There are few things in the world as exciting as feeling your baby move inside your belly! Although your little one has been moving and kicking for many weeks, only at about week 16 week can you really start to feel those wiggles -- often called "quickening." Still, some women report feeling movement much earlier, while others don't notice the movements until 20 weeks or later.
Nancy J Price, Betsy Bailey & Abbi Perets

What does the baby feel like? Here's what three moms had to say:

    It feels very, very gentle, and it's like someone pushing your abdominal wall from the inside. It's becoming quite recognizable and pretty easy to distinguish from gas. I hope I'm not fooling myself but I think that's really it! I'm so psyched! - Alisa

    I did not think I was feeling anything with my daughter until we were at the ultrasound and the lady said, "You don't feel that?" I said (feeling stupid), "Well, yes, but I just thought that was gas!" - Dawn

    I was on my way to Starbucks and the baby kicked me good and hard for the first time. It was weird; I got this overwhelming feeling like everyone just saw what happened. It was pretty strange -- but fun. - Monique

Some factors that determine when you will feel your baby include how much "padding" you are carrying, the baby's position, the placement of the placenta (which might muffle the kicks), and -- very importantly -- whether or not you recognize what you're feeling. At first, your baby's movement won't feel like much! Early fetal movement may feel like the flutter of a butterfly, a tickle with a feather, or even like a gas bubble.

Most babies fall into one of two categories: the kickers and the ones who make you worry. The kickers kick. Constantly. With a lot of force. They move around all day and all night, and on rare (very rare) occasions, active kickers have actually snapped one of mommy's ribs. If your baby is like this, we feel your pain, sister. And prepare for a very active toddler.

The babies who make you worry are usually just fine. They're just quieter, calmer, more subdued. You may not believe it now, but these can actually be very positive qualities in children. If you're past the point where you've felt your baby kicking but you haven't felt him move all day, don't panic. Sometimes, you're just not paying attention, and gentle kicks and prods will go unnoticed. Drink a glass of orange juice, eat a spoonful of peanut butter (if you're not allergic, of course), and lie down on your left side. Wait about 20 minutes -- you should feel the kicks starting up. (If you're concerned that you haven't felt your baby for awhile or his movements seem irregular, call your caregiver.)

Right now, you're the only one in the world who can feel your baby the way you do -- and that's an awesome thing to consider. Relish every moment, because soon enough, these days will be gone, and replaced by the different, but equally fulfilling, kicks of your baby who's now out there in the world.

Tags: butterflies movement

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