How Many Weeks Pregnant Do You Start to Feel Flutters?

Reviewed on 7/8/2021
when do you start feeling flutters during pregnancy
When do you start feeling your baby move? Learn about fetal movement and flutters during pregnancy

Feeling those first baby flutters during pregnancy can be exciting. General timelines for when you may start to feel your baby’s first fetal movements are as follows:

  • On average: approximately 18-20 weeks
  • First-time moms: as late as 25 weeks
  • Experienced moms: as early as 13 weeks

In some cases, it may be difficult to tell whether you’re experiencing fluttering or just gas. Over time, however, you may start to notice that there is a pattern to the movements. 

As your pregnancy develops, your baby’s movements, also called quickening, will become more pronounced, and they may resemble painless kicks by your third trimester.

What do flutters during pregnancy feel like?

Flutters are described by some women as feeling like:

  • Gas pains but without passing any gas
  • Butterflies in the abdomen
  • Bubbling or tickling sensation
  • Vibrations
  • Pressure

What symptoms may accompany flutters in the second trimester of pregnancy?

The second trimester is often called the golden trimester of pregnancy and for a good reason. For many women, the nausea and vomiting of the first trimester has lessened considerably at this stage, and you feel less exhausted. 

Other symptoms of second trimester may include the following:

  • Growing belly and breasts: You may notice gradual weight gain. The abdomen starts to show, and your breasts grow in size.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions: These are mild, slightly painful tightening sensations in the uterus that may occur during the second trimester.
  • Skin changes: Stretch marks over the abdomen may develop. Other changes in the skin may include acne and pigmentation.
  • Nasal problems: Nasal stuffiness is a pretty common problem during the second trimester, along with nose bleeds.
  • Dizziness: Your growing uterus may press on the blood vessels of the lower body, causing blood to pool in your legs when you get up. This may make you feel dizzy at times.
  • Vaginal dischargeYou may notice a sticky, clear, non-itchy, white vaginal discharge in your underwear.
  • Mood swings: Bursts of euphoria may be accompanied by episodes of weeping, sudden sadness, and anxiety.

Most symptoms seen in the second trimester of pregnancy are manageable with good rest and proper nutrition. Make sure you stay active, get good rest, and drink plenty of fluids. Never skip your prenatal visits and vitamins

If you have intense mood swings, severe abdominal cramps, episodes of vaginal bleeding, or itchy discharge, inform your gynecologist immediately.

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How soon can symptoms of pregnancy start?

Pregnancy symptoms are different for every woman, especially in the early stages. Some women experience symptoms a week or two after conceiving, whereas others don’t feel anything for months. It really depends on a woman’s ability to identify the changes occurring within their body and how sensitive they are to them. 

As part of a research study, 136 women who were trying to get pregnant kept daily records of their symptoms from the time they stopped using birth control until they were 8 weeks pregnant. The results of the study showed that:

  • 50% had some symptoms at 5 weeks.
  • 70% had symptoms by 6 weeks.
  • 90% had symptoms by 8 weeks.

The first sign of pregnancy was a missed period, and the most common symptoms that followed were nausea, vomiting, fatigue, frequent urination, and breast tenderness and swelling. Symptoms ranged from mild to severe.

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References
American Pregnancy Association. First Fetal Movement: Quickening. 2019. https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/first-fetal-movement-71050/

Bryant J, Jamil RT, Thistle J. Fetal Movement. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470566/

National Institutes of Health. What Are Some Common Signs of Pregnancy? https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/pregnancy/conditioninfo/signs

Mayo Clinic. 2nd Trimester Pregnancy: What to Expect. mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20047732

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