The time you first feel your baby move is different for every woman. It can also be different from one pregnancy to another. One baby may be more active than another, so movement is felt sooner.
Many women describe their baby's first movements as a gas bubble or fluttering in their abdomen. It may be something you notice for a few days before you realize what it is. Movements will become more common and occur fairly frequently—that's how you'll know that what you're feeling is your baby moving. The movement will be below your bellybutton. If it's your first baby, it may be 19 or 20 weeks before you are sure you feel movement.
Baby's Activity Level
After an initial period of activity, a fetus may grow quiet again. Probably nothing is wrong. It is unusual to feel the baby move every day at first. As your baby grows, movements become stronger and occur quite often. Between 20 and 32 weeks of pregnancy, the fetus can move between 200 and 500 times a day, including kicking, rolling or wiggling.
Every baby is different.
Sometimes women ask me how often their baby should move, frequently after they have compared notes with a pregnant friend who feels her baby move a lot. Your sensation of your baby moving will be different from anyone else's, and the movement of every baby is different. It is not unusual for one baby to move less than another. If your baby has been very active, then is very quiet for a while, you may want to discuss it with your doctor.
Active at night.
You may find your baby is extremely active at night and keeps you awake, There isn't much you can do about this. You might try changing your position in bed. Avoid exercising just before bed—it may cause your baby to move more. If these tips don't work, you may have to be patient and endure it until your baby is born.
If your baby kicks a lot, try changing your position or lie on your side. You may still be uncomfortable. Taking acetaminophen or relaxing in a warm (not hot) bath may also help.
A growing baby may cause mild pain or pressure under your ribs. There isn't much you can do about the pain or the pressure you feel when your baby moves. You might lie on your side and rest for a while. For example, if you feel pressure under your right ribs, lie on your left side.
Keeping Track of Baby's Movements
A doctor may have a pregnant woman monitor her baby's movements at around 26 weeks if she has had a difficult pregnancy or a previous stillbirth or if she has a medical condition, such as diabetes. Recording movements at certain times each day may provide the doctor with additional information about the status of the fetus.
Baby Is "Floating"
Your healthcare provider may tell you at some point your baby is "floating". This means the baby can be felt at the beginning of the birth canal, but it has not dropped into the birth canal. That is, the baby is not engaged (fixed) in the birth canal yet. The baby may even move away from your healthcare provider's fingers when you are examined.
Can Your Baby Fall Out?
No, it can't, although it may feel that way. What you are probably experiencing is the pressure of your baby as it moves lower in the birth canal. If this occurs, bring it to your doctor's attention. He or she may want to do a pelvic exam to check how low the baby's head is.