Gas bubbles…or early fetal movement?

May 08, 2012 12:00 AM by

If you're pregnant with your first child, you may be wondering when you're going to start feeling your unborn baby move. Will you suddenly look down at your stomach and see a bulge from a little foot? Feel a sharp jab near your ribs? How will you know it's your little one when there are other things going on in your abdomen, like hunger pangs, gas bubbles and stomach gurgles? Here are some facts to consider.

Typically, fetuses start moving when they're around 7 or 8 weeks old. You won't likely feel this movement at all, as the baby's still much too tiny to detect in your expanding uterus. Many mothers start to notice their babies moving somewhere between weeks 16 and 25 of pregnancy, but some may start detecting movement as early as 13 weeks.

These first movements are known as "quickening." Moms who have already had children and thinner women often notice this a bit earlier.

So what does it feel like? Everyone describes it differently, but you might expect to feel something like butterfly flutters, popcorn kernels popping, a tumbling sensation, tapping or nervous twitches. You're more likely to notice these sensations when you're sitting or lying in a quiet position.

In your second and third trimesters, you should be able to feel more distinct movements, like kicks jabs and elbows. Just keep in mind that fetal movement is often more regular than gas, and it tends to happen at certain times of the day – usually between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Once you enter the latter stages of pregnancy, try using sounds or touch to get your little one to move – he or she will often respond to you!

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