Fetal Movement During Pregnancy: What To Expect
Whether you are a first-time mom or have had kids in the past, it is always a thrilling experience to feel your baby move. Although every baby will be different in terms of when they start, and how often they move, it’s very helpful to know what to expect through the pregnancy process so you can begin to get to know and bond with your little one even before they are born.
During the first trimester, at around 7 weeks, your baby should begin to bend slightly, and startle. Although you will not be able to feel these movements yet, they will be visible on an ultrasound. Your baby may also begin to hiccup and move their arms and legs from around week 9.
At 10 weeks, your baby should begin to turn the head and develop facial movements such as opening and closing the jaw, as well as yawning in the womb. By 14 weeks your baby will begin to move the eyes.
By now, some pregnant women, such as those who are very thin or have previously had children, will feel begin to feel their baby’s movements, but they likely to be missed as the movements can resemble the feeling of passing gas, or a muscle spasm.
Most parents first begin to notice their baby’s movements at around this time. At this stage you will also begin to feel your baby’s activity gradually increase as the weeks go by. The first movement may feel like a flutter, known as quickening. Some babies are more lively during the day, while some will kick and move more in the evenings. This is a chance to begin to get to know your baby’s unique pattern of activity.
At around this time you may begin to notice when your baby gets hiccups, which will feel like rhythmic, jerking movements. As the amniotic sac will contain around 26 oz at this stage, your baby will have plenty of space to freely move around. You may begin to notice them responding to noises and jump at sudden loud sounds.
As your baby grows and becomes more cramped in the womb, they will begin to make smaller, more definite movements that can be felt on the outside. This is a good time for your partner to feel the baby kicking and makes for great bonding moments.
At this stage your baby’s movements will plateau but should not reduce until the time of birth. Some of the kicks and jabs may be strong enough to take your breathe away.
You should be feeling consistent movement throughout the day, consisting mostly of jabs from the arms and legs, and possibly painful kicks to your ribs. Alert your doctor if you notice any significant reduction in movement. Your baby should take up the final, head-down position for delivery!
- Agnes Yoon