We get a lot of anxious emails from soon-to-be mothers wondering why their baby isn’t kicking yet, and when they should expect the kicking to start.
They’re often reassured when we tell them that the first flutters typically begin between 16 and 22 weeks into pregnancy for first-time mothers. Even then, they won’t feel like real kicks or jabs- as baby has plenty of room to maneuver. At that stage, the kicks will be gentle and only noticeable if you’re in a calm and quiet environment. Additionally, these early kicks can be sporadic- you might feel persistent flutters one day and nothing the next. They’re also less conspicuous if you’re overweight or your placenta is anterior (on the front of your uterus, near the stomach). In short, don’t worry if you don’t feel consistent, forceful early flutters- they’re often hard to discern.
By the time you hit your third trimester, baby’s moves tend to be more predictable.
Become familiar with the pattern that is normal for you, if your baby appears “quiet” take action! Sit or lie down, have a snack, pay attention to any sensations of movements, if you are still concerned, contact your healthcare provider without delay. Kicks count! The mother’s perception of fetal movement is a huge indicator of fetal wellbeing, if in doubt, check it out!
When mightn’t you expect to feel kicks?
An anterior (to the front) placenta can cushion a baby’s movements, making them more difficult to perceive, ask your healthcare provider at an ultrasound to tell you where your placenta is. Usually, with an anterior placenta, your movements are nice and obvious by about 26-28 weeks, get in touch with your healthcare provider if you are concerned.