Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Identifying the different types of fetal movement in pregnancy

Only the pregnant would know :). Mine has started blowing bubbles!


Courtesy of

For new mothers especially, fetal movement is one of the most anticipated occurrences in pregnancy. Feeling your baby move around in your belly is one of the most amazing experiences you can ever ask for, yet sometimes these fetal movements can be difficult to interpret, being that there are a variety of different changes going on in the womb. These different movements are all perfectly normal for all mothers, and unless you are experiences pain or discomfort, there is really no reason to worry.
Here are a few examples and descriptions of the different feelings you will experience in the womb.

Flutters & Tapping - In as early as 16 weeks, your baby's constant movements might now become apparent to you. These early movements have been categorized as a "flutter" or "tapping," very similar to a muscle spasm or gas bubble you may have experiences before. Quite appropriately, these little flutters can often give you the butterflies. These feelings are also sometimes called quickening.

Kicking & Punching - As your baby gets stronger and slightly bigger, you may begin to feel some jabs and kicks. You can get a sense of how big your baby is when you feel a kick close to your belly button and feel its reverse reaction on the lower part of your pelvic bone. Although your belly is growing to accommodate your baby, he or she will start to be a little crammed sooner or later, and these kicks and punches can become more violent and sometimes even jolting enough to take your breath away or stop you in your tracks. They should never cause serious pain, but you might begin feeling a little discomfort closer to your due date. Regardless, it's all a reminder of how amazing pregnancy can be, and how much your little one grows each day.

Rolling & Sliding - You usually don't hear "is he rolling?" more than "is he kicking?" but it happens just as much. This feels much like an inside out Shiatsu massage chair in your belly. You may feel like your baby is a little squirmy snake or wiggly fish. This is a really fun part of fetal movement because you can actually see your baby moving inside your belly. And where your husband, other children, friends and other family members can't feel the baby like you do, they can see him move when he changes positions. It may become something you share as a couple and/or family before the baby's arrival. It's a way for everyone to bond with the baby and each other before birth.

Tickles & Popping - It might sound crazy, but it is quite possible that your baby is blowing bubbles in the womb. Although their lungs are full of fluid, they prepare their lungs for birth by expelling these fluids into the amniotic sac, which feels very similar to a bubbling tickle in the womb. Some mothers even report being able to see their baby blow bubbles during an ultrasound. Your baby may also have the ability to pop these bubbles, or even "cry", causing the same sensation.

Vibrations & Spasms - Sometimes scary and unexpected, but these feelings are completely normal. These can most likely be attributed to fetal hiccups. Fetal hiccups are unlike regular hiccups, but they have the same spontaneous reaction. It is normal to experience these occurrences multiple times a day, and even normal to never feel them at all. It all depends on the baby - every pregnancy is different. For mothers, fetal hiccups can feel like their belly is experiencing a rhythmic earthquake with shakes and shocking spastic movements. The baby can even be a little frustrated and disturbed by these hiccups, thus thrusting and stretching around inside, causing even more chaos in the womb.


  1. So when a baby "cries" in the womb, does that mean she is uncomfortable or in pain?

  2. Leah: Good question if the baby "cries". But the question is how do you know if the baby is crying in the womb? I don't think the emotional side of a human being isn't built until much later?