Fetal Movement: iVillage Pregnancy &Parenting

I have heard so many conflicting reports of when a pregnant woman will feel her baby move. Even the doctors seem to disagree. I am about 18 weeks pregnant and sometimes I think I feel something, but I also think I could be gassy. When do women normally first feel their baby move?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

The reason that no one has the same information for you is that there is a wide range of normal. "Most" women feel fetal movement (quickening) at 18 weeks if it is their first baby (i.e. 18 weeks from your last menstrual period -- LMP). Some multiparas (those who have already carried a child to term) feel movement earlier, simply because they know what it feels like. The normal range is 16 to 20 weeks (LMP).

Fetal movement feels like "little mice tumbling around in your lower abdomen" or "little flutters that stop just as they started" or "gas bubbles" or any number of different ways women can describe it.

If your care provider has a doppler, he or she could tell you when they hear fetal movement and then you could decide if you feel something at the same time. Generally, if women think they feel something, it is usually fetal movement.

One of the difficulties with normal times to feel first movement is that we don't all have 28 day cycles, even though certain pregnancy landmarks, including due dates, are calculated as if we all did.

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