How Often Baby Move at 20 Weeks

Every baby is unique and it is important for you to get to know your baby’s movement patterns. If you think your baby’s movements have decreased in strength or number, contact your midwife or doctor immediately. Do not wait until the next day.

An exciting landmark of pregnancy is when you first feel the tiny sensations of your baby moving inside your womb. These movements show your baby is alive and developing well.

There are no guarantees your baby will move at a certain time of the day. After about 30 weeks, you may find your baby is most active when you are quiet at rest. If your baby does not seem to be moving enough, and you can’t remember their last movement, contact your midwife or doctor immediately. Do not wait until the next day.

You may feel your baby move for the first time during week 20 of your pregnancy. Every baby is different but you should be able to tell when a movement is not right, and when your baby’s movements have changed. Always call a health professional if you are concerned.

You may feel your baby move for the first time during week 18 of your pregnancy. At first, you may think the flutter in your tummy is gas, but soon you’ll recognize that feeling as your baby stretching, rolling and squirming. Some women don’t notice fetal movement until sometime between 22 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. If this is you, don’t worry—there’s no reason to suspect anything is wrong.

The first time you feel your baby move is called ‘quickening’. This may happen when you are about 20 weeks pregnant. In the third trimester, your baby will start to gain weight and begin to look more like how he or she will when they are born.

20 weeks to 23 weeks

You may notice gentle kicks, or repetitive jerking movements when your baby gets hiccups now. As the weeks go by, your baby’s activity will gradually increase and become stronger.

You may find that your baby becomes more lively as the day goes on, kicking, squirming and somersaulting the most in the evening as you relax. Another top time for movements is just before or at mealtimes. As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll come to recognise your baby’s pattern of activity.

16 weeks to 19 weeks

You’ll probably experience some faint and fluttery feelings (quickening) in your tummy at around 18 weeks. They may feel like gentle puffs or bubbles of air being released, or you may notice a soft swirling or rolling sensation in your belly. If this is your first pregnancy, it may take a bit longer before you realise that those gentle little jolts and knocks are actually your baby moving about!

Not everyone enjoys those first little flutters, however. Some women find them unpleasant at first, but they quickly get used to the sensations.

20 weeks to 23 weeks

You may notice gentle kicks, or repetitive jerking movements when your baby gets hiccups now. As the weeks go by, your baby’s activity will gradually increase and become stronger.

You may find that your baby becomes more lively as the day goes on, kicking, squirming and somersaulting the most in the evening as you relax. Another top time for movements is just before or at mealtimes. As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll come to recognise your baby’s pattern of activity.

24 weeks to 28 weeks

At this point in your pregnancy your baby still has plenty of space to move around freely. You’re likely to notice frequent movements and feel that your baby is very active. Limb movements may feel punchy, while whole-body movements may be smoother. You may even notice your little one jumping at loud, sudden noises!

29 weeks to 31 weeks

Your baby is likely to be making sharper, more definite movements now, such as strong kicks and pushes. Over the coming weeks, you may feel as if they’re fighting for space, as they run out of wriggle room in your womb (uterus). It may even be possible to see ripples of movement across your belly as your baby turns.

32 weeks to 35 weeks

This may be the most exciting time for feeling your baby move, as at 32 weeks your baby’s movements will be at their peak. Afterwards, the frequency of your baby’s movements will stay roughly the same until you go into labour. As your baby grows and has less room to move, you may notice that the type of movement you feel changes. But you should still feel them moving as often as before. Your baby’s movements may start to feel more sustained or slower due to lack of space but they should still feel hard, strong and powerful in the weeks leading up to the birth.

You should still be able to feel your baby wriggling around in there, though! If their thumb pops out of their mouth, you may feel their head darting from side to side as they try to find it again. You may also notice that your baby develops a regular time of the day when they’re most active.

36 weeks to 40 weeks

If this is your first baby, they will probably take up their final head-down position at around 36 weeks, if they haven’t already. The firm muscles of your womb and tummy will help to keep them in place. It may feel as if there’s a melon pressing on your pelvic floor!Is my baby head-down?https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.506.0_debug_en.html#goog_172653410 seconds of 28 secondsVolume 90% Nearing your due date? Learn how to tell if your baby’s in the optimum head-down position. More pregnancy videosIf you’ve had a baby before, your tummy muscles are likely to be weaker, so your baby may keep changing their position right up to your due date.

As you approach your due date, your baby will be getting larger, and won’t be rolling over as often. Instead, you may notice strong but less frequent kicks underneath your ribs on one side or the other, and more squirming movements. Their movements may feel slower, but also harder and stronger. Jabs and kicks from those little arms and legs may feel sharp, uncomfortable and even painful. You may even spot a tiny, fleeting handprint or footprint on the surface of your bump.

It’s normal to notice a change in the types of movement you feel in late pregnancy. But you should still be feeling your baby move as often as before, right up until, and even during labour itself.

Rather than counting your baby’s kicks, it’s better to pay attention to your baby’s pattern of movements so that you know what’s normal. If you’ve noticed that your baby is moving less than usual, or you are at all worried about your baby, call your midwife straight away, even if it’s the middle of the night. They can listen to your baby’s heartbeat to check that all is well.

In the meantime, there will be times when your baby is sleeping, and times when they’re awake and active. They may liven up in the evenings or when you’re lying in bed trying to get to sleep. Find out more about your baby’s movements in pregnancy.

More on baby movements:

If A Baby Moves a Lot What Does It Mean

Every pregnancy is different, so it’s hard to say exactly what you’ll feel and when. If this is your first baby, you may not be able to feel much until after 20 weeks of pregnancy. However, some women can feel flutterings from as early as 16 weeks, especially if this is their second pregnancy. Here’s an idea of what to expect from your baby’s movements during your second trimester and third trimester.

What your baby’s movements feel like

The movements can feel like a gentle swirling or fluttering. As your pregnancy progresses, you may feel kicks and jerky movements.

Urgent advice:Call your midwife or maternity unit immediately if:

  • your baby is moving less than usual
  • you cannot feel your baby moving anymore
  • there is a change to your baby’s usual pattern of movements

They’ll need to check your baby’s movements and heartbeat.

Do not wait until the next day – call immediately, even if it’s the middle of the night.

How often should your baby move?

There’s no set number of movements you should feel each day – every baby is different.

You do not need to count the number of kicks or movements you feel each day.

The important thing is to get to know your baby’s usual movements from day to day.

Important

Do not use a home doppler (heartbeat listening kit) to try to check the baby’s heartbeat yourself. This is not a reliable way to check your baby’s health. Even if you hear a heartbeat, this does not mean your baby is well.

Why your baby’s movements are important

If your baby is not well, they will not be as active as usual. This means less movement can be a sign of infection or another problem.

The sooner this is found out the better, so you and your baby can be given the right treatment and care.

This could save your baby’s life.

Can your baby move too much

It’s not likely your baby can move too much. The important thing is to be aware of your baby’s usual pattern of movements.

Any changes to this pattern of movements should be checked by a midwife or doctor.

Find out more

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