When pregnant, you look forward to the day those little butterfly kicks begin to happen. Those reassuring thumps that let you know the baby is moving around. But, kicks after birth or pregnancy loss, known as phantom kicks, are very common and can happen days, months or even years later. These phantom kicks are not always a positive feeling and may stir up several emotions.

So, what are phantom kicks? Why do they happen? And what is going on?

How common are phantom kicks?

"Postpartum phantom fetal movements are not well-reported in medical literature," stated Megan Gray, M.D., an OB-GYN with Orlando Health Physician Associates. "These phantom movements are described as kicks or flutters that are similar to the movements the pregnant person experiences while pregnant."

Leena Nathan, M.D., an OB-GYN at UCLA Health Westlake Village, explained that "phantom kicks can happen to as many as 40 percent of postpartum women as highlighted in