Feeling Your Baby Move – When and What to Expect

Being pregnant is very exciting, especially when it is your first pregnancy. It is common to want to experience everything at once, but you have nine months to experience all the joys and trials that pregnancy has to offer. Waiting for physical signs of your baby can be frustrating, but it won’t happen right away. Just as you won’t begin to show until around the fourth month, you have to wait until about the same time to feel your baby move.

You may not even notice the first time your baby moves. It will feel like gas bubbles or stomach rumblings, and it will not be discernable as baby movement to first time moms until it becomes more frequent. This usually begins around 16-25 weeks. The initial movements are so light that they cannot be felt outside the belly, so your spouse will have to wait even longer before he can feel the baby. After the first movements, your baby will become more and more active as it grows, and you will feel the movement in a much more pronounced way.

If you are thin by nature, you will likely feel baby move earlier in your pregnancy, and the movement will be more pronounced for you. Your spouse may also be able to feel the baby move much sooner than the middle or end of the second trimester. On the other hand, if you are overweight by nature you may not feel your baby move at all until closer to 25 weeks, and you may not be able to really feel kicks from outside your stomach until the end of the second trimester or the beginning of the third trimester.

By week 28 of your pregnancy you will begin to feel actual kicks and jabs that can be felt by placing a hand on your stomach. The movements will still be few and far between, but will pick up pace and strength as your pregnancy progresses. By the middle of the second trimester, you will be wishing that the baby would stop kicking and let you rest.

The most active times for most babies through the third trimester is between nine in the evening to one o’clock in the morning, which is very inconvenient for mom. If you want to increase the movement of your baby at non-peak times so that siblings or your spouse can feel the baby move, you may try some music or simply rubbing your stomach. Some babies respond to this and other sounds, such as mom or dad’s voice, and kick or move in response.

In the third trimester your baby will kick and roll around more frequently. As your pregnancy comes to a close, your baby will become confined and start elbowing and moving around trying to make the most of his or her small space. You should not be surprised to feel feet poking you in the rib cage. This too will become less frequent as the baby moves into position for the birth around 38-40 weeks, and the kicking will come back down out of your ribs. However, the kicking will get more frequent and stronger, and by the middle of your third trimester you should feel your baby kick at least thirty times each day.

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