Marie, my name is Mélanie, and I’m 18 weeks pregnant. I was wondering if it’s normal that I don’t feel my baby moving in my stomach yet. I don’t know what to expect. I have friends who had children and felt their baby well before then, and I’m worried. Do you think it’s normal?
Thank you for your time.
It’s normal that some women will feel their baby move later than others, especially for first babies. Even if the baby moves, often the mother will think that what she’s feeling is bloating or gas rather than the baby.
There is also a very low percentage of women that never clearly feel their fetus move. Sometimes, having a lot of amniotic fluid means that if the baby moves, Mom will feel it less because the liquid absorbs the movement.
When a woman finally feels her fetus move, she will feel the movements more regularly, but with no defined pace. Most women 23-24 weeks pregnant say that they felt their baby even if sometimes the movement is hard to feel. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada states that after 24 weeks, fetal movements should be felt by women regularly and continuously. When the baby is active, this can mean about 6 or more movements over 2 hours. We often see that the movements are more frequent in the evening, and can be better felt when lying on your side.
Mélanie, all pregnant women should be told about the importance of fetal movements during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. We even recommend counting the fetal movements if you think they have diminished as your pregnancy evolves, during both risky and healthy pregnancy. If you think they have, it’s best to get a full evaluation of the fetus.
I hope this helps you Mélanie, and I wish you a great pregnancy.
The Baby Expert