Quickening, Sex and Other Pregnancy Things
When Can You Feel the baby move?
It's possible, but not common.
This is a good time to revisit the difference between normal and average.
Picture a nice bell-shaped curve and remember that for a given characteristic
the normal range is larger than the average range, or peak. People talk in
averages because they're most common. But just because something isn't average,
doesn't necessarily mean it's abnormal or impossible.
Back to your friend. When a pregnant woman is likely to first feel her baby
move, called quickening, depends on several things.
"Most of the time, if it's her first baby, it's around 20 weeks that
they'll feel little flutters," says certified nurse-midwife Marion
McCartney, who practiced for 24 years before becoming director of professional
services for the American College of Nurse-Midwives. In subsequent pregnancies
women notice quickening sooner, around 16 weeks, she says. Thinner women also
tend to feel quickening sooner.
"She may be a couple weeks off on her dates, too," McCartney
A fetus is still pretty small at three months -- it's about four inches and
weighs just over an ounce. It's bigger and increasingly active by the end of
the fourth month. But occasionally women feel movement as early as 12
If your friend is thin, extra perceptive, on a second or higher pregnancy, a
bit off in her timing, or carrying a rambunctious baby, she may well be feeling
those flutters. And who are any of the rest of us to tell her she's not?