish, butterfly wings’ fluttering. Imagine that you hid a moth in the hands, and it is fluttering the wings. The same goes on in your belly.
Physical sensations and the thought that your baby’s developing inside your womb are unmatched. At this point most women realize that they are going to become moms soon!
What do Baby’s Movements Mean?
Besides, when the mom is able to feel her baby moving, his movements are already sensed - this way the baby communicates with the world outside.
Starting with 23-24 weeks of pregnancy the baby responds to a wide range of physical and emotional stimuli with his physical activity. If he’s uncomfortable or painful, or his mom is upset, nervous, tired, anxious, strained, the baby becomes very calm or excited, and very soon you will learn to tell his "mood". Experts say that starting from this term, the fetus’ movements are similar to those of a newborn baby.
Experts believe that the fetus shows his character through motor activity already in the womb. However, if during 12 hours you notice no movements, or if the baby’s too active for three consecutive days, be sure to contact your doctor. Very often such changes may indicate that the baby is uncomfy, particularly that he’s experiencing intrauterine hypoxia.
Video: When will I feel my baby move?