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.
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.
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
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.
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.