Is The Baby Moving Or Do I Have Gas?

For first time mothers, feeling your baby move around inside you can be an odd sensation. We’re here to help demystify the situation known as quickening.

Pregnant woman

Feeling your little peanut bounce around for the first time can take expecting mothers by surprised. Particularly if it’s your first pregnancy, the feeling can be a little…well…weird and sometimes takes some getting used to.

It feels like…

There is a name for the flutters you are feeling in your belly. The term quickening refers to the first fetal movements felt by mom. The sensation is frequently described as feeling butterfly flutters, hunger pangs, nervous twitches, a gassy tummy, or, um, feeling like you have to visit the bathroom.

What will first feel like a flurry of flutters in your tummy early on will get more defined as you head further into the second and third trimester. Eventually you’ll be feeling distinct movements like kicks and punches, making you wonder if baby is using you as a human punching bag. Fear not though, these are healthy signs of development.

When does the moving and shaking start?

Just like most other pregnancy symptoms, when a woman feels her baby move for the first time can vary from person-to-person, but the general timeframe for detecting baby’s first fetal movement is 13-25 weeks.

Many first time moms don’t feel fetal movement until 18-20 weeks. Some may feel it earlier than this, but aren’t quite sure what it is they are feeling and might confuse the sensation with the after-effects of a bean and cheese burrito, but by 20 weeks the feeling is typically a little more distinct.

Women who have previously given birth are often more sensitive to fetal movement and can sometimes detect it earlier. Some women can feel the baby move as early as 13-16 weeks.

When is baby active?

Unfortunately, babies tend to be late-night party animals, preferring to bounce around during the middle of the night when you’re trying to rest. You are also more sensitive to movement during this time when you are quietly lying trying to catch some zzz’s.

Certain foods, like sugary juices and spicy foods, can also trigger baby’s movements. Later on in the pregnancy you might also find that noises or sounds cause the baby to wiggle around a little too.

Later on in your pregnancy your doctor may ask you to keep track of fetal movements to make sure that development is on track. Speak to your healthcare provider about when to start tracking and what to look for.

More on fetal development

Fetal development by fruit size
Tips for altering your baby's position
Fetal kick count chart

Tags: baby moments quickening


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