Just as we are all different, when baby movements can be felt will be different for each mother, and for each pregnancy. Some Moms are so in tune with their body that they can feel the flutters around 14 weeks, and rarely, even earlier. Other Moms may not notice the movements until 20 weeks or a little later, especially if the placenta is implanted on the front of the uterus. At first they feel like little flutters but as baby grows and gets stronger the flutters are replaced by kicks and punches. Once baby gets even bigger, those movements change to more rolling, nudging movements because there isn't room for baby to punch or kick as much.
Early in pregnancy, there may be days when you may not feel much movement from baby. This is normal. As pregnancy progresses, baby's movements become more noticeable. Around 28 weeks gestation, babies have settled into a predictable movement pattern. I encourage clients to become familiar with this pattern.
It is pretty common for baby to move more at night when you are laying down. As pregnancy progresses, it is my opinion that baby has more room when you are laying down compared to when you are standing or sitting so that is why they tend to be more active.
Baby can be affected by how Mom is feeling. If Mom is dehydrated, or has a cold or other illness, baby's movements may be a little less or subdued. I have worked with mothers who just needed to eat, and then baby was ready to dance a jig. Sometimes Mom is up and busy and doesn't notice movements but when she slows down and focuses on baby, the movements are noticeable.
Baby's movements can give insight into how baby is doing in utero, so it is important to pay attention to them. Changes in baby's movement pattern might mean something is happening that we need to check on, usually with an ultrasound. Significant changes in baby's movement pattern can indicate baby may need help to prevent a stillbirth, so get to know baby's movement pattern well.