Q| I’m three months pregnant, but haven’t felt my baby kick. Is this normal?
A The first experience of a baby kicking in the womb is known as “quickening” and is similar to the sensation of popcorn popping or the gentle feeling of a butterfly moving its wings in your belly.
First-time moms can’t always distinguish early movements from bowel rumblings, and the first awareness of foetal movements will be felt at about 22 weeks. However, women who have been pregnant before can feel movements as early as 16 weeks. It is easier to feel your baby move when you are quiet or sitting down.
A baby’s movements will be more difficult to feel if a pregnant woman is carrying more weight or if the placenta is in front. As the pregnancy progresses, the baby’s kicking will become more regular and stronger – enough for
Dad to be able to feel it, too.
Vigorous kicking may be altered by periods of sleep for the baby. Hiccups can be distinguished from normal kicking. Most babies are active at night when you’ll be trying to sleep.
Dr Gerrit Viljoen, obstetrician