Behavior - Fetal Activity 25 Weeks

One of the most rewarding experiences of being pregnant is the ability to feel your unborn baby move for the first time. Normal behavior in an unborn baby means that she'll start moving around at approximately seven to eight weeks old. But she'll be too small for you to feel those movements. As your baby grows, so does your ability to feel her movements.

It may take a first-time mom a little longer to recognize fluttering in her abdominal region as the acrobatics of her baby. Most women will be able to feel fetal movement by week 19 with many women feeling the kicking (also called quickening) as early as 16 weeks or sooner.

What Does First Fetal Movement Feel Like?

The sensation varies from woman to woman. Some have described it as a feeling of butterflies fluttering similar to the fluttering feeling you get in your gut when you're nervous. Others have said it feels like a goldfish swimming around. Still other women have described the earliest felt fetal movements as being like popcorn popping.

You're more likely to feel movements when you're sitting or lying down quietly. This is often the time your baby is awake since your movements can lull him to sleep. At first, you might mistake those earliest movements as hunger pains or even gas pains.

Reasons For the Movement

A growing fetus is just like a fully developed person in that he needs to stretch and flex his limbs. During the early stages of your pregnancy, your baby will do this automatically and will quite animated swimming around your belly. You just won't feel these movements.  As he becomes more developed he may respond to noise or even to your emotions. If you're excited, your baby may respond to your elevated heart rate by moving around more. Some foods can cause babies to punch, kick and roll more often. A fetus may move because she finds the position you're in uncomfortable.

Fetal Movement at 20 Weeks

Don't be alarmed if you can't feel your baby move by the 19th or 20th week of pregnancy. It's not uncommon for some women not to feel movement by this stage. They may simply not feel the movement due to the position of the baby or the position of the placenta. (A front lying placenta will act like a cushion and deaden any movements so they're not felt by the mother.) Or you may simply not be able to recognize the baby movements for what they are.

Fetal Movement Week 22

At this stage in your pregnancy your baby's hearing has developed sufficiently to react to loud noises. He'll be able to recognize your voice and may even respond to you if you talk. You might be able to feel more activity if you're listening to a loud movie, are involved in an animated conversation or if you're disturbed by a loud noise like a siren or horns honking.

Fetal movement during week 23 may be more easily felt because the average fetus is a little over a pound and about 11 inches long. It's not too crowded in utero yet for the baby so she'll still be able to easily flip around. But there's not as much room as there once was making it easier for you to feel the movements. Your baby will now be able to clearly hear your beating heart, stomach rumblings and activities around you.

Fetal Activity 25 Weeks

By week 25 the majority of pregnant women can feel their babies move. If you haven't had any movements and are concerned, talk to your health care provider. By this time you've likely already had an ultrasound which would have seen your moving baby, even if you couldn't feel her. The ultrasound will typically bring any problems to your practitioner's attention.

In three weeks, at week 28 when your baby is more than two pounds you'll be asked to more actively monitor fetal activity.


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