Soon-to-be mothers and soon-to-be-mothers-again of Hong Kong, how do you know if you have gas or the baby is moving?
The feeling is more easily recognized by the ‘already moms’, but what about the first timers? It is not such a simple question but we will try to offer some guidelines. First, we should mention that women of smaller frame tend to feel baby movement earlier than larger women. In general, Asian females tend to be slender than most of Western women. To Asian females, the initial sensation might become apparent in an early stage of gestation

Typically, if you are under 14 weeks of gestation, any sensation in the abdomen is not the baby and most likely gas, especially if the feeling travels, as gas moves around in the abdominal region. Also, gas fluctuates whereas fetal movement is more acute. What confuses us is that sometimes it is not easy to distinguish the movement of baby from gas, especially after meals, drinking something cold and caffeinated, after physical activities etc.

1) Flutters, Taps & Bubbles
As early as 16 weeks, the sensation of baby's movements might become consistent. These early movements are categorized as a "flutter" or "tapping," a similar experience to a muscle spasm or gas bubble. They are known as “little popping bubbles”. Quite appropriately, these little flutters can often give you butterflies, called “quickening.”

2) Kicks & Punches
As the baby gets stronger and slightly bigger, you may begin to feel some jabs and kicks. To get a sense of how big your baby is by feeling a baby’s kick close to the belly button and its reverse reaction on the lower part of your pelvic bone. Although the belly is growing to accommodate your baby, he or she will start to be a little crammed sooner or later, and these kicks and punches can become more disruptive and sometimes even jolting enough to take your breath away or stop you in your tracks. They should never cause serious pain, but you might begin feeling a little discomfort closer to the due date. Regardless, it's all a reminder of how amazing pregnancy can be, and how much your little one grows each day. So what are the common types of movements?

3) Rolls & Slides
Usually, baby’s ‘rolling’ happens just as much ‘sliding’, similar to having an inside out Shiatsu massage in your belly. You may feel like your baby is a little squirmy snake or wiggly fish. This is a really fun part of fetal development because you can actually see your baby moving inside your belly. And where your husband/partner, other children, friends and other family members can't feel the baby like you do, they can see him move when he changes positions. It may become something you share as a couple and/or family before the baby's arrival. It's a way for everyone to bond with the baby and each other before birth.

4) Tickles & Pops
It might sound crazy, but it is quite possible that your baby is blowing bubbles in the womb. Although their lungs are full of fluid, they prepare their lungs for birth by expelling these fluids into the amniotic sac, which feels very similar to a bubbling tickle in the womb. Some mothers even report being able to see their baby blow bubbles during an ultrasound. Your baby may also have the ability to pop these bubbles, or even "cry", causing the same sensation.

5) Vibrations & Spasms
Sometimes scary and unexpected, but these feelings are completely normal. These can most likely be attributed to fetal hiccups. Fetal hiccups are unlike regular hiccups, but they have the same spontaneous reaction. It is normal to experience these occurrences multiple times a day, and even normal to never feel them at all. It all depends on the baby - every pregnancy is different. For mothers, fetal hiccups can feel like their belly is experiencing a rhythmic earthquake with shakes and shocking spastic movements. The baby can even be a little frustrated and disturbed by these hiccups, thus thrusting and stretching around inside, causing even more chaos in the womb.