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Feeling your baby kick is certainly one of the most beautiful, exciting aspects of any pregnancy! From those small flutters that are barely noticeable, to the powerful and sometimes painful kicks that people can even see from the outside, feeling fetal movement makes you realize just how special it is to be expecting a baby. When can most pregnant women feel their baby kick, and is there any difference for subsequent pregnancies?

Ultrasound technology has revealed that a fetus starts moving its arms and legs in utero as early as six or seven weeks. But at that early point in pregnancy, your baby is far too small, and the movements far too week, for you to be able to detect any kicks or punches. The majority of first time mothers will start feeling fetal movement anywhere between 16 and 22 weeks along in their pregnancies. Those first few flutters are very light, and you might well find yourself wondering if that thunder-like sensation in your abdomen is your baby moving, or just your bowels playing up. As your pregnancy progresses, your baby's movements will be difficult to confuse with anything else.

Some women are able to distinguish kicks from movements made with the hands, and can feel their babies flip about in their growing uterus. The time you can start to feel fetal movement does depend on the location of your placenta those with anterior (frontal) placenta have to wait a while (or a lot!) longer to feel those kicks. How often should you feel your baby move? Like everyone else, even babies in utero have rest periods and periods of activity. Besides that, some little ones seem to be hyperactive and make their mothers feel like they are doing acrobatics in there, while other babies are more easy-going and gentle. Getting to know your baby's pattern of movements, and getting in touch with your doctor or midwife if something changes, or if your baby suddenly stops kicking, can be of crucial importance.

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