Having our unborn baby kick inside of us can be exciting and terrifying at the same time. If we have never experienced this fascinating sensation, then we may have no clue what we are feeling. The first kicks, or flutters, may not seem like much of anything at all. Experienced moms can detect these first kicks as early as 12 weeks. For first time Moms its usually takes about 24 weeks to feel our little one kicking on the inside. There's nothing to worry about. These kicks don't hurt in the beginning. Later on they can become painful but there are tricks to dealing with the pain that we will get into.
Will you see a little foot or hand protruding from the inside of your belly, pushing at your uterine wall? Nope, you won't see the actual ten little fingers and ten little toes. You will be able to see movement. You will be able to see the baby wiggling about. Your friends and family will be able to feel it and see it too if you allow them. If you are spooning with your hubby at night and he is in front of you he may even be able to feel the little one kick him in the back.
As exciting as this time is, there are some things to pay attention to when your baby kicks. Most of the time these movements are a sign that the baby is healthy and everything is going as planned. Other times there is the possibility that these kicks, or lack thereof, are telling us that we may need to check in with our OBGYN.
15 Dangerous: Decreased Kicking With Back Pain
Fetal distress can include situations when your baby's blood and oxygen supply is compromised. Kicking is a major indicator that your baby is in danger. If a mother notices decreased kicking it is automatically a cause for alarm. Other symptoms that expecting mothers need to pay close attention to are decreased kicking accompanied by V bleeding. Any amount of bleeding from the V area could be a sign of fetal distress and needs to be checkout immediately. Other signs of fetal distress include decreased kicking with abdominal pain and decreased kicking with back pain. Basically, decreased movement in any way is a cause for concern. Decreased movement in conjunction with bleeding or pain is a serious sign of fetal distress.
14 Healthy: Kicks At 36 Weeks
After 36 weeks we may find that our babies kicks feel different than before. This is simply a result of the baby's growth and their being less room to move than before. We will still feel activity but there isn't enough room for the baby to be flipping, turning, and kicking as aggressively as before. We will still notice hiccuping, subtle movements like baby exploring her body, your body, the umbilical cord, and taking stretches. The less space there is for baby to move the subtler the movements will be. Even though the movements will be subtler there should be just as much movement as before. If Mom is feeling less movement she can drink a cold glass or water, which may have an effect on getting the baby moving. She can eat a meal and then relax and count movements. If there are any concerns always call the doctor.
13 Healthy: Quickening
This is a fanciful way of describing the first flutters that we may feel within us. When we are pregnant with our first baby we are unsure what these first kicks are supposed to feel like. We almost expect our little one to give us a good whack on the inside to let us know that they have reached this milestone and want our attention. Lucky for us these sensations we feel come on gradually as our baby shifts positions, hiccups, explores her surroundings, and moves about. As long as we start feeling some movement within the first 24weeks we are right on track for a healthy pregnancy. If we haven't noticed any movement by this time it's a good idea to check in with our doctor to make sure that our baby isn't just being shy.
12 Dangerous: Less Than 6 kicks In 1 Hour
If a mother feels that her baby is not moving normally then she needs to count the baby's kicks to make sure the baby is not in fetal distress. Mom can drink fruit juice and lay on her left side for an hour. The left side is the easiest to feel the kicks on. If Mom does not notice any movement in that hour, then she needs to call her doctor. If she notices little to no movement then she needs to call her healthcare provider. Loss of movement and kicking could signal that the baby is tangled in the cord or has too little amniotic fluid. These issues can be very serious and an OBGYN needs to be called right away. When in doubt, call the healthcare provider.
11 Healthy: Kicks After Mealtime
Many Mamas notice that their baby is kicking, dancing, squirming, making themselves known, after meal time. This is perfectly normal. It may be a sign to Mama to lay off the caffeine or sugar if the baby is a little more active than usual. The baby could be trying to let us know it's not so happy with the spicy tamales we chose and is hiccuping nonstop inside of us. Meal time is a moment that we enjoy spending with our families and friends. Our babies feel the same way. A healthy baby gets moving after a meal even if Mama is trying to relax and digest. This can be uncomfortable to Mama but just remember there's a reason you get to eat that extra serving of chips and guacamole.
10 Healthy: Playtime Followed By Downtime
Once we have identified our baby's kicks we will most likely take notice to the fact that our baby has a rest time and a playtime. The kicks won't be happening nonstop. The baby will need nap time in utero. It's perfectly normal to feel a lot of kicking, stretching, exploring, and turning, for an hour or two. Then, the baby will stop to rest. She will develop her own routine. She will not be on a regular schedule when she is in the womb. She will have off and on periods of movement. As long as she has one active hour per day she should be doing well. It does not matter when that hour is. When she hears a lot going on outside she may wakeup and decide to play. This is actually playtime for the entire family because who doesn't love feeling the kicks?
9 Dangerous: No Kicks At All
If the mother has not experienced any kicks at all by the time the baby is 22-weeks-old it is time to see her healthcare provider. An overweight mother may not be able to feel the moment as easily as a woman at a healthy weight. The extra padding in the belly keeps the moms from feeling the movements. Another reason the Mom may not feel kicks is the location of the placenta. If the placenta is attached to the front of the uterus it makes it harder for the Mom to feel the baby. It creates a pillow in between the mom and the baby and it makes it harder for the Mom to feel the baby. An overweight woman with a placenta attached to the front of the uterus may barely feel any movement throughout the entire pregnancy. These women may not even know they are pregnant.
8 Healthy: Kicks Might Feel Painful
There may come a time when baby's kicks become painful. This is a common occurrence and as long as the baby is moving she and Mama are most likely okay. To help ease some of the pain Mama can try walking and hope that the rocking motion puts her baby back to sleep. She can also try yoga, soft music, or a warm bath. Although these ideas may help the mother to find comfort there is no one true way to ease painful kicking. It's helpful to remember that our baby's movement is ultimately a good thing although the kicks may be bringing us temporary pain. Not all mothers experience these painful kicks and movements. Each baby and each pregnancy is different.
7 Healthy: Reacting To Sound
Along with getting excited about food our babies may kick more when exposed to different sounds. This is healthy and to be expected. Just as we are startled by loud noises so are our babies. They can hear the outside world in there. They can hear the talking, the yelling, the whispering, the music. If we can hear it, they can most likely hear it in some way. So, don't be surprised if if feels like your little guy is playing a kick drum along with her Daddy's Heavy Metal Music. Many people put head phones on their bump and play mentally stimulating classical music or lullabies when they feel baby rocking out in there. Others of us make sure to be talking to our bump when we feel a lot of movement so that when baby is born she will recognize the voices of those closest to her.
6 Dangerous: Reduced Movement
Anything that causes a mother's concern needs to be reported to her OBGYN immediately. Reduced kicks and movements to external stimuli are indicators that need to be taken seriously. If the baby has no response to external stimuli such as loud noise, your partner's voice, patting or tapping, or prodding your belly there is a chance that the baby could be in danger. If there is a gradual decrease in baby's kicking and moment for 2 days then there is a chance that the baby is in danger. If a once active baby, suddenly or gradually becomes more lethargic these are all times to take action and call the doctor. Paying attention to baby's kicks or lack thereof, could be a lifesaver.
5 Healthy: Reacts To Environmental Stimulation
As well as eating and sound there are other outside stimuli that get our babies kicking. Just like many of us need the lights off to get a good night's sleep our babies are sensitive to bright lights in utero. Along with bright lights our bumps will start moving more with exercise. It may be hard for the baby sleep though an aerobics class while Mama is bouncing and moving to music and the thundering voice of the instructor in the brightly lit gym. On the other hand, if baby is kicking a little too much for comfort a peaceful walk or quiet yoga session will help to lull them back to sleep. A good rule of thumb is that if it is stimulating for us it will be stimulating for baby. If it is relaxing for us it will be relaxing for baby.
4 Healthy: Frantic Kicking Is Normal To An Extent
Can too much kicking ever be a cause for concern? We know that decrease in kicking can be a cause in concern. Normally, lots of fetal movement is not typically a concern during pregnancy. Many mothers are delighted to feel that they have an active baby and associate having an active baby in utero with having an active newborn. In certain circumstances having a suddenly, overactive baby can be a major cause for concern. This sudden change in kicking can indicate fetal distress. If the baby's movements change suddenly or drastically a healthcare provider needs to be called. An increase in, violent, frantic movement could indicate that something is wrong. So, in this case too much fetal movement is a dangerous concern.
3 Dangerous: Decreased Movement After An Accident
An accident or illness can cause major damage to our bodies. If we experience an accident or illness while pregnant we not only have to take care or ourselves but also our unborn baby. We need to pay close attention to any medications that we consume. We need to make sure that we are consuming all of the nutrients that a pregnant Mother and developing baby need. We need to make sure that our baby has not been affected by our illness. We need to make all emergency response teams and treating physicians know that we are pregnant if we are involved in an accident of any sort. We also need to make sure that we and our child get the follow up care that is needed. If we notice a decrease in kicking and moment after an accident or illness we need to take immediate action and contact our physician.
2 Always Remember - Count The Kicks
Many OBGYN's recommend counting kicks once Mama has begun to identify them on a regular basis. Counting kicks can help Mom make sure that the baby is continuing to develop normally and that there is no fetal distress. A healthy number of kicks to look for is 6 kicks during an hour time span. This does not mean that the baby should be kicking 6 times per hour every hour. It just means that Mama should pick an active time for baby and make note of the number of kicks and movements and the type of kicks and movements. She should do this for one hour. This will give Mom and the doctor a reference point if something seems out of the ordinary in the future with the baby's kicks.
1 Trust Your Mother's Intuition
Overall, kicks indicate good development and health of a baby. Most of the time the baby's kicks signal a healthy pregnancy for both the mother and the child. As with anything in life, there are many circumstances that fall outside of the norm and cause us concern. As pregnant Moms are we going to be counting our babies kicks on a daily basis? Probably Not. As a pregnant Moms, are we going to be counting the kicks if we sense that there is a problem with the baby. Yes, we absolutely will. Making sure that we are tuned in with ourselves and our babies is the first step to ensuring that our pregnancy goes smoothly. Having a basic understanding of when the baby's kicks signal a healthy or dangerous pregnancy will prepare us for anything that the little kicker throws at us.