When and how a baby moves during pregnancy is different for each pregnancy. Some babies are calm, rarely moving, which can have moms doing kick counts and drinking orange juice out of concern for their baby’s health. Other moms have such active and surprisingly strong babies that they feel like a punching bag and start wishing for a moment of peace. Many believe that the movement of baby during pregnancy is the first clue to a child’s temperament. Dr. Harvey Karp reports in his book “The Happiest Toddler on the Block” that “moms… knew their children would be spirited because they were so active in the womb.”
In the first trimester, many women do not feel any movement of baby during pregnancy. This is especially true for first-time moms who may not recognize the feeling of fetal movement. If you are one of the lucky few to feel your baby before 12 weeks of gestation, the moment will be subtle and quick. It often feels like a rapid fluttering, as if you have butterflies in your uterus. At this stage, your uterus is quite low below your belly button. The movement may not be in the center, directly below your belly button, however. If the fetus has wiggled over to the side of your womb, you may feel the fluttering slightly off to one side. By week 13 to week 16, the American Pregnancy Association reports some moms will feel what they describe as a “quickening” movement, which feels like a strong butterfly flapping.
Tickles and Pops
As your baby grows, you are more likely to not only feel the movement of baby during pregnancy, but also to feel stronger movement. In the second trimester, you may feel like someone is tickling you from the inside. Quick punches and kicks may feel like quick pops. Moms of exceptionally active babies may feel link they are making popcorn in their wombs. These stronger movements come as the baby, and your uterus grows. You may feel these tickles and pops closer to your belly button now. Usually, by the fifth or sixth month, you will be regularly feeling your baby move and recognizing the sensation.
Kicks and Punches
These stronger, sometimes done with gusto by baby, movements of kicks and punches tend to start close to or in the third trimester. Your baby is big enough now, and using all available space, so you may feel the kicks and punches in places you never imagined. Your belly button, ribs, lungs, sides, bladder and colon are all possible targets in the end months. Although some moms may never experience these jarring movements, this is not a cause for concern. Babies who continue only to tickle their mom all the way until birth may just have a calmer disposition.