For the first time, feeling little bumps and spins in your womb is one of the most thrilling stages of pregnancy. But what if this familiar twinge is happening to you and you are not pregnant? Many women feel phantom kicks for years after their babies were born.

What are phantom kicks?

Women expect pint-size baby kicks to be detected while pregnant. Even, many moms start worrying if anything else (other than pregnancy) is going on because these flutters begin to happen even after the postpartum phase.

Phantom kicks are the ongoing experience by a mother during the birth of fetal activity in the belly. In other words, even after days, weeks, months, or even years after pregnancy, they’re the gentle, quickening motions you can feel in your belly.

A decision as to whether or not these sensations are natural is difficult to say. A good definition of what they are or what triggers them is not present.

This is partly attributed to a lack of study and experiments on the condition. That said, no information from a small survey that asked women about their encounters with phantom kicks is valid.

For several years postpartum, women may feel phantom fetal kicks, according to an online study.

Researchers have noted that the experience was viewed as positive by 25% of women, while 27% felt disturbed or puzzled by them.

The many shortcomings of this study are important to remember. Second, the evidence is based and has not been replicated in one small study.

With that in mind, to evaluate the position they play in the postpartum era, more research is required.

Why do they happen?

Although we know that certain women feel those kicks, we do not know why they arise with any certainty. Nonetheless, practitioners do have some ideas that may explain the cause of these enigmatic flutters. In pregnancy, stretching of the uterine cavity or abdomen increases nerve receptor development.

Heightened awareness of normal bodily functions

Phantom kicks, more precisely, depression and anxiety, can be causally linked to an elevated risk of mental health conditions.

Standard body functions can also be related to phantom kicks.

As it is an important sign of fetal health and well-being, the pregnant woman becomes exposed to an intensified sense of consciousness of fetal activity. This enhanced sense of consciousness, though, is then misattributed to natural body processes during birth, most usually digestive activity, such as bowel gas movement.

Those “kicks” you’re experiencing might simply be gas, in other words, but pregnant-you got so used to baby kicks that your brain assumes they’re what they are.