There is a general perception that fetal movements are an indication of the child’s well-being in the uterus. Once they begin, a pattern emerges, which is the first indicator of how your baby is doing. It further depends on how your pregnancy is progressing.
As a mother, your ability to detect your unborn baby’s movements depends on many factors. It usually begins from around 18 to 22 weeks of the pregnancy, although it can vary.
Is this your first pregnancy? Your movements might come a bit later than second or third-time mothers. It is because your abdominal muscles weaken with each pregnancy.
The detection of baby movement is also dependent on your muscle tone. How much excess weight are you carrying around your abdomen? It as well depends on the attention you pay to your unborn baby. Do you regularly tune into your child’s movements? Then, you will feel the changes sooner than busy moms running from one chore to another.
Movements have to come regardless of the position of your unborn baby in the uterus. The baby might be cephalic with his head down or breech with feet down. Then, the kind of movements you will feel will be different. However, there is bound to be a pattern nonetheless.
If your baby has his head down, you will feel kicks plus movements on either side of your abdomen, just below your ribs. Meanwhile, if the baby is breech, then the movements and kicks will be felt down your pelvis. There will be only almost where the top of your trousers is.
Do baby movements indicate well-being?
If we are to take a mother’s viewpoint, it is yes. The pattern of movements and kicks is the only real indicator that all is well with the baby and the pregnancy. You have to expect about ten moves in a day. However, there is no scientific proof to validate fetal movements.
Your baby will be more active as the pregnancy progresses. But, there will be some times when the baby will become more active. There will be those when he is less active as well. It is normal.
There is a general belief that babies are usually more active during the night. The child does not tell that it is day or night, however. Some people believe the baby is more active at night to prepare you for what is coming ahead—the nights where your sleep will be disrupted by the need to change the baby’s diapers.
The other viewpoint is that it is at night when you are free from all the troubles of the day. So, you have ample time to sit down and be still. It allows you time to feel the baby’s movement, to appreciate them and recognize that your unborn child is making them.
As the trimester’s progress, the actions will increase. The kicks might get stronger, as well. It is so because the baby has grown and gained more strength. So, do not get startled when you receive a mighty boot from the inside. You might also be able to see the limbs, a foot or hand through the skin when the baby is stretching.
The joy of feeling your baby move
For every pregnant woman, it is such a thrilling moment feeling your baby moving inside you. Your eyes will pop wide open with the first kick.
The initial movements from your baby usually are weaker because he is kicking as the legs are now longer. They are also stronger than the baby’s arms. These early baby movements trigger off various sensations.
You might feel flutters, popping sensations, or bubbling. It might also come as a single pop or tap. Further still, you might feel some wiggling movements inside you or a feeling of something which is swimming about in your belly. The swimming sensation is your baby rolling about while swimming his little arms and legs.
When will my baby begin to move?
Ladies who have had kids before are much aware of what baby movements will feel like. Women who are 2nd or 3rd-time mothers sometimes get their baby movements at around 8 or 9 weeks.
If you are a first-time mom, there is a probability of feeling your child move by the 20th or 21st week of your pregnancy. You might also dismiss the first sensation of your baby movement as ordinary stomach rumbling. It might also happen when you are accomplishing other tasks. Here, you might not even notice that occasional taping from your little one.
What for the little punches?
Apart from the kicks and swimming, your baby will also give you some small punches. He will take his tiny hands and make a tiny little fist. His ‘Pow’ will land on the side of your womb. Here, you might feel some slight pain where the punch hits.
In case your baby smacks you near any internal organ, or on a nerve pathway, it might be followed by a small jolt of pain. You will be grateful for the experience. It is your baby, after all.
Some women experience regular punching and kicking from their kids during the last month or two of the pregnancy. The child is usually very active, and his movements come with considerable force.
There is no schedule on when the kicking and punching will come. Some babies are night owls and might make you lose sleep. You just have to endure. It is your child’s way of letting you notice her presence inside your belly.
How can I make my baby move?
You live for those moments when feeling your baby moving inside you. There are things you can do, which might be of help to induce the little one to kick-start his movement. You can do this in your second or third trimester when your baby is likely to be moving.
Are you aching for your little angel to wriggle around, you can try these tricks. You will be able to make your cute one kick and somersault.
Get a snack
Babies usually respond to blood sugar boosts. You can have a healthy snack like peanut butter toast. You can add some natural juice for an extra jolt. The surge in blood sugar will trigger your baby to kick off in high gear.
Do some jiggling
During ultrasound scans, the doctor tracks fetal movements and measures the baby. He does this by slightly shaking the device’s wand over your tummy. It helps to make the child perk up. You can join other moms who have felt their little ones move with a simple poke on the stomach. However, it does not have to be with so much vigor.
Flash a light on your tummy
When it is about 22 to 26 weeks, fetuses’ eyesight is advanced enough. They can perceive light and darkness. Therefore, you can feel your baby react if you flash a light on your stomach. He could be responding or moving away from the light.
Talking to the baby
All the talking and cooing to your baby bump is not for nothing. Fetuses develop their hearing at about 22 to 26 weeks. So, it means by that time he can hear your voice, loud noise, and other sounds. He might even react with a turn of his little head, jumping or wriggling.
So, take the time to talk to your baby and never get tired. The sweet nothings are such a great way to make him active.
Give the baby music
Is your child not responding to the usual clatter? You can as well sing him a lullaby or peppier song. Why not even turn up the music? Some mothers also put headphones for their unborn kids to hear music!
You might get your little angel to respond with a jig. This might happen when the pregnancy is about 22 weeks. Make sure the music is not too loud. Remember, your baby’s ears are still developing.
Can I see my baby move?
With an ultrasound scan, you can see your child move if he is awake. You will have a fascinating thrill watching the baby growing inside you. Further, to see him learn to work his little arms and legs.
It is perfectly normal to feel your baby move and then nothing for a day or two. However, if you notice that the baby has not moved for an extended period, you can go and see your doctor.
It will help you be sure and keeps you free from worrying. You need peace of mind. Enjoying your pregnancy should be the priority without any anxiety.
Do baby’s initial movements hurt?
It does happen on some rare occasions. The actions might cause you some little bit of pain. It depends on how the baby is positioned in your womb. Further, it also depends on which part of your external organs the baby might kick.
It is no cause for alarm. The pain might come, but the joy of your baby being active overrides that. Take note that if there is continuous pain of any kind, never hesitate to see your physician.
Why decreasing movements?
As the pregnancy progresses, your baby’s movements will slow down for a moment. It is because the available room in the womb has decreased. At a late stage of the pregnancy, your baby has less place to make movements.
A baby’s movements do not suddenly stop for no apparent reason. There are either pathological or medical grounds for that. So, you have to look out just in case anything suddenly happens, especially with your baby’s movements. You need to pay attention to it.
During later stages of the pregnancy, the type of movement from your baby might change. A healthy baby will continue to move in the later stages in the womb. However, he will not have enough room to kick around. The amount of movement stays the same, and it is only the mother to know that it is ‘normal’ for her baby.