3 Tips to Determine What is “Normal” with In-Utero Kicking and Pain

It’s easy to get freaked out when you experience pain from your baby’s in-utero kicks, but is this type of discomfort normal? Read on to learn about in-utero kicking and pain and find out!

Let’s think about the word “normal” for a minute when it comes to pregnancy.  This past weekend, I was picking up bagels for my family and saw a lady in line – trendy workout clothes, beautiful hair, and one of those baby bumps that literally looked stuck on to the front of her (not a small one, either – I’d venture to guess she was 7 months along). That’s a completely different picture from the one of a friend who experienced such violent morning sickness with her pregnancies that she could barely get off the bathroom floor. Which of those is a “normal” pregnancy? You guessed it – they both are.

What is Normal When it Comes to In-Utero Kicking and Pain?

Pregnancy is one of those crazy things where “normal” varies significantly not just from one person to another, but also from one pregnancy to another. My pregnancies were markedly different from each other. With this wide range of “normal,” it’s tricky to categorize what level of in-utero kicking and pain is okay and what is not. But let’s try!

One of our readers wrote in recently asking us whether or not it is normal to have abdominal and back pain that disappears quickly when the baby is kicking. Please note, I am not a medical professional, and I always encourage you to discuss concerns with your doctor. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you deal with kicking and resulting pain during pregnancy.

1. Kicking goes with the territory. There’s nothing like feeling that first kick (usually around 16-22 weeks) and feeling the connection with your baby. Even after that first kick, you may not feel one every day; your baby is still tiny and those movements have to be BIG in order for you to feel them. As your baby grows, you will feel kicks and movements more frequently and with increasing intensity. During the third trimester, your OBGYN may have you do a “kick count” to make sure everything’s okay in there.

2. Is the pain truly only when the baby kicks? If you are experiencing sharp pains during pregnancy, it’s important not to brush them off. If the pains are truly experienced only when the baby kicks, it is likely that it’s nothing to worry about. If the pain happens at other times, too, it is even more critical that you visit your doctor. Here’s a great article that gives more detail about what pain you shouldn’t ignore.

3. Pain and discomfort during fetal movements may increase later in pregnancy. For the last couple months of my pregnancy with my daughter, she liked to shove her foot underneath my ribcage. It was terrible, and the only way I could relieve the discomfort was to arch my back and create as much space as possible. The bigger your baby gets, the less room there is, and his or her movement shouldn’t decrease. Your uterus is now taking up more space in your abdominal cavity and movements have a greater chance of colliding with other organs – possibly causing you pain and discomfort.

To answer our reader’s question, it may be normal to have sudden abdominal and/or back pain while your baby is kicking, or it may not. Any concerns should be discussed immediately with your doctor, as you wouldn’t want any bigger problems to be overlooked. Likely everything is just fine and those nagging pains will go away once your bundle of joy makes his or her entrance to the world!

Did you experience any pain with in-utero kicking? Share your thoughts and tips below!

12 thoughts on “3 Tips to Determine What is “Normal” with In-Utero Kicking and Pain”

  1. useful information for pregnant ladies. Will share this with my friends who are curious to know many things.

  2. Being a mom of 2, I really don’t remember much of all those kicking and pains during my pregnancy. Though my sis-in-law is on her 5th month, I’ll be sharing this post to her.

  3. I remember when my ex was dealing with all of the different pains when my daughter was being born. This is a good list of things to know when you are pregnant.

  4. Some great points raised here. I would always err on the side of caution and encourage anyone that is uncertain about anything to see their doctor sooner rather than later. It’s always best to be on the safe side and find out that it was nothing, rather than ignore something that could be potentially extremely harmful to you or your baby.

  5. Every pregnancy is different, I think babies develop their personalities while in the womb, some are fighters and kickers and some are calm and collected and depending on which type your baby it is. Some are happy with the squiggley odd movement and others are footballers.

  6. Audria Allred Smith

    I have had four kids and still get confused on what to worry about. You are totally spot on when you say that every pregnancy is different.

  7. This is such useful information, especially if you are pregnant for the first time. I remember myself thinking if what I was feeling was normal. When it’s a first pregnancy everything is new and if you’re like me, you worry about everything. Wish I read this then ha ha

  8. This is a really interesting read and one I will be sharing with my friends who are currently pregnant so they can make use of the information

  9. I wish I could know what I need to say. Because I haven’t experienced it yet. But for future I am sure I am better prepared. Thank you!

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