Feeling the baby kick is tremendously exciting and is the best feeling a pregnant woman can experience.
It is an exciting period for moms since a life is growing within her and her baby is actually transforming from someone you’ve been imagining to an actual person who is identifying himself as his own person. This feeling beats any aching back, puffy feet or heartburn that you have been experiencing. According to BabyCentre, the majority of first-time moms will feel the first kicks between the eighteenth and the twenty-sixth week.
However, the feeling will vary from one person to another. It can be a minute quiver for one mom, others describe it as ginger ale bubbling, popcorn popping, and some women even claim that the sensation feels like eyelashes being rubbed against the belly. Yes, the feeling is subtle, but some women, unfortunately, miss the feeling completely.
Some women cannot distinguish between feeling the baby and indigestion, which is completely understandable since most women undergo tummy issues throughout the pregnancy. William Schweizer, M.D., who is a clinical associate professor of OB-GYN at the Langone Medical Center at New York University, states that most women go to see him complaining of a tingle in the bladder or gas pains.
However, the baby doesn’t always kick and there could be various reasons, whether dangerous or not, that could keep your baby from kicking. Some don’t necessarily mean trouble for your baby, but in some cases, you need to see a doctor to check if everything is alright.
15 Mom Hasn’t Eaten Yet
Another reason the baby is probably not kicking or kicks less is that the mom hasn’t had anything to drink or eat for a while. You’re probably having a busy day, been up and about and forgot your lunch time!
At this point, you’re either thirsty or hungry and your baby has probably exhausted his reservoir. Dehydration is even worse and can be fatal for both the mom and the baby. This is why doctors recommend a mom to drink a sweet drink either apple or orange juice if they notice that the baby isn’t moving. The sugar in the drink will give both the baby and mom a boost.
The juice will help and get your baby up and moving in half an hour, even before the mom eats something. However, once a mom has food and lies still, there will be increased kicks and movement. A mom could also try massaging her stomach gently, which could get the baby to move.
14 Which Side The Baby Lying On
We know this sounds absurd, but it’s actually true! The position in which your baby lies has a significant impact as to whether you feel or don’t feel your baby.
The position in which the baby lies within the uterus can prevent you from feeling your baby.
During the initial stages, the baby is tiny, meaning there’s ample space in the womb. With tons of space, the baby gets to move around and at one point he could be lying with the spine up against the front of your uterine wall and against the mom’s belly button. This, in turn, affects the feeling since the baby’s punches and kicks are aimed at the back of your uterine wall. In this case, the mom will not feel the baby’s movements. However, once the baby changes position and his spine faces the back of the uterine wall, his kicks and punches are now aimed at the front of the uterine wall and therefore you can feel his kicks and punches.
This shouldn’t worry moms since it is completely normal, plus the baby keeps growing, meaning that he’s running out of space, therefore, increasing the feeling.
13 Packing On Too Many Pounds
We’re not trying to bash any momma for gaining a little extra weight during pregnancy, but being overweight will have a huge impact as to whether you feel the baby or not. However, this may not always be the case. Several plus-size women feel the baby moving inside, but way much later on compared to women who have a lower body mass index. However, there are other factors in play such as anterior placenta, as discussed above.
It is not harder for a plus-size woman to feel her baby’s kicks and punches, but it tends to be less harsh on her back and ribs due to the extra padding.
The ability to see baby’s movement from the outside or for any other person to feel the baby move will be longer and more difficult for a plus-size mom due to the extra layers of adipose tissue that mask any kicks and bumps until the baby is stronger and bigger.
12 No More Space In The Womb
Your baby is definitely growing, that’s for certain! That is another common reason why you’re not feeling his kicks or you feel them less. The baby will start to kick less or even stop temporarily since there’s, well, a shortage of space in the mommy's belly as the pregnancy comes to an end.
There’s really not much a mom can do to accommodate her growing baby! Normally, her belly will become bigger and in turn, the inside becomes smaller, which means less room for the baby to move. The baby is therefore curled up in the womb, scarcely able to stretch in the final phase, leave alone kicking and moving up a storm. In this case, it makes perfect sense for less movement.
Women need not fret at this stage unless the mom notices that it has been a while since the last kick.
However, a mom needs to trust her intuition, if she feels that something could be wrong she should see her doctor.
11 Not Enough Oxygen
This is a condition where your fetus lacks oxygen within the womb according to ABC Law Centers.com. This could, in turn, cause complications for both the mom and the baby. A mom should be concerned once she notices that other than decreased fetal movements, she is experiencing other symptoms such as weakness or dizziness. She needs to call her doctor or rush to the hospital in time in order for her and her baby to be closely monitored.
Doctors will normally check the baby’s oxygen levels in the uterus and the mother’s as well. Most babies will suffer a great deal if they are not taken care of properly throughout the rest of the pregnancy. There is a high probability that moms go under the knife when the delivery time comes. It is therefore essential that both the mom and her baby receive adequate oxygen during the pregnancy.
10 The Position Of Your Placenta
At a specific stage of the baby, there’s a high probability that you don’t feel the baby due to the position of your placenta. Where your placenta lies can cause you not to feel the baby. The placenta could grow on the front uterine wall, in front of the baby, in close proximity to your belly button. When the placenta lies in this position, this is referred to as anterior placenta according to Parent 24.com.
This will have no impact on the baby and its healthy development but the downside is that there’s a probability that you miss the baby’s first kicks and punches. This is definitely something you don’t want to miss.
This is because the baby needs to kick through the placenta, which acts like stuffing, reducing any chances of feeling the baby since he’s too tiny to kick hard enough.
The good news is that you’ll definitely feel it but it will be a bit later compared to someone who has posterior placenta; placenta at the back uterine wall. Not to worry though, once the baby becomes bigger, the kicks get to be felt since he’s strong enough to kick around the edges.
9 Miscalculating The Due Date
You’re probably not feeling your baby since you’re overly eager and have therefore miscalculated the due date. This is totally understandable since this is a very exciting time!
Thanks to scanning technology, moms can now know almost exact dates or rather the tot’s gestational age during the early weeks and getting a wrong date is almost impossible.
However, if a mom hasn’t had a scan and she is over 13 weeks preggers, it becomes more difficult to identify exactly how old the baby is. This is because at that point, genetic factors that determine the baby’s size have started to play a role.
Therefore, your baby could be really big and you assume that you’re really far into the pregnancy and expect some feeling and movement, but in reality, you’re in fact at an earlier stage. You probably just need to hold your horses and not fret! If you’re concerned, it’s probably best to see your doctor.
8 20 Minute Naps
Babies love naps too! That’s the reason you’re probably not feeling his kicks. Babies have a 20-minute cycle where they tend to be less active.
Babies are definitely different, some will follow this cycle, but some won’t. There’s even a high chance that each baby a mom carries behaves in their own unique way. Babies normally have personal downtime, where they become naturally quiet, move less, fail to move at all or move for a short time. Moms-to-be will therefore worry and be concerned due to lack of their baby’s movements.
This is because of their past experiences or a friend’s personal experience that determines the standard kicking styles. This is perfectly normal, however since, as we have stated before, different babies will kick differently and at different intervals. You can try counting the kicks and measure the number of kicks which occur in a period of two hours during the night.
If you notice that the kicks are less than 11, it’s probably best to get in touch with your doctor.
7 Not Enough Nutrients
You’re probably stressed out and in turn, this could affect your eating habits. If the mom has had nutritional issues throughout her pregnancy and notices significantly fewer movements from her baby, she needs to contact her doctor immediately. Inadequate supply of nutrition for your baby will cause improper brain and nervous system development, which will, in turn, reduce fetal activity. Drink lots of water and walk around if the baby doesn’t kick.
There’s a high probability that the pregnancy will be considered high risk if there is still no movement and the mom will be continuously monitored throughout the whole pregnancy for both the baby and the mom’s health and safety. It’s important that a mom informs her doctor of any changes she may be experiencing since her safety and that of her baby are the most crucial factors. Less kicking can be caused by several factors, but if the mom’s health is declining, the baby’s health is also affected and vice versa.
Fetal movement is very important since it’s a sign that the baby is healthy and growing well within the uterus. Your growing uterus contains amniotic fluid, the fetus, and his placenta.
In the final months of the pregnancy, the fetus produces a majority of the amniotic fluid by urinating. The fetus also ingests the amniotic fluid, which it then recycles. The mom will then provide extra fluid to the fetus via blood flow to her placenta since fluids will move between a mom and her baby’s body. Fluids migrate between your body and the baby's body, therefore reduced fluid intake affects baby’s growth and his chance to thrive.
If the fluid amount inside the amniotic sac and the uterus are too low to facilitate baby’s movement with ease, there’s a chance he won’t move normally.
According to Americanpregnancy.org, oligohydramnios is the condition where a mom has reduced amniotic fluid levels and it could indicate a bigger problem with your placenta, including poor perfusion.
If a mom is past her due date and has high blood pressure, the placenta may fail to perform effectively, thereby failing to deliver adequate fluids to the baby and in turn, the baby receives inadequate oxygen and nutrients slowing down his activity. Consult a doctor in such circumstances in order to get a better opinion or so he can solve the situation at hand.
5 Rupture In The Amniotic Sac
The baby is probably not kicking since there’s a rupture in the amniotic sac. This is where a mom’s membranes rupture usually before she gets to 37 weeks in her pregnancy. Definitely, this will cause complications since the baby will have to be born prematurely with all the correlated risks.
This can be caused due to excessive amniotic fluid, stretching, an infection or trauma caused by a car accident. A mom will, therefore, be worried when her baby suddenly stops moving. Regardless of when the membranes rupture, a mom-to-be needs to rush to the hospital. The risks are even higher if the membranes rupture before she gets to the 37th-week mark.
If this happens, any kind of weird feeling before the mom experienced the rupture should be noted and taken seriously as she is rushed to the hospital. Ruptured membranes will affect fetal movement putting your baby at risk.
4 Mom Is Stressed Out
The most common advice moms-to-be are bombarded with is that they should not stress. But how? You’re about to bring a baby into the world. You probably don’t have an airtight plan (as if any mom has one!), your other kids are getting on your nerves, and everything seems to be in a mess. Most moms go through stressful situations and this can have an impact on the baby’s kicks.
The unborn baby will normally end up feeling exactly the same way the momma is feeling, whether happy or sad. However, the baby’s moods will be a tad less compared to the mom. This is because moms produce hormones based on the exact feeling they are experiencing at the moment, which in turn travels to the unborn baby.
A mom should ensure that she isn’t stressed since her baby definitely hates feeling stressed and it could cause him to cry inside your tummy.
A mom should practice regular relaxation techniques for both her and her baby. If a mom feels depressed, the baby will, in turn, feel the same way, therefore inhibiting movement. So no matter what you’re going through, don’t fret!
3 It’s Not Kicking Time Yet
Babies are obviously not the same. Some will kick earlier than others do and this isn’t something that a mom should really worry about. Some babies are big kickers and they start kicking even before they get to 24 weeks, whereas others take their sweet time.
Most doctors tell a mom that she should expect to feel her baby’s kicks and punch normally between the 16th and the 24th week. It will entirely depend on a mom’s body and her baby as well. There’s no need to be alarmed, especially since you’ve probably been attending check-ups and your obstetrician or midwife seems not to be concerned. If there is an issue, they will definitely inform you and take any necessary measures. If a mom, however, notices any issues she should inform her obstetrician who will gladly help.
2 A Change In The Baby’s Sleep Pattern
It’s normally difficult for a mom to learn her baby’s sleeping habits but it gets easier to observe the sleep routine after 24 weeks. If a mom notices any irregular change in the baby’s sleep or wake routine, especially during her third trimester, something is probably wrong. At this point the mom should have ruled out less or no kicking since she hasn’t eaten, a tired baby - yes, they get tired, or any other obvious occurrences that can be easily solved.
There’s a chance that you’re a lucky mom with a baby who loves to sleep a little bit extra and this is completely normal.
The baby is probably catching up on his naps so he can grow big, healthy, and strong. With time, a mom gets to know her baby’s exact sleep pattern. If the mom notices that her baby still hasn’t kicked in two hours, it is advisable that she calls her doctor since something else could be wrong.
1 Placental Abruption
American Pregnancy.org states that an abruption of the placenta is very dangerous and it normally takes place when the placenta either completely or partially disconnects from the uterus before your young one’s birth. If this occurs, the baby is deprived of both nutrients and oxygen. This condition is extremely serious and can lead to excessive bleeding that can prove dangerous for both mom and her baby. There is also a high chance that a baby will have growth problems, or either be born premature or stillborn, if the condition is not caught in time. Normally, the condition affects 1 in 150 women who are past 20 weeks.
If a woman experiences signs such as cramping, frequent contractions or vaginal bleeding, she should rush to the hospital. Uterine pain and back tenderness could also cause a mom-to-be to go into labor precipitately. This situation requires fast medical attention to ensure that both mom and baby go through delivery successfully.