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What Does a Baby Kicking Inside the Womb Feel Like?

author image Barbara Sorensen
In 1995 Barbara Sorensen began writing and editing for the quarterly magazine, "Winds of Change." She freelances for "The Tribal College Journal" and "SACNAS News." Sorensen has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Iowa.
What Does a Baby Kicking Inside the Womb Feel Like?
A pregnant woman sits on the sofa next to her young toddler. Photo Credit byryo/iStock/Getty Images

Being pregnant for the first time is an exciting time for you and your partner. You could probably ask a dozen different women to try to explain the feeling of a baby inside their stomach, what it feels like when it kicks, and you would get at least a dozen different answers. This is what makes the whole experience so unique to each couple.

When to Expect Movement

Just as every woman will have a different description of the how the baby feels inside of her, each baby has a different time frame for when she actually begins to kick. Your fetus will likely begin moving around 18 to 20 weeks into the pregnancy. Some women claim to feel a movement when they are only 13 to 16 weeks, and this is typically called "quickening," according to the American Pregnancy Association.

Changes Throughout Pregnancy

If you are pregnant for the first time, it is a good idea to purchase a book that provides you with a guide to how your baby is changing from week to week. The baby's movements will increase as the weeks go by. At 20 to 24 weeks, your baby will be quite active during the day, notes Baby Centre. At 32 weeks, your baby will definitely let you know that he is feeling slightly cramped inside his small space.

What You May Feel

Women have described the feeling of a fetus kicking as being like popcorn popping, a goldfish swimming around, or butterflies fluttering. These are all romantic descriptions and don't really explain how sometimes a baby kicking the mother's ribs can actually be rather painful. Your baby's movements could also feel like a muscle twitch, a rippling sensation, bubbles or karate kicks.

Uniqueness of Your Baby's Movements

Every pregnancy is different so there will be variations in your baby in utero, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Some babies are more active than others. Try not to compare notes with other pregnant women as this may only upset you if you find out that someone else's baby is kicking more than yours. Have fun with the movements and use this time as a period of bonding with your partner and your baby.

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