Quickening during Pregnancy: What Does It Mean and When Does It Happen?
Some of the symptoms of pregnancy are inconvenient and unpleasant, such as morning sickness and the need to urinate every five minutes! But there’s one pregnancy-related sign that most women eagerly anticipate – quickening.
Quickening during Pregnancy: The Connection Between You and Your Baby
What is quickening and what does it feel like? Quickening is the time when you first feel your new baby move or kick. It’s a sign your baby has developed the ability to move and give you a gentle nudge. During your first pregnancy, quickening may be difficult to identify. It usually feels like a subtle fluttering in your tummy or a faint tapping sensation. Some women even mistake these movements for hunger pangs or gas.
It becomes easier to feel these movements with subsequent pregnancies since our uterus is more relaxed. You may also feel them earlier if you’ve been pregnant before. Nevertheless, this is your first communication with your new baby! You’re officially bonded.
When are should you feel the first kicks and flutters of quickening? If this is your first pregnancy, you may not notice quickening until you’re 18 to 20 weeks along. If you’ve been pregnant before, you may feel it as early as 13 weeks. Every woman is a bit different, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t sense quickening until you’re into your second trimester. Those flutters and taps usually become stronger and more frequent, once they start, as your pregnancy progresses.
Factors that Affect Quickening
Several factors can impact when you feel the first signs of quickening. If you gain a large amount of weight during pregnancy, it makes it harder to feel your baby’s first movements. Also, when and how strongly you feel them depends on where the placenta is. If it’s along the front of your uterus, it dampens the movements and makes them harder to feel. Some women are simply better at noticing the signs of quickening than others. If you’re quiet and aren’t distracted by other things, you’re more likely to detect them.
You’ll most likely notice more flutters and kicks after 28 weeks of pregnancy. The sensations will gradually become more frequent and gradually establish a pattern. At this point, you’ll want to keep track of the kicks and flutters by writing down how many you’re having per hour. If you notice a change in the pattern, especially a sudden decrease, let your obstetrician know right away. Such changes can sometimes be a sign of problems.
After the 28th week, you should feel around 10 movements over a 2-hour period. If you don’t, let your doctor know.
The Bottom Line
Quickening – the point at which you feel those first movements – is an exciting time for any mom-to-be and for any other family members as well. Now you know what to expect and can enjoy the growing connection between you and your baby.
American Pregnancy Association. “First Fetal Movement: Quickening”
New Health Advisor. “Quickening in Pregnancy”