Most new moms begin to feel the baby moving around somewhere between weeks 20-23. This feeling is partially due to the baby growing large enough to have an impact you can feel weighing in close to 12 ounces and measuring about 7 inches. Your little one still has room to roam in the uterus at this point, and much of the movement you feel is likely to be twisting, turning, and tumbling, as opposed to jabs and kicks. And even though some days it might feel like the baby is having a non-stop party in there, he actually sleeps as much as a newborn, or around 12-14 hours a day (just not all at once). He might also be stretching the arms and legs because he is now starting to develop a sense of touch (and his skin is responsive to touch) thanks to a rapidly developing nervous system that is busy acquiring insulated myelin sheaths.
This week your baby's taste buds are developing, which might seem uninteresting considering the little one hasn't seen daylight yet, but she is also starting to ingest amniotic fluid this week, and what you eat influences how the amniotic fluid tastes. So the more varied a diet you eat, the more your baby gets to taste, so eat up and keep it interesting. Some studies even indicate that babies often prefer foods outside the womb that mimic what you ate while she was in the womb. Why would baby ingest amniotic fluid? Baby sucks in the liquid to help with nutrition and hydration, but she is also practicing her swallowing skills and prepping for digestion. These are valuable skills she will need once she hits the real world, and the more she practices, the better.
- American Association of Pregnancy - Week 21