Popcorn popping. A little fish swimming. Bubbles. Butterflies. Tickles. These are common words used by women to describe their baby’s first movements. Also known as “quickening”, it’s a reassuring sign that your baby is OK and growing. This much anticipated milestone typically starts sometime between 18-25 weeks into pregnancy. For first time moms, it may occur closer to 25 weeks, and for second or third time moms, it may occur much sooner. Feeling your baby flutter is a truly thrilling sensation. It’s nearly impossible not to smile when it happens and it helps the reality of having new baby set in.
At first it may be difficult to tell the difference between gas and your baby moving. You might not feel movement as early as you are expecting to feel it, but eventually you’ll notice a pattern. You will start to learn when the baby is most active and what seems to trigger activity. Some moms might worry that their baby is not moving enough.
One of the better predictors of fetal well being is doing “kick counts” after the 28th week of pregnancy. By this time your baby’s movements are usually well established and some doctors recommend keeping track of all those tumbles, flicks, and kicks. Check with your health care provider to see what he/she recommends.
Here’s how to keep track of kick counts:
Track kick counts each day, measuring them at about the same time each day, when your baby is active.
Track kick counts shortly after you’ve eaten a meal, as your baby will probably be most active then.
Sitting or lying on your side, place your hands on your belly and monitor baby’s movement.
Each time you feel a roll, kick, thump or turn, mark it down on a piece of paper. Don’t count baby’s hiccups.
Keep counting until you’ve felt 10 movements from baby. If baby doesn’t move 10 times within one hour, try again later that day. You should call your doctor if your baby’s movement seems abnormal or you’ve tried more than once that day and can’t feel baby move 10 times or more during one hour.