Some of the most magical moments during a woman's pregnancy are those in which the baby wriggles, kicks, stretches and even somersaults. Expecting women everywhere will attest to the fact that there isn't anything quite as wonderful and exhilarating as feeling a precious baby make his or her presence known while in-utero.
Experts have determined some pretty tried and true ways to get a tiny tot moving when Mom is craving a little love tap from her impending arrival. These include gently poking your belly, shining a flashlight on your tummy, talking to your baby, turning on a good tune or singing a song and even doing something to get your adrenaline pumping (within reason, of course). However, there is one way to get Baby to kick that is more effective, and arguably more enjoyable, than any of the previously mentioned techniques. What is it? Eating and drinking!
The following 15 foods and beverages have been proven to make a bouncing baby-to-be get jiggy with it in the womb. It doesn't hurt that all of them are incredibly delicious and are sure to satisfy mama's cravings for fabulous fare while also getting baby up and moving. Happy snacking!
Are noodles your go-to food? Good news! It seems that many babies are fans of this fun-to-slurp carb too. One mom-to-be wrote on a pregnancy forum, "I'm six months pregnant, and whenever I eat Ramen noodles my baby kicks and moves a lot more frequently.
Another expecting mother shared, "I'm six months pregnant...and every time I eat noodles my baby goes crazy. It's like that's all he wants me to eat!"
It is believed that babies have developed their senses of smell and taste by around 21 weeks of pregnancy, and many experts believe that babies-to-be may show preferences for certain flavors while still in the womb. It only makes sense for a little one to do a happy dance when Mom finally eats his or her food of choice. Noodles are often prepared with garlic, salt or spicy sauces that give them a distinct flavor. Want your baby to get busy? Noodles may be a good food to try.
There are very few people in the world who don't love the taste of chocolate. When Mom takes a bite of this smooth, sweet indulgence, it often gets baby kicking in no time. Why? Not only does chocolate contain sugar, an ingredient that sends a jolt of energy to a little one, it also contains caffeine that could help awaken a napping babe.
The obvious fact that chocolate is freaking delicious could also be the reason many babies perk up whenever their moms indulge in it. According to Julie Mennella of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, "Amniotic fluid is a complex 'first food' that contains chemicals that have both tastes and smells."
Want your baby to give you kudos in there? Chocolate is a pretty sure-fire way to have him pumping his fists and kicking his legs in no time.
13 Italian Food
Ciao, bella! Love pizza, pasta, lasagna and calzones? You aren't alone. It seems many babies-to-be adore these foods as well. It could be the distinct flavors of the sauces used or the proteins found in pepperoni, sausage and ooey, gooey cheese. One expecting mother who found her little one kicking like crazy whenever she ate lasagna shared, "My theory is, either she likes it or is protesting."
Another mom wrote on a pregnancy forum, "Mine usually starts moving around as soon as Italian food is placed in front of me."
A study done by Mennella determined that the smell of amniotic fluid changes depending on what Mom ingests. They found that garlic, mint, aniseed, carrot and vanilla were all detectable in amniotic fluid within 45 minutes of Mom ingesting them. The scrumptious spices present in most Italian fare may be the reason many babies are such big fans.
12 Hot Wings
Because Baby can taste everything mom eats, and his developing taste buds are even more sensitive than they will be after he's born, when spicy food is on the menu, don't be surprised if he takes notice. Hot wings and other foods with a kick may cause Baby to kick in response.
One mom-to-be shared, "I was eating chicken wings while laying on the couch. I had my plate resting on my stomach and knees and she was kicking like crazy. I thought the plate was going to fall off!"
Another expecting mom wrote on a pregnancy forum, "I remember eating a very spicy bowl of chili and having [my baby] kick me hard in the ribs for about and hour after that."
Yet another mom admitted, "I've been craving jalapenos, and he gets busy every time I eat them!"
11 Peanut Butter
It has been proven on many occasions that protein gets babies moving in the womb. Peanut butter is one of those creamy superfoods that tastes great, is great for you and may help a baby to get moving after Mom snacks on it.
This decadent treat contains vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D and iron. One more bonus to eating peanut butter? Some experts believe that if a mom-to-be snacks on it while expecting, her baby has less of a chance of developing a peanut allergy after birth, but more research is needed to confirm this hypothesis.
One mom-to-be shared on a pregnancy forum, "I notice when I eat peanut butter my little guy kicks like there's no tomorrow!"
Another shared, "I just ate peanut butter and banana on toast and the baby's still jumping around."
10 Hot Dogs
Hot dogs are one of America's favorite foods. They may not be considered the healthiest, and medical professionals warn that moms-to-be shouldn't eat them without first ensuring that they have been heated at high temperatures to prevent listeria. However, if a hot dog has been thoroughly heated, there's no reason an expecting mother shouldn't be able to enjoy one from time to time.
Not only do hot dogs taste delicious, the protein they contain and the distinct flavors present in toppings like ketchup, mustard and relish may be the reason this tasty food is one that will most likely make baby kick up a storm.
So go ahead, indulge in a frank or two. Your little one won't mind, and might even thank you with a gentle jab to the ribs to remind you how thankful he is for feeding him such delightful foods.
We all know that consuming copious amounts of soda while expecting isn't ideal, but most medical professionals are fine with a mom-to-be enjoying the occasional fizzy drink as long as she's getting the proper nutrients that she needs to help her little one develop and to keep her own energy up as her baby grows.
Soda really helps many women squelch nausea early on in pregnancy. Additionally, some expecting mamas indulge in this bubbly sensation later on in pregnancy to combat headaches due to the fact that most headache medication is off limits while a woman is with child. Another added benefit of sipping on an ice cold pop is the high chance that the beverage will get Baby moving.
One mom-to-be shared, "I have come to realize that Mountain Dew makes my little one move like CRAZY! [Baby's] daddy drinks it all the time, so it's only natural that our little one would like it to. I am always wanting Mountain Dew, but I usually don't drink it seeing as I get kicked to death."
8 Ice Water
For those mamas who want to get baby up and moving without the worry of consuming too many calories, guzzling ice water may do the trick. It has been proven time and again to be a sure-fire way to get baby kicking.
One expecting mother wrote on an pregnancy forum, "Does drinking ice water make anyone else's baby move around like crazy? I drink a lot of water, but only with ice...I told my husband that it makes the baby move a lot and he asked if I was making her cold. LOL."
Another admitted, "If I want to make the baby move, just to check in on her, I'll drink a big glass of really cold water. [I] will usually get a couple hard kicks right after!"
Still another mom-to-be shared, "I've been drinking tons of ice water. If it doesn't have ice, I don't want it. My baby rocks when I'm drinking water."
7 Salt And Vinegar Chips
Just like every mom-to-be has different food preferences, every baby has certain foods he or she likes better than others. While some babes love it when Mom indulges in sweet snacks, others prefer salty fare.
Speaking about what makes her baby kick one mom-to-be wrote on a pregnancy forum, "Strange one...salt and vinegar chips!"
Salt and vinegar chips are one snack that definitely possess a very unique flavor. While experts aren't sure how strong flavors are in the womb, they are distinct enough that a little one recognizes when Mom eats something he does or doesn't like. Love the crunchy, tasty, zesty experience of eating a salt and vinegar chip? Munch away! You may discover that your baby-to-be loves it just as much as you do. You may also find that he gives you a happy kick to thank you for snacking on something so satisfying.
6 Ice Cream
Love ice cream? Great news! It's likely your bouncing babe feels the same. It's been established that both sweet flavors and cold temperatures get the baby moving, so it only makes sense that when the two are combined, he will be wiggling in no time.
One mom-to-be wrote on a pregnancy forum, "I'm only 15 weeks...but I had a hot fudge sundae and while lying on my back. I was cracking up [because] I could actually feel [my baby] going nuts in there...[he] loved every second of it."
Like all sweet treats, ice cream should be consumed in moderation to ensure neither Mom nor Baby get too much of a sugar rush, but a mama searching for a way to brighten her mood can kill two birds with one stone by enjoying a cold, decadent confection, then relishing in her baby's joyous response.
Another sugary, carb-filled snack likely to make a baby-to-be and his pregnant mama happy campers is the pastry known for it's wonderful flavors and signature hole: the donut.
One mom-to-be wrote on an pregnancy forum, "On Christmas day, I overindulged in desserts and the little one started going so much that my husband and nana both felt him kick when they touched my stomach."
Of course, as we've already mentioned, Mom doesn't need to eat an entire box of donuts to get her baby up and moving, but an indulgence every once in a while is a pretty sure way to get a baby grooving. Want to feel your little one kick? Head to your favorite donut shop, eat up and allow the donuts to do the rest.
4 French Fries
French fries are crispy, starchy snacks. Fried potatoes sprinkled with salt may not be on the list of healthy foods that medical professionals recommend moms-to-be eat on a regular basis, but chowing down on these golden sticks of fried goodness in moderation might be the perfect way to treat yourself, and to get your babe-to-be to do a happy dance.
Potatoes aren't all bad, and contain some nutrients that are actually good for both, Mom and baby. They are packed with thiamin, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, phosphorous, iron, niacin, riboflavin and even contain a little calcium.
Frying them takes away a little of their nutritional value, and adds some calories, but as long as Mom doesn't eat too many, they're a great food to enjoy from time to time. Time to hit up your favorite fast-food joint!
It's often been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Pancakes are a breakfast staple that can boost your mood and get your baby kicking on a morning when you're finding it difficult to get moving. Find yourself having a hankering for hot cakes after noon? No problemo! There's no rule against enjoying these tasty treats at any time, day or night.
The sweet, sugary syrup many love drizzling on pancakes is one way to liven up these babies and awaken your baby, however, the options available when cooking up pancakes are endless. Mom can top them with fresh fruit, nuts or greek yogurt to add nutrients. Mixing flax seed, bananas or protein powder into the batter for an added punch of goodness is also an option.
Love pancakes? Why not have them every morning? Your baby will love you for it, and will most likely reward your efforts with some loving movements.
2 Orange Juice
Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, a nutrient that has been proven to help prevent pesky colds from creeping up on a pregnant gal. Let's face it: a stuffy nose and a nagging cough is the last thing a mom-to-be wants to worry about. Luckily, orange juice is not only a disease fighter, but can also be the key to getting baby kicking.
One mom shared on a pregnancy forum that what worked best for her was to, "drink a big glass of cold orange juice, then lie down." Another shared, "I wasn't feeling my little guy move much...but after two full glasses of orange juice on ice, he was going crazy."
Still another shared, "I got some orange juice with calcium because I hate milk, so I've been drinking that a lot lately, and every time I do, she starts kicking like crazy! Once I had my arm lying across my stomach and she literally moved my arm! Strong little girl!"
1 Caffeinated Beverages
Experts recommend that expecting mothers drink caffeinated beverages in moderation. According to the March of Dimes, just to be safe, moms-to-be should limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams daily. This is equal to approximately one twelve ounce cup of coffee. For obvious reasons, drinking a beverage that contains caffeine will not only give mom a jolt of energy, but will energize Baby as well.
One mom wrote on a pregnancy forum, "For this one, it's anything sweet or with caffeine. Not that I have a ton of caffeine, but one day [I] decided to have a glass of iced tea and maybe fifteen or twenty minutes later, the little one was going crazy."
Why do so many foods get babies kicking? One wise mom-to-be joked, "I think my little princess just likes food, period. She moves every time I eat!"