Ah, baby's first kicks. There is no sweeter, more anticipated, or thrilling moment for an expectant mom than the moment where she feels her baby moving inside her for the first time. I remember feeling very reassured to know that my daughters were growing healthy and strong — even if it did mean that I took the occasional errant kick to the ribs or bladder!
So when will it start? Somewhere between 16 and 22 weeks you should start feeling your baby's first movements, also called quickening. Moms who have had children before may notice the kicking earlier than first-time moms who might nervously mistake the feeling for gas or hunger pangs. Your general build pays a role too, as thinner women tend to feel the baby's movement sooner than women who are not as thin.
What does it feel like? It will probably be very gentle at first, so much so that you may not even think it's the real thing. Many moms have described the feeling as that of butterflies fluttering or popcorn popping inside their bellies. But once those kicks become stronger and more regular, they will be unmistakable — and possibly even visible. Check out this footage of a mom with the strongest pregnancy kicks I have ever seen!
Another question that women often ask is whether or not a baby's kicks are any indication of his personality after he is born. For instance, is a strong, active kicker likely to be an energetic, on-the-go toddler? And are gentle kickers an indication of a child who will be laid-back and easy-going?
There's no medical evidence on this one. In my own experience, I really didn't notice much difference in the frequency or strength of kicks between my two daughters — yet now at 6 and 9, the two have incredibly different personalities.
Did your babies kick differently? Was it any indication of the type of child she grew up to be?