What Is Quickening?

There are few things in the world as exciting as feeling your baby move inside your belly! This movement is called "quickening."

feeling baby kick

Although your baby has been moving and kicking for many weeks, only at about 16 weeks can you really start to feel those wiggles. Some women report feeling that little person in there much earlier, while others don't notice the movements until 20 weeks or later.

Here's how a few moms-to-be described those baby kicks:

It feels very, very gentle, and it's like someone pushing your abdominal wall from the inside. It's becoming quite recognizable and pretty easy to distinguish from gas. I hope I'm not fooling myself but I think that's really it! I'm so psyched! - Alisa I did not think I was feeling anything with my daughter until we were at the ultrasound and the lady said, "You don't feel that?" I said (feeling stupid), "Well, yes, but I just thought that was gas!" - Dawn I was on my way to Starbucks and the baby kicked me good and hard for the first time. It was weird; I got this overwhelming feeling like everyone just saw what happened. It was pretty strange -- but fun. - Monique

Some factors that determine when you will feel your baby include how much "padding" you are carrying (aka fat), the baby's position, the placement of the placenta (which might muffle the kicks), and -- very important -- whether or not you recognize what you're feeling. At first, your baby's movement won't feel like much! Early fetal movement may feel like the flutter of a butterfly, a tickle with a feather, or even like a gas bubble. One thing that holds true for almost every woman: Baby's kicks feel like... one of the best things in the world.

Read more:

Is it just butterflies? Feeling the baby moveHow active should a baby be at various stages?Pregnancy diary week 16 - It's alive!


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