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15 Different Baby Kicks And What They Mean

It is probably the most anticipated moment during a woman’s pregnancy; waiting for the baby to move. It is usually the one part of pregnancy that all mom’s look forward too, and that all moms miss when their pregnancy is over. It is such a special and momentous occasion for mom that she can even have “phantom” movements long after that baby is out.

Phantom movements are not a secret baby in there that they forgot, it is just your digestive system. A woman notices them more after giving birth because she is more in tune with her body and the feeling of her little one bouncing around in there.

While feeling your little one wiggle and squirm around in there may be fun, it is actually very important and can tell you a lot about what exactly is going on in there. From the moment you feel that little nudge, you will start to become obsessed with how much and how often your little one is moving. Fetal movements can be a sign that something is wrong, or that everything is going just fine. It is always important to get checked out if you feel your little one has not moved enough, or their movement pattern has drastically changed.

So, what do these little movements mean? What can they tell us about how your baby is doing? The truth is they can tell us a lot if we pay attention and know the different types of movements and what those means. We have found 15 different types of baby kicks and what they may mean.

15 Fluttering - Just Gas

One of the first feelings you will feel is a flutter. A first-time mom has no idea what to look for when it comes to fetal movements, and even with all the helpful advice from more experienced moms, it can still be hard to determine what is a kick and what is just gas. A first-time mother will often start to feel these flutters around the 16th week, but every mom is different. A mother who has had a child before, may feel them earlier, because she knows what she is looking for.

The reason they are often gas feelings, is because they will feel very similar to gas movements in your abdomen. It could also feel very similar to having butterflies in your stomach. Enjoy it, because the movements have just begun, and you are in for a wonderful experience.

14 Tapping - Baby Is Still Tiny

These early kicks can also feel like a tapping on the inside of your stomach. The baby is still fairly small at the point where you will start to feel movement, so you will not automatically feel the strong kicks and punches yet. It may feel like a gentle tap, like the little one is knocking on your uterine wall. At this point, because the baby is so tiny, there is a lot of layers between the baby and your skin. The placenta, uterine wall, muscle and fat are all offering some padding.

This padding is wonderful because it protects your baby, but it will also take a lot of the brunt of the early kicks and punches, so by the time you feel it, it is much softer until that baby gets bigger and stronger. If you have an anterior placenta, where the placenta is at the front, it will also mean you may need to wait a bit longer. I had one, and did not start to feel consistent movements until I was 24 weeks pregnant.

13 Kicking - Cramped Baby

When your baby gets bigger and stronger, those little taps will turn into kicks. A woman’s womb can only grow so big, so there will come a time when the baby starts to get a little cramped and uncomfortable. To make themselves comfortable, they will want to stretch their legs, unfortunately, for them to stretch their legs may mean that you get a kick or too along the way.

While fetal movements should never cause you severe pain, there will be times where they are uncomfortable. They may even cause you to lose your breath for a moment, and have to stop and collect yourself. Especially if the baby is kicking in a spot that is uncomfortable to you. Some slight jostling of your stomach, or pressing in gently, may help to ease the discomfort or make your baby stop.

12 Punching - Baby Not Sleeping

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If a baby can kick, he can also punch. Sometimes, they need to stretch their little arms out, and the only way to do that is to give mom a quick punch from the inside. Again, much like kicking, this should not cause you much pain. Unfortunately for mom, the baby moves mostly at night. This is because during the day, mom is moving around a lot and when her hips sway it is essentially rocking the baby to sleep.

When a mom is at rest, this is when the baby decides to wake up and have a good old dance party. Babies are born essentially nocturnal, because they are used to being up all night, which is why a lot of newborns have their nights and days mixed up. Unfortunately, this means that mom is already a bit sleep-deprived before the baby comes.

11 Rolling - Most Likely The Baby's Bum

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Everyone always asks an expectant mom if their baby is kicking yet, but no one asks them if their baby is rolling yet. This question is usually saved for after the baby comes, as rolling is the first big developmental milestone your baby will hit. The truth is, they should be asking, as babies roll quite often while they are in the womb. A lot of woman (myself included) experience more rolling than they do kicking and punching.

The way this feels is almost like you are getting a massage from the inside, and if you watch your stomach, this is when you will be able to see the baby move. It really is a fascinating sight to see. It will look like there is a large ball in your stomach, and it will move across, almost looking like a little wave. This is most likely the little baby’s bum, and it is a good chance to grab the hubby and other siblings to watch and feel.

10 Squirming - Baby Might Be Breech

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You may reach a point where you think that you are pregnant with a snake, as that baby will squirm around a lot. It is just another way for the baby to get comfortable in there. Like we said, the baby starts to run out of room, and there reaches a point where all they can do is roll and squirm, as there is not as much room anymore to send out the big kicks and punches.

Where a baby moves can also tell you a lot about where they are in your belly. If the baby is head down, you will most likely feel movement up near your rib cage. Whether it be rolling, or a foot stuck up in the ribs. The baby is breach, you may feel a lot of pressure on your bladder and vagina. This will not be comfortable, there may be days you are sure if you don’t cross your legs that the baby is just going to fall out. We assure you, this will not happen.

9 Tickles - Baby Blowing Out Amniotic Bubbles

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Doesn’t everyone love to be tickled? Laughing until you have pains in your sides and everything in life just seems good! Well, it is possible that what you may feel in your belly is some sort of tickling feeling. What causes it? Well, your baby is probably blowing some bubbles with the amniotic fluid. Have you ever blown bubbles in your drink with your straw? Well, it is the same kind of thing.

So, if you feel a tickling sensation in your belly that makes you break out in giggles, your little one is having some fun in there and is blowing some bubbles. Without the straw, of course. Babies move for a variety of reasons, and there are a lot of tricks you can try to get your little one too move. One of them is by shining a light on your stomach. Babies will react to differences in light, as they will often turn away from the source.

8 Popping - Baby Has Hiccups

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Much like a tickle feeling, you may also experience a popping sensation. Almost like a bunch of little popcorn kernels are popping in your stomach. While it may feel a little odd and may have you a bit unsettled, it is actually a good thing. This means that your little one probably has the hiccups. We all know that babies swallow the amniotic fluid, it is how they develop and practice skills. Much like when we drink and sometimes get the hiccups, so do they.

Hiccups are a good sign that their digestive system is developing as it should, so all is good. You do not need to do anything special to take them away, the baby doesn’t mind having the hiccups and they will eventually go away on their own. So, enjoy the popping feelings for now, and grab your husband and have him join in the fun.

7 Vibrations - Baby's Adjusting To Temperature

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Another feeling that is involved with the hiccups is a vibration. This is the one type of feeling that seems to make a lot of woman worry, but it shouldn’t. It is completely normal and to be expected. With, if you do not feel all of these feelings during your pregnancy, that is fine too. As long as you feel some sort of movement you are OK. Every woman and pregnancy is different, some feel all the little movements, while others feel only kicks and rolling.

Babies will also react to a change in temperature. So, if you want to get that little bean moving around, you can place a cool, wet wash clothe on your stomach. Please do not feel like you are torturing your baby by placing cold or light on your stomach, it does not cause them any pain or discomfort. It is just a change in an environment to stir them to attention.

6 Spasms - Baby Is Hopping Around

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Do you ever get a twitch in your eyelid? It is usually a very annoying and uncomfortable situation. Well, the same thing can happen in your stomach. You may feel some spasms and start to get a bit worried. Again, this is nothing to worry about. This type of movement can be due to several things; hiccups, bubbles or just the baby moving rapidly.

A lot of woman state that when they go for a regularly scheduled ultrasound, that they are able to witness a lot of the actions on this list. Especially if it is a 3D ultrasound. If you have an appointment coming up and are anxious to see your little one hopping around, there is a good trick even the doctors will tell you to try. Try drinking or eating something sweet, either some juice or a piece of fruit. Sometimes, a cold glass of water is all it takes to get that one moving.

5 Violent Movements - The Baby Is Uncomfortable

Sometimes it can feel like your baby is trying to break out from within. Sometimes the kicks, punches and rolls can seem pretty violent, and you are probably worried that your little one is mad. The truth is, he probably is. If he has the hiccups, or has just run out of room and is uncomfortable, then his movements may be a little more aggressive than normal.

So, if you feel that your baby’s movements are a lot more aggressive than normal, you can try different things to help your little one. You can try and move around to try and help your baby into a different position. You can also try to take a nice, warm bath to ease any discomfort your little one is having. The bonus is that it may relax you as well. Either way, the baby will eventually get in a position that they are comfortable in.

4 Pressure - Baby Getting Ready To Come Out

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Sometimes, we don’t feel specific movements, but we do feel a lot of pressure on certain areas of our body. Women can often feel a lot of pressure in two places; the ribs and the pelvic area. If the baby is placing a lot of pressure on our rib cage, it can almost feel like we are having a heart attack. Rest assured that your baby can not actually get their foot into your rib cage, because they are protected by the sac.

Most women, especially near the end of their pregnancy, feel a lot of pressure in their pelvic area. Near the end, the baby starts to get into position for childbirth, and that usually means that their head is down in near your pelvic, as they get ready to go down the birth canal. This means that there will be more trips to the bathroom in your future, as well as the feeling like your baby is going to fall out. Try moving around if you feel this pressure and see if it changes.

3 Quickening - Happens At 9-Week Mark

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Quickening is another name for the movements you will feel at the beginning of pregnancy. That first little feeling of flutters and butterflies. Now, babies actually start moving and kicking around the 9-week mark, but you will not feel it yet, because the baby is still so small and there is a lot of padding to cushion the blows.

If you are nearing when you think you should start feeling movement, you can try and lay on your left side. This is the best side to feel movements. If you lay on your back, gravity pulls the baby towards your spine and you are less likely to feel any kicks and punches, because those are felt in the abdomen. The left side is the best side, because it boosts the blood supply to the baby. It is also advised to feel movements after a big meal. So, have a big dinner and lay down!

2 Nudge - Running Out Of Room

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Have you ever been elbowed by someone? Just a gentle little nudge to get your attention? Well, it is possible that your baby will give you that little nudge from the inside. They normally don’t really want your attention for any reason, they are more than likely just stretching, and they ‘accidentally’ nudge you.

The second trimester is when you are more than likely to feel nudges, kicks and punches. When you are nearing the end of your pregnancy, the movement type will drastically change. This does not mean that anything is wrong, it just means that the baby has run out of room. The kicks and punches will turn into the rolls and squirming we talked about earlier. Some women state that the rolling can be a bit more uncomfortable, especially when they stop rolling half way and their little bum is making your stomach stick out.

1 No Movement - Something Might Be Wrong

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Now, here is the problem, if you feel no movement from your baby for an extended period it could be a warning sign that something is wrong. Experts state that you should feel 10 movements of some kind in one hour. This is hard to really feel because generally our babies move a lot more than we realize, we are just preoccupied by life. Women are advised to do kick counts if they are worried their baby hasn’t moved a lot.

Women should drink a cold glass of water, and then lay on their left side for an hour or two and count how many times they feel their baby move. In two hours, you should definitely feel 10 movements, and it doesn’t matter if they are big or small movements. If you do not feel as many movements as you think you should, it is always best to err on the side of caution and go and get checked out. Better safe than sorry!

Sources: momjunction.com, whattoexpect.com, happyhandstand.blogspot.ca

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