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Feel Baby Move

feel_baby_move_-_CopyWhen Should I First Feel Baby Move?

Many mothers state that they don't feel pregnant until they feel baby move. Even if the expecting mother looks the part at that point, there is just something incredibly magical about feeling the movements of life within for the first time. The big question on the minds of many first time mothers is when should those movements be felt?

Great Variety in Baby Movement to be Expected

The fact of the matter is, there is actually a wide range in what week a mother may begin to feel baby move, or as it is also referred to, quickening. A normal time frame can be considered anything between fourteen weeks pregnant to twenty-four weeks pregnant. It is possible for a fetus to be felt prior to this time frame; however that more commonly happens when it is not a first pregnancy. Mothers that have experienced pregnancy before simply notice the movement sooner than do first time mothers.

It is also possible that quickening can be felt for the first time after twenty-four weeks pregnant. However, this is actually far less common. A mother should bring lack of fetal movement to the attention of her care provider if she doesn't feel the baby’s movements at twenty-two weeks pregnant. While there is no immediate cause for alarm, some OBGYNs may ere in the side of caution and run some basic tests, most often an ultrasound, to ensure that there is nothing amiss. The majority of the time, not feeling baby move is just a case of the placenta being positioned in such a way that it insulates the movements to a greater degree, thereby making it more difficult to feel baby moving.

Another factor in how early or late in the pregnancy a mother feels baby moving is the mother's weight. A very slender mother may become aware of quickening far sooner than a mother that is overweight. The mother that is in good shape and takes excellent care of herself is likely to be at the very early end of this spectrum and notice the baby moving closer to fourteen weeks pregnant. On the other hand, a mother that is overweight or obese is far more likely to be at the other end of this spectrum and feel the quickening much closer to twenty-four weeks pregnant. The additional weight often acts as increased insulation that will muffle the baby's movements, making it more difficult to notice them.

While expecting mothers everywhere anxiously wait to feel baby move for the first time, they need to remember that this is unique to each and every mother and likewise every pregnancy. From the time that the pregnancy test turns up positive, the desire to feel baby move grows greater and greater with each passing day. It can seem like an eternity. However, the vast majority of mothers will feel those wonderful kicks, flips, and wiggles prior to twenty-four weeks pregnant. Keeping in mind the great variety in when the baby's movements can be felt can help to ease the mind and make the waiting easier.

Shanti Bradley
Shanti Bradley

I grew up in Northern Indiana, near the University of Notre Dame.  I have a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Holy Cross College.  Aside from writing I am also a family health educator at Memorial Hospital of South Bend.  I work also as a Birth Doula and Lactation Specialist.  I love providing education and support for growing families.  I find it incredibly rewarding.

I have a husband and two children of my own.  They are three and five years old.  My three year old has Autism.  In addition to running around after them, I have a St. Bernard that I enjoy cuddling with.  I have also in the past worked as a nanny to three children, two of which were special needs.  Long before that, in what almost seems like another lifetime altogether, I worked as a restaurant general manager.

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