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You are here : home > Pregnancy > The Normal Pregnancy > Quickening - Baby's First Kick

Quickening - Baby's First Kick

Quickening refers to the feeling of the baby moving or kicking in the womb for the first time. Find out more about the first movements of the foetus.


When you visit your physician in order to confirm about your conception, you will see that the doctor predicts the expected due date by adding forty weeks to the first date of your last menstrual period. This is the tentative delivery date and it can be preponed or delayed due to various other associated factors. These forty weeks are known as the gestation period when the foetus develops and grows as it gets ready to be born. In clinical terms the movement of the foetus is known as quickening. Quickening or the feeling of the baby moving or kicking in the womb is undoubtedly one of the most exciting phases of
pregnancy, especially for the mother and her spouse.


How Quickening Takes Place?

In order to move or kick, the foetus needs to complete certain stages of development. All essential organs like the brain, the heart, spinal cord needs to get developed before quickening starts. On an average it is noticed that these developments get completed by the third week in the gestation period. Although it might be noted that this again can vary in different cases of pregnancy, where the development of the foetus can be a bit early or delayed. However, the doctor is the best judge to determine and track the progress of the foetus and recommend precautionary measures to the mother. The bone structure or the skeleton usually gets developed by the fifteenth week of your pregnancy.


The Quickening Process

In many pregnancies it is noticed that quickening may start as early as the eighth week of the pregnancy. At this stage, the foetus in your womb measures just about half an inch. As you progress into the sixteenth week of your pregnancy, you will find that the erratic movements turn out to be more and more coordinated and get recorded in a pattern in your ultrasound examinations.

Pregnant women are also found to experience the quickening during their 13th or 16th week of the gestation period. According to doctors, this quickening can be experienced anywhere between the 13th to 25th week. The ‘normalcy’ of the pregnancy can be decided by your doctor alone. The phenomenon called quickening is often experienced as a subtle flutter by many women for the first time, which is quite akin to the feeling of gas in the stomach. If you are pregnant for the second time, you will be better acquainted with this phenomenon and identify it as quickening. But first time mother might fail to realise the same at the onset due to the subtlety of the phenomenon.


Why Quickening Occurs?

As the foetus develops, it tries to stretch its growing arms and legs within the uterus. As a result the uterus stretches, and you develop the womb protruding out. The foetus continuously tries to change its position and settle into a comfortable position. It also responds to your emotional state and the lights and noises or sounds that happen in the outer world. In this process of reaction, it moves or kicks around. With the advancement of the pregnancy, you will notice that there is a definite pattern in the movement of the foetus, that is, it goes to sleep and wakes up in a certain routine. Post 32 weeks of the gestation period you will notice that the phenomenon of quickening reduces. This is because; the foetus has grown enough to fit into your uterus that is stretched to its maximum limit. So now, the scope for movement is naturally reduced.

While you experience the joys of pregnancy and the feel of the life slowly acquiring shape within you, it is recommended that you keep following the instructions of your doctor and take all your tests at regular intervals. Post 28 weeks of your pregnancy, the doctor usually recommends charting down a regular count of the foetal movement for a certain period of time each day, in order to ascertain the well being of the foetus. On an average the foetus moves approximately ten times in a 2 hour period. If you find that the movement count is less, you need to try out the count for the next 2 hours. If you still don’t find that the count is satisfactory, you need to consult your doctor immediately.

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6 Comments
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Kunika Lal.4 years ago
I am five months pregnant. I do not feel my baby kicking. Is anything wrong?
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Heeba.4 years ago
First kick of the baby is a sweet feeling. This feeling is more intense in first pregnancy.
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Roohi.4 years ago
I remember my baby's first kick inside my belly. It was a sweet experience. I was very happy.
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