Feeling your baby move

By your 20th week of pregnancy — or earlier if this is at least your second pregnancy — you've probably begun to feel your baby move. These early movements are called quickening, and they're a great source of amusement and reassurance for most women. These early movements remind you of the reality that your baby is a separate, unique individual, allowing you to begin imagining what your baby will be like. They're also a much more pleasant and exciting reminder of being pregnant than are nausea and other signs and symptoms.

The process of becoming emotionally attached to your baby is probably in full swing now. As your pregnancy progresses, you and your partner will both be able to feel your baby's movements — he by placing his hand on your abdomen. This increases your emotional involvement with your baby.

You may be wondering whether you can communicate with or positively influence your baby at this point in your pregnancy. That's hard to know. The abilities of babies in the womb have only recently begun to be studied. But it certainly can't hurt to play soft music or talk soothingly and lovingly to your baby. Besides, it may make you feel good and help you become sensitive to your baby's needs, an important part of becoming a parent.

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