how long does it take a baby to start kicking in the womb?
Nneamaka E. I.
From 18–20 weeks of gestation,most pregnant women become aware of fetal activity,although some multiparous women (those who have have had deliveries before) may perceive fetal movements as early as 16 weeks of gestation and
some primiparous (first time pregnant mums) women may perceive movement much later than 20 weeks of gestation.
The number of spontaneous movements tends to increase until the 32nd week of pregnancy. From this stage of gestation, the frequency of fetal movements peaks until the onset of
however, the type of fetal movement may change as pregnancy advances in the third trimester.
By term, the average number of generalised movements per hour is 31 (range 16–45),with the longest period between movements ranging from 50 to 75 minutes.
Changes in the number and nature of fetal movements as the fetus matures are considered to be a reflection of
the normal neurological development of the fetus.
From as early as 20 weeks of gestation, fetal movements show diurnal changes.The afternoon and evening periods are periods of peak activity.
Fetal movements are usually absent during fetal ‘sleep’cycles,which occur regularly
throughout the day and night and usually last for 20–40 minutes.
These sleep cycles rarely exceed 90 minutes in the normal, healthy fetus.