This article is from the General Pregnancy FAQ, by swnymph@FensEnde.com (Sabrina Cuddy) with numerous contributions by others.
From: "Corrine R. Johnson" <JohnsonC@calvertgroup.com>
WHEN DO YOU FEEL MOVEMENT
From 13 1/2 to 26 weeks
Your Pregnancy Companion by Janis Graham
Quickening: To Reach the Stage of Gestation
At Which Fetal Motion is Felt
As you wait for the time when you'll start to feel your baby move, it's
not uncommon to become a little anxious, to worry, "Why haven't I felt
anything yet?" It helps to keep the following two things in mind.
First, while some women feel fetal movements as early as fourteen
weeks, most mothers-to-be (especially first-time mothers) only discern
movements after eighteen or twenty-one weeks (or even as late as
Second, it's not always easy to recognize first fetal movements, since
early movements are not usually experienced as distinct jabs or kicks
but indistinct, vague "flutterings" or sinking sensations that are easy
to mistake for digestive rumblings. In other words, feeling your
baby's first movements may not be a clearly demarcated "event" for you
but a series of suspicions ("I think that was the baby moving") that
finally add up to certainty.
Once you're sure you're feeling the baby (and that may take weeks after
the first suspicion), chances are you'll be excited and reassured. The
baby is likely to some how seem more real to you from then on. Most
women also find that their feelings toward their unborn baby greately
intensify once movements are felt, and that the movements are, overall,
a source of joy and comfort during the later part of the pregnancy.
There may be still times however, when the subject of the baby's
movements cause you concern. These facts should provide perspective:
o Every baby has his or her own unique pattern of movement:
some kick like clockwork the same time everyday, others jab
you irregularly; some pack powerful punches, others just
nudge you gently.
That means if a friend describes fetal kicks so strong that they wake
her up in the middle of the night, you shouldn't be worried if you only
feel gentle puches. You simply can't compare your baby's style of
"getting around" with any other baby's. The range of what's normal,
usual, and healthy is tremendously wide.
o When you are active, you'll tend to notice your baby's
movements less and your baby will tend to move less (as
he or she is lulled by the rhythm of your movements).
Also, there will be days when your baby is more wakeful
and active than others.
o In a normal, low risk pregnancy there's generally no need
to count fetal movements every day (in some high-risk
pregnancies, doctors will instruct a woman to count fetal
movements three times a day in thirty-minute sessions).
*Only after the 28-30th week* After the thirtieth week
though, you should contact your doctor if you feel no fetal
activity or feel markedly diminished activity in any
twenty-four hour period.
*Even if you feel no movement or a slowing, it doesn't
necessarily mean something is wrong; if you're near term,
for instance, a lessening in activity is often a signal
that labor is about to begin.