Feeling your child move

Fetal movement during pregnancy

Different women start to feel their child's first movements differently depending on their pregnancy experience. It is vital for mums to monitor the pattern of their child's movement inside their wombs.

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As your due date approaches, your child will most probably settle into a head-down position.

What to expect throughout your pregnancy

16-20 Weeks

  • Women who have already had a child tend to feel their child's first fetal movements at around 16-18 weeks
  • First-time mums are more likely to feel movements at around 18-20 weeks because they don't recognize the sensation at first
  • Women describe the feeling as being like fluttering wings or air bubbles moving around in your tummy
     

20-26 Weeks

  • Your child's fetal movements will become stronger and you will start to feel punches, kicks and somersaults
  • You will gradually become used to your child's fetal movements and their particular pattern
  • You may notice rhythmic twitches now and again when your child has a fit of hiccups
  • Your child may jump when they hear a sudden loud noise
  • Some are more active than others and all go through quiet and active period
     

27-40 Weeks

  • Your child's fetal movements will peak between weeks 26 and 32
  • You may feel large roll-over movements that take your breath away for a moment
  • As your child becomes more cramped in your womb, their movements will feel slower
  • As your due date approaches, your child will most probably settle into a head-down position and you may feel uncomfortable kicks to your ribs.
     

When to call the midwife

  • If you notice any change in your child's pattern of movements call your doctor
  • You know your child best so always be guided by your instincts

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