The moment every expectant mother waits in anticipation for aside from the birth itself is the moment she feels her baby move for the first time.
These movements remind you that you’re growing a life inside you and they help you bond with your baby.
They are also reassuring, because you know your growing bundle of joy is active and healthy.
But what does having a baby moving and wriggling inside you really feel like?
Ask a hundred women that question and you will likely get a hundred different answers.
Every woman is unique and every woman describes the sensation in a distinctly different way.
If you read online or in text books, it may be described as a fluttering or as gas bubbles.
Most women will tell you that gas bubbles isn’t quite accurate because gas actually hurts.
Your baby’s movements won’t be painful in that way, but it can be hard to find an adjective to describe how they really feel.
How Women Describe The Feeling of Baby Moving Inside
A few words used to describe the way it feels when your baby moves inside you are:
- Like baby has hiccups
- Like a fish swimming around; a small floating movement
- Jumping beans
- Popping corn
- The same feeling as when you travel down a hill really fast, and your stomach flips a little
As you can see there are a range of differing experiences.
When Will I feel Baby’s First Movements?
Your baby’s first movements are called “quickening” and you’ll notice them sometime between 16 to 25 weeks of your pregnancy.
Where your placenta is attached can make a big difference to when you feel movement.
If you’re in your first pregnancy you may not feel movements until you’re closer to 25 weeks.
This is probably because women who have had previous pregnancies simply know what to look for and are a little more sensitive to every movement and will notice it earlier.
You’re also much more likely to feel these movements when you’re relaxing.
If this is your first pregnancy you might find it hard to distinguish these first movements between other things like feeling hungry or even gas.
You will become more used to it as your baby grows and you realize what to look out for.
By the second trimester, and certainly into the third, you’ll know exactly what it feels like.
You should even be able to distinguish different kinds of movement.
Monitoring Baby’s Movements
There is another benefit to your baby moving around inside you, and that is to give reassurance that he or she is fine in there.
For that reason, you are advised to monitor your baby’s movements and get used to their daily routine.
There is no set rule here, but if you monitor from the start you’ll likely see a pattern.
If you notice a change in that pattern as your pregnancy progresses, you should notify your health care provider.
Most of the time everything’s fine, but sometimes a reduction in the amount of movements can be a sign of something more serious.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
By the third trimester of your pregnancy, your baby is quite active and alert. He or she can move up to 30 times every single hour. Of course, babies are awake and asleep, just like they will be when they’re born.
You’ll likely notice that your little one is more active at certain times, usually between 9:00 pm. and 1:00 am.
Unfortunately, this is normally the time when you’re trying to rest!
Usually, this movement later in the evening and through the night is due to changing blood sugar levels.
Some women report their baby kicking their partner in the back when lying in bed.
That’s a little personality coming out already!
You should start to monitor your baby’s movements by around the 28th week.
This is when movements are most routine. However you choose to keep track of it, you need to be aware of when your baby is most active and note any change.
The general rule is that if your baby is in a set pattern of moving around but you don’t feel at least ten movements within two hours, call your midwife or doctor for a check up.
When and How Does a Baby Move?
It’s interesting to find out when movements start and what to expect but remember that your baby is an individual and may not fit this timescale.
- First trimester, week 12 – Your baby is moving at this point, but you probably won’t feel anything just yet. He or she is so tiny at this stage
- Second trimester, week 13 – You might start to feel your baby moving at this point but don’t panic if you don’t, especially if it’s your first pregnancy
- Second trimester, week 20 – This is when you should start to feel some movements
- Second trimester, week 24-28 – Your baby’s movements will now start to establish a pattern.
- Third trimester, week 36 – You might notice that your baby’s movements start to slow down just a little. This is because everything in there is getting a little bit squashed and there isn’t a whole lot of space for your baby to move around. This shouldn’t be a huge change and you should still feel movements on a consistent basis. If you’re worried or you notice a big change, call your doctor or midwife.
It’s also fun to share your adjectives of what it feels like with other moms-to-be to see how it compares.
Flutters, pops, butterflies.
Whatever you want to call it when your baby moves inside you it’s certainly a wonderful feeling.