Everything About Baby Kicks And Fetal Movements

6 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Everything About Baby Kicks And Fetal Movements

Feeling your baby’s first kick is an amazing experience and cannot be expressed in words. Baby’s kick is his own way to make his presence felt. In this article, you can find Everything About Baby Kicks And Fetal Movements. It is in the second trimester (around 16 to 22 weeks) that you may start feeling your woolly woosh kicking. However, the baby starts kicking from 7-8 weeks onwards. If you are a first-time mother, you may not feel the baby-making any movements till the 25th week.

But, experienced mothers start feeling the baby flutters as early as 13 weeks. In medical jargon, this is termed as ‘quickening’ and is more easily noticed by second-time moms. That is because first-time expecting ladies confuse it with tummy rumblings or gas and cannot really figure out the difference between the two. Your physical build is also an important factor in determining when you will feel your baby’s first kick. Thin women perceive the movement earlier than the sturdy ad overweight ones.

In This Article

What Does A Baby’s Kick Feel Like?

Well, you must be baffled as to what the kick feels like? Many women have summed up feelings of baby kicks like a tiny fish swimming gently, nervous twitches, butterflies fluttering, or popcorn popping up. It is like a soft, tender tap or whisper within your belly.

You will realize the difference between a baby’s kick and gas or hunger pangs only after you start feeling the kick in the second trimester of pregnancy. If you are into comparing this with other women, please keep in mind that every baby is different and every mother may interpret baby kicks differently.

How Often Do You Feel Baby Kicks In The Womb?

In the beginning, there will be long intervals and the kicks will be few. However, within a week or so, both the frequency as well as the intensity increase. Also, since the baby is small, a lot of his movements may not produce a significant effect on you. You may not even feel it constantly, though the baby is almost enjoying his space every now and then.

Every baby has his distinctive pattern of movement and differs from others. Some babies also move a little less compared to others. All you have to do is to take care of the movements your baby makes. Nothing to worry about as long as your baby is moving frequently and you can perceive the movements.

When Does The Baby Kick In The Womb?

When Does The Baby Kick In The Womb_

As it is, babies tend to be more active after you have had a meal or snacked on something nice. They are known to practice their acrobatics after 9 pm and till 1 am – the slot after dinner when all you really want is to sleep peacefully.

A calm and relaxed body will be able to feel the baby’s kicking more easily. The first few times will make you want more, and then you’d really like the baby to slow down a bit and give you some rest.

How Does The Baby’s Movement Change As The Pregnancy Progress?

As the pregnancy advances, the baby’s jerks or jolts can get stronger and you may feel uncomfortable sometimes. The kicks are usually most easily felt in the mid and later part of the second trimester.

In the third trimester, the growing baby occupies most of the uterine space and the kicks are not as felt or perceived as in the second trimester. The baby has lesser space to kick and move about, yet he should be making at least 10 movements in a time span of two hours. If you feel the baby is not making at least 10 movements in every two hours, quit counting and call your doctor.

Tracking The Baby Kicks In The Third Trimester

You should pay attention to the kicks and immediately inform the doctor in case you feel any decrease in the activity level of your baby. The formula generically followed is at least 10 movements in a period of 2 hours. The doctor may advise you NST or non-stress test along with an ultrasound and assessment of amniotic fluid to determine the health status of your baby.

Counting The Baby Kicks In The Third Trimester

In your third trimester, your doctor will ask you to keep a record of the baby’s kicks as it is important for assessing the baby’s activity and development. You can find out the time when the baby is most active and start counting his kicks every day at the same time.

You can lie on either side or sit in a quiet place to avoid disturbances. Count the time interval between two consecutive kicks and the total number of kicks in say an hour or two. Make sure to inform your doctor if you do not perceive 10 kicks in two hours.

Timeline of Fetal Movements

Timeline of Fetal Movements

Below is a common week to week guide about your baby kicks and fetal movements:

  • 12th Week: The baby begins to move in your belly, but it is small and you do not feel the movement.
  • 16th Week: Some expectant mothers start feeling butterfly-fluttering while some confuse it with flatulence. Some are not sure.
  • 20th Week: By now your baby is strong enough to make his presence and you will feel his kicks. These are termed as ‘quickening’.
  • 24th Week: Now the baby’s movements become more pronounced and you can easily feel him kicking your belly.
  • 28th Week: Your baby is frequently in motion and some of his kicks may even take away your breath.
  • 36th Week: The baby grows and occupies most of the uterine pace and the kicks ad movements slow down by now.

Warning Signs Of Decrease In Fetal Movements

Warning Signs Of Decrease In Fetal Movements

Monitoring baby kicks and fetal movements is very important. Generally, there should be 10 fetal movements in 120 minutes. If you felt the baby is slow and the count is less than this, immediately seek your doctor’s help. Other important factors that can affect your baby’s movements are:

  • Mother’s nutrition level
  • Stressful lifestyle
  • Excess anxiety
  • Mother’s hydration level

In some situations, decreased or slow fetal movements are due to serious problems such as sudden rupture of the amniotic sac or any problem with the fetal respiratory system, or even less availability of oxygen.

Placenta Abruption

Placenta abruption or abruption of the placenta is another serious condition that causes separation of the placenta from the uterine wall. It is the placenta that is concerned with providing food and nutrition to the growing fetus from the maternal tissues.

The separation or detachment can be minor and recovers on its own, but sometimes there is complete cessation of food and oxygen supply to the fetus. This can result in fetal death if not corrected immediately by surgery.

Decreased Fetal Movements and Fetal Demise

In a few cases decreased fetal movements are suggestive of fetal death. The actual cause of fetal demise is however not always known. Infection, trauma, tumor, etc., can also cause fetal death.

Monitoring Baby Movements

Keeping in mind the significance of fetal movements, their proper monitoring is very important. Writing down at a specific time of the day about the intensity, frequency, and duration of kicks or jabs is the ideal way to keep a record of fetal movements. Routine ultrasonography is done particularly at four to five months of gestation to assess the development status of the fetus and to rule out the presence of any congenital abnormality.

Regular antenatal clinical examinations are also helpful in assessing the baby’s kicks and fetal movements and heart rate of the growing fetus. During these checkups, your doctor will hear your baby’s heart rate with a Doppler heart monitor or a stethoscope. Keep these points in mind and enjoy this beautiful phase of life.

Happy pregnancy!


1. Are Baby Kicks And Movements The Same?

To count baby kicks, almost any fetal movement, such as kicks, flutters, swishes, jabs, or rolls, may be employed. Nevertheless, hiccups are not counted. This is due to the fact that hiccups are involuntary. Similarly, several movements at the same time qualify as one “kick.”

2. Does A Lot Of Fetal Movement Mean An Active Baby?

No such thing exists as excessive fetal movement. Infants often have their own activity levels. Each pregnancy and baby is unique, but it is unlikely that your baby’s increased movements in the womb signal anything other than his or her physical development.

3. Which Baby Kicks More During Pregnancy?

According to one research, boys move about more in the womb than girls. The average number of leg movements was substantially greater in males than in girls at 20, 34, and 37 weeks, according to the research.

4. What Week Do Baby Kicks, Get Stronger?

From 29 to 31 weeks of gestation. Your baby is likely to start making sharper, more defined movements at this point, such as forceful kicks and pushes.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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