When Do You First Feel Movement in Pregnancy?

Pregnancy can cause a lot of new sensations in your body. Whether it’s nausea or breast tenderness, symptoms may feel uncomfortable as you try to figure out what’s happening. Then, deciphering between gas, muscle cramps, and movement inside of your belly can be confusing!    Here’s what you need to know about when you should feel movement in pregnancy.   What is quickening in pregnancy? Quickening refers to the feeling women have in their belly as their fetus moves around in their womb.    When do you start feeling movement in pregnancy?  Most women begin feeling movement around 16- 20 weeks of pregnancy. A variety of factors can affect when you feel movement such as: 
  • Uncertain Gestational Age (how far along you are in your pregnancy). Some women assume they know how far along they are based on their last menstrual period. So, they mistake gas for movement and vice versa.
  • First pregnancy. If this is your first pregnancy, you may not feel movement until after 20 weeks or so.
  • Multiple pregnancies. If this is your second or third pregnancy, you may feel movement a little bit sooner because your uterus is more sensitive and you already know what it feels like.
  • An anterior placenta. Which means that your placenta is located towards the front of your belly, instead of towards your back. This is not something to be concerned about. It simply means it’s sometimes harder to feel movement.
  If you’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, we understand that you may feel confused or even scared. If you think you’re experiencing movement, you’ll want to know how far along you are. Alternatives Medical Clinic provides a safe, confidential place to confirm your pregnancy and to help you figure out how far along you are with an ultrasound. Then, we provide you with education about your options. Call us today at 760-741-9796.   When does a baby start moving in pregnancy?  By 7-8 weeks of gestational age, the embryo bends the head or rump. At 8-10 weeks, the whole body begins making startle movements that can be seen on an ultrasound. By 11 weeks, hand to face contact is possible, and at 14 weeks, the fetus will suck and swallow. By 24 weeks, the fetus will have more intentional movements—the ones that women can feel. All movements help the development of bones and joints.    What does quickening feel like?  For women experiencing their first pregnancy, quickening can feel rather alarming or abnormal. In the beginning, some women confuse quickening with the feeling of gas. It may feel like tapping, flickering, rolling, or butterflies. As the fetus grows, movement begins to feel a little more intense. You may feel a kick, punch, elbow, somersault, or even hiccups!    Where do you feel quickening?  Women begin to feel quickening lower in their belly, near their pubic bone. But, as the uterus grows with the fetus, women feel quickening near the top of the belly button.   Does quickening hurt?  Quickening may feel uncomfortable, especially as the fetus grows. If the fetus’s movements feel like too much for you, try changing positions such as lying down on your left side. You can also give your belly a little nudge or press. But, quickening should never cause persistent sharp pains or severe cramping. Seek medical care immediately if you’re experiencing these symptoms.    How often should you feel quickening?  Every woman will want to discuss the frequency of quickening with her OBGYN or midwife. Often, OBGYNs will suggest women begin counting movements around 28 weeks, with the expectation of 10 movements within 2 hours. Women should notify their provider of any sudden changes in the frequency or timing of movement.   When during the day do you feel quickening? Every woman’s experience will be different, so try not to compare! Fetuses often sleep during the day as they’re rocked to sleep by a woman’s movement and then remain awake at night.   Can you cause quickening?  If a woman drinks a sugary beverage or eats a snack, she might notice more movement. Walking, playing loud music, or even rubbing the belly could cause the fetus to move more. The feelings of quickening could change as the fetus grows or changes position.    Free Pregnancy Services in Escondido, California Regardless of what pregnancy symptoms you might experience, we know that an unplanned pregnancy can feel scary. But, we’re here to make sure that you don’t navigate this journey alone.    Alternatives Medical Clinic provides free and confidential pregnancy services to ensure that you have all of the information you need. Then, we walk with you each step of the way!   Call or text us at 760-741-9796 or schedule your appointment online today
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