During pregnancy, sometime between week 18 and week 24, most women begin to notice a fluttering (called quickening) in their bellies. These early signs of fetal movement may at first be confused as simply gas, but actually your growing baby is rocking and rolling inside your belly! She's been moving around for awhile, but an important milestone has now passed: She's big enough for you to finally feel her calisthenics!
Movement is a big bonding moment for you and your baby, too. Now you and your partner can feel that little life growing inside you. And with this comes an important pregnancy practice: fetal kick counts.
Fetal movement is a reassuring sign that your baby is growing and developing right on track.
Editor's Note: Don't worry if you're past 24 weeks and not yet feeling fetal movement. Every pregnancy is different, and as long as your doctor is hearing normal heart sounds at your regular appointments, you shouldn't worry. If you are nervous or concerned, be sure to speak with your doctor about how to best track your baby's fetal movements.
What Are Fetal Kick Counts?
Your baby's movements are changing and evolving. Those little flutters you once felt are getting stronger and more organized. Pretty soon little tickles turn into sharp, even uncomfortable, kicks and jabs!
If you're feeling movement with some regular patterns, it is a good idea to begin counting kicks. Your doctor may ask you about fetal movement during your seventh month of pregnancy, and if you're experience a high-risk pregnancy, chances are your doctor will ask you to begin tracking fetal movement around week 28.
Once you notice those robust jabs and kicks, try to decipher when you most feel the movement: Is it after you first get up in the morning? After you've eaten a meal? In the late morning or late afternoon, when your blood sugar dips? Or is it after you've done some physical activity and finally sat down to rest?