Figuring out exactly what kind of silliness your baby is up to inside your womb is never an easy task, especially for first-time mothers. Anxiety, inexperience, and fear are some of the contributing factors that make this so difficult. Around the 16th week, many women describe a feeling that equates to “tiny fishes swimming around their womb,” something that, oftentimes, can be mistaken for gases or stomach growls. 

However, it’s only after the 20th week that your baby’s movements will become more evident. If you’ve gone through it, you’ll know: it’s a magic and delightful feeling that can happen when you least expect it. It doesn’t tend to last long, but don’t worry: you’ll become an expert in identifying the playful things your baby does inside you in the next coming days. When relating your experiences to your doctor, they will probably advise you to pay attention to each movement’s rhythm and document them, in a notebook or on your phone, to identify patterns or changes. It’s a crucial exercise, especially for at-risk pregnancies, as less movement can indicate bad fetal oxygenation.  

It’s commonly thought that babies are more active at night, but this is due, in most part, to the fact that it is when you’re the quietest and the environment around you is silent and calm. Some children move more than others, so avoid any kind of comparisons with your friends’ experiences, so as to not create any expectations or unnecessary worries. Remember: your doctor is the best person you can go to for any questions or concerns. 

The first movements are subtle. Some even compare them to a slight shaking. As your pregnancy goes on, get ready for a series of kicks, headbutts. You may even see your bump change shape as your baby stretches inside of it!