Australian researchers have found that some women can experience phantom baby kicks for up to three decades after giving birth.

A study, conducted by Monash University, found that 40 per cent of the women surveyed, had felt phantom baby kicks after their pregnancy.

On average, women reported feeling the phantom kicks for almost seven years post-partum, describing the physical sensations as “convincing”, “real kicks” or “flutters”

While 15 per cent of those surveyed described the kicks as “nostalgic,” and 14 per cent reported feeling happy and comforted by them, the sensation left 27 per cent of women confused or upset.

The “phantom baby kicks” can last for decades. One woman even reported feeling the sensation 28 years after giving birth.

The authors of the study believe that in the months post-delivery, some sensations of phantom baby kicks are probably attributable to the body recovering from pregnancy.

Phantom pregnancy

Phantom pregnancy is when a woman appears to show the signs and symptoms associated with pregnancy when she is not actually pregnant.

She will show many, if not all, of the pregnancy symptoms, including foetal movement, even without the actual foetus.

Causes and Symptoms of Phantom Pregnancy

The exact causes of phantom pregnancy are still unknown but one explanation says that it is caused by changes in the endocrine system of the body, which results to the secretion of hormones, causing pregnancy-like physical changes in the body.

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