Feeling your baby move for the first time during pregnancy can be a very exciting and emotional time. The tiny movements that you feel inside your womb are signs that you have life inside you that is growing and developing.
When will I feel my baby moving?
The truth is, your baby starts moving inside your womb long before you call feel it. For some women, it is possible to feel your baby moving inside your womb as early as 16–18 weeks into your pregnancy. For first time mothers, movement may not be felt until 20 weeks. Women who have already experienced pregnancy are more likely to feel movements at earlier stages. However, if you do not feel any movements by 24 weeks, consult with your doctor. They will order an ultrasound to listen to your baby’s heart and check for any medical issues.
What is my baby doing inside my womb?
Below is a breakdown of the types of movements you can feel at certain stages of your pregnancy, and what your baby is doing inside of your womb.
- Stirring 7-8 weeks: your baby begins to bend sideways and make tiny sudden movements.
- Hiccups 9 weeks: at this stage your baby can hiccup and begin to move their tiny arms and legs. You baby will also begin to suck and swallow at 9 weeks into pregnancy.
- Head Movements 10 weeks: your baby will begin to move their head. They can also bring their hands up to touch his face, and open their jaw.
- Yawning 12 weeks: your baby will yawn and stretch inside your womb.
- Eye Movements 14 weeks: as the eyes are developing, your baby will begin to move them at this stage in pregnancy.
- Thumb Sucking 15 weeks: at this stage your baby will begin sucking his or her thumb. This is a great opportunity to try to catch, and have your doctor take a picture during an ultrasound.
What do these movements feel like?
As your pregnancy goes on, the movements of your baby will get stronger, and you will feel them more intensely. At first these tiny movements could feel like a flutter, or a rippling sensation like gas, or air. As your baby becomes bigger, and stronger you will feel their kicks, jabbing, and even elbowing. Sometimes this can be uncomfortable. It is common for your ribs to feel tender towards the end of pregnancy.
How often will my baby move?
Just like we do, babies constantly move. There will be times that he or she is resting or asleep comfortably in your womb. Do not get alarmed if your baby isn’t constantly kicking and jabbing. Towards the end of your pregnancy, your baby will rest for longer periods of time, typically 20 minutes at a time. Babies tend to move at certain time of day. Unfortunately babies often become active while you are resting, and sleep while you are awake. It is possible to feel 16-45 movements per minute toward the end of pregnancy. You can also track your baby’s movements and learn their patterns. Once you feel that you’ve gotten accustomed to their patterns be sure to consult with a doctor if you ever notice your baby slowing down in movement.
I think my baby stopped moving, what do I do?
If you baby suddenly stopped moving, this could be an indicator that there is a problem. It is possible that you baby is just resting however; if you ever feel unsettled about your baby’s movements it is important to contact your doctor just to be safe.
There are a few things that you can do at home to try and get your baby’s movements back.
- Lie on your left side and support your baby bump with a pillow. Rest and lay in that position for around two hours. If you do not feel more than 10 distinct movements within that time period, contact your physician.
- Have something cold to drink. The change in temperature in your body can cause the baby to move. You can also try drinking something sugary to give your baby a boost that will encourage movement.
- Play music or try to make other loud noises to alert the baby.
If there is ever a question, or a doubt in your baby’s movements contact your doctor. They will be able to determine if it is a serious issue, or if you baby is just taking a rest.
Feeling your baby movements for the first time in your womb can be a very overwhelming and happy time. Many times, doctor’s can show you your baby’s movements in ultrasounds, and even snap a picture of him or her sucking their thumb! While all of these movements may be uncomfortable at times, it shows you that he or she is growing and developing inside of you!