After a woman finds out that she's pregnant, one of the most highly anticipated moments is waiting to feel that first kick from the growing baby. Feeling the baby move is something most moms look forward to and, they usually miss that feeling after their pregnancy has ended. It is a crazy sensation and usually causes the mom to be extremely in tune with every little move her body makes.
After that initial positive pregnancy test, many moms-to-be may feel like their little baby is moving around or kicking, but the truth of the matter is that there are many reasons for a mother to feel things in her stomach.
Understanding what every movement or feeling actually means can give a lot of insight into the health of your baby.
Fetal movements can be a way of showing that everything is fine or it can show that something isn’t right with the pregnancy. When moving patterns change drastically, it might be a good idea to get everything checked out. All these little movements can tell us a lot about how your baby is doing. Paying attention to what these movements mean could be really important, so here are 15 things moms can learn about her baby’s kicks.
15 Gas Can Be Mistaken For Butterflies
As a first time mom, that first little flutter you feel may make you think that your baby is trying to tell you something. However, first-time moms really have no idea what to look for when it comes to kicks from their baby.
In the beginning stages of pregnancy, even the most experienced moms sometimes have a hard time determining the difference between fetal movement and gas.
According to WebMD, the first signs of movement from your baby that can be felt usually occurs around 16 weeks of pregnancy. However, these first movements feel very similar to gas because of the movement in your lower abdomen. If in fact these early movements are not gas, but actual fetal activity, they can also feel like butterflies and are just the start of this amazing journey you are about to embark on.
14 No Movement Could Mean Something Is Wrong
The important part about tracking every little movement that you feel during pregnancy is so that you can detect what it feels like when something is not right. The most obvious sign of a pregnancy gone wrong is when a mother no longer feels any movement at all. According to Parents.com, a mom should be able to feel her baby kick at least 7 or 8 times in a single hour. If a mother is no longer feeling kicks, she is advised to count how many she does feel over a 12 hour period, or lay down for a solid hour and count them.
If you are going over 12-24 hours without feeling any kicks or movement, there could be something wrong and experts say your practitioner should definitely be contacted. Most babies move a lot and we don’t even notice the movements because we are so preoccupied with our daily lives. But, if you are concerned about a lack of movement, these steps should be followed.
13 Butterflies Or Fluttering Happen At 9-Week Mark
According to the American Pregnancy Association, the first feelings of fetal movement are usually described as flutters and are called quickening. This can actually be detected as early as 13-16 weeks from the start of a woman’s last period. As discussed above, it can be difficult to determine if this feeling is gas or actual fetal movement, but expecting mothers will soon be able to detect a pattern.
Babies actually start moving around the 9-week mark but they are so small that a large amount of padding cushions this movement.
It is said that eating a big meal could increase a baby’s movement. Lying on your left side may actually increase the flow of vital fluids to the baby and increase movements as well, so if you are eager to feel your baby move, this might be worth a try.
12 Gentle Tapping Means Baby Is Still Tiny
When a pregnant woman first begins to feel her baby move, that child is still extremely tiny. Strong kicks and punches from the little baby usually don’t happen early on. Instead, a mom can expect to feel a gentle tapping on the inside of her stomach according to the bump. Imagine the little baby knocking on your uterine wall. Your placenta, uterine wall, muscle, and fat are all creating layers in between you and the baby.
This padding is important because it protects your growing baby, but it also absorbs a lot of those gentle movements. Most moms won’t feel those kicks and punches until their baby gets bigger and stronger. While tracking these early movements can be frustrating at times, it can also be exciting. These little taps are the first outward signs that your baby is making and are definitely worth the extra patience.
11 Spasms Are Your Baby Moving Around
Most of us have had a muscle spasm before and have a general idea of what it feels like. It is similar to an uncontrollable but repeating movement that doesn’t usually last too long. If an expectant mother feels a similar spasm in her stomach while she is pregnant, it may alarm her. However, according to American Pregnancy Association, muscle cramps should not cause too much concern.
Usually, they can be caused by carrying extra weight, being dehydrated, or lacking certain minerals.
If you are experiencing spasms in your abdomen, it could simply be your baby moving rapidly. However, warm baths, massages, and stretching are recommended if the spasms occur in other areas of your body.
10 Vibrations Mean Your Baby Is Adjusting To Temperature
Another feeling that usually causes a lot of women to worry is vibration. Not all women feel their baby vibrating, but if you do, that is okay. According to Trimestertalk.com, as long as you feel some sort of movement during your pregnancy, it is usually a good sign. Since every pregnancy is different, most women are going to feel the movements in different ways. However, babies do react to changes in temperature. An easy way to get your baby moving around is to place a cool rag on your stomach.
This change in temperature does not cause any pain or harm to your baby, but it does get them up and moving. If you feel your baby moving in a manner that is similar to vibrating, it is likely due to a temperature change that stirred their attention.
9 Popping Means Your Baby Has The Hiccups
If you can get past the adorableness of your baby hiccuping inside of your womb for a moment, just imagine the idea of your little one tickling you from inside the womb. It is sometimes crazy to imagine all the different feelings a pregnant woman can get, but hiccups from your baby can sometimes feel like a popping sensation.
It is actually a really good thing even though it might come across as weird or uncomfortable.
Most people get annoyed after they drink something that gives them the hiccups. Well, babies are not that different even when they are in the womb. Babies actually drink their amniotic fluid, and according to The Bump, getting the hiccups is actually a sign that your baby is developing normal skills. It shows that their digestive system is working well and there is nothing to be concerned about because they will eventually go away on their own.
8 Your Baby Is Tickling You By Blowing Out Amniotic Bubbles
Most people can’t help but smile and laugh when they are being tickled. This feeling is magnified when the tickling is coming from your unborn baby. That’s right. Your baby can actually tickle you from inside of the womb. This crazy phenomenon is due to the fact that your baby can blow bubbles with the amniotic fluid inside your sac. This tickling sensation probably means that your baby is blowing bubbles inside of you.
According to ModernMom, the movements you feel from your little one will grow just as they do. Some of these movements can even feel like popping popcorn, which causes extreme tickles. The good thing about this is that these movements and tickles usually occur later on in pregnancy and allow the mother to pinpoint exactly what she is feeling and why.
7 Rolling Is More Common For Babies In The Womb
Any time an expectant mother feels any sort of movement inside her stomach, people usually jump to the conclusion that it is a kick or a punch from the baby. However, often times the baby is simply rolling around in there. There is a good chance that the movement we feel is actually the baby’s butt! Many women feel more rolling than anything else during their pregnancy.
According to NDRI.com,
your baby should be rolling around by the end of the second trimester.
Around six months into a pregnancy, your baby becomes much more active. It starts rolling from side to side, and up and down. It will even turn over onto its back. Some moms might fight this feeling a bit different, but it will definitely make her want to call everyone over to feel the movement.
6 Punching Means They Are Not Sleeping
Sometimes, babies need to stretch their little arms and legs too. This might result in the mother feeling a little punch from her baby. However, this shouldn’t hurt at all. A lot of the time, moms might actually sleep through a lot of their baby’s movements. This is because most babies move around at night time when their mom stops moving. During the day, all of the mother’s movements actually seem to rock the baby to sleep inside of her.
However, once it’s time for mommy to rest, that is when the baby decides it’s time to run a marathon. Babies are the most active in the middle of the night which might explain why many newborns don’t sleep through the night very well. According to Parenting Science, making your baby apart of your daily routine will help them become adjusted to a more normal sleep schedule.
5 The Baby Is Cramped If They’re Kicking
As babies grow in the womb, they get bigger and stronger. Even though newborns may appear to be so tiny and fragile, they can actually get pretty cramped inside the womb after a while. A woman’s belly can only grow so big until the baby basically runs out of room. Inevitable, your little one will get a little cramped and uncomfortable.
When this happens you will probably start to feel them kicking the sides of you. They do this in order to make themselves more comfortable.
When a baby stretches their legs, they might accidentally kick mama at the same time. The fetal movement should never cause severe pain, but it can make you uncomfortable as well. According to BabyCentre.co.uk, changing positions, applying light pressure, eating smaller meals, and doing some exercise are all possible ways to make your baby stop kicking you.
4 Feeling The Baby Squirm Means They Could Be Breech
It is important to remember that your womb is your baby’s entire home. After quite a few months in there, it seems normal that your baby would be squirming around and trying to get themselves comfortable. When babies start to run out of room, all they can really do besides kicking and punching are move around and squirm. However, the positive side of this is that all this movement can actually tell you where your baby is inside of you.
According to SpinningBabies, the only sure way of telling a baby’s position is through an ultrasound. But, f you are feeling immense pressure on your bladder and vagina, there is a good chance your baby is breech. If you are feeling movement near your rib cage, the baby is probably head down and your ribs are feeling the kicks.
3 Agitated Movements Means They Are Uncomfortable
For a little one, many moms get to the point where it may actually feel like their baby is being violent. Sometimes the punches and kicks are much harder than expected. It may be obvious to assume that your little one is getting frustrated inside of you. They are cramped, running out of room, and uncomfortable.
Think of this as their first way of acting out to you as their parent. It might feel like your baby is trying to break out of jail, and to be honest that’s probably what they are trying to do.
According to Livestrong.com, if your baby is moving too much, try to get into a relaxing position. Possibly walk around for a few minutes or even take a warm soothing bath. The goal here is to try and ease your baby’s discomfort the best you can. It is also recommended to stay away from caffeine since that will cause more movement.
2 Nudges Mean The Baby Is Running Out Of Room
Nudges from your baby can actually feel like they are purposely trying to elbow you and get your attention. While the most likely cause of this is simply your baby stretching, nudges, kicks, and punches are usually occur in the second trimester. Towards the end of a pregnancy is when movements start to drastically change. Nothing is usually wrong other than the fact that your baby is running out of room.
As we discussed earlier, these kicks, punches, and nudges will turn into the rolling and squirming as time goes on. It’s no surprise that extremely pregnant women commonly claim that they are uncomfortable. According to BabyCenter.com, these nudges can actually be painful for the mother at times if they hit her in a certain spot, but again, it is usually no cause for concern.
1 Pressure Means The Baby Is Getting Ready To Come Out
After nine long months of being pregnant and growing a little human inside of you, when the baby starts to feel like a lot of pressure, it usually means they are getting ready to come out. According to Mynaturalbirth.com, waiting to go into labor, and never knowing how close you are to delivery can be torturous.
The pressure on your bladder will probably be pretty intense, and you might actually be able to breathe easier since there is less pressure on your lungs and stomach.
Around one to four weeks before you actually start labor is when your baby will descend into your pelvis. Besides expecting pressure, many women also feel cramps that are similar to period cramps. These cramps can coincide with contractions and are all apart of your body preparing for delivery.
References: WebMD, Parents.com, AmericanPregnancy.org, The Bump, AmericanPregnancy.org, Trimestertalk.com, TheBump.com, Modernmom, NDRI.com, ParentingScience, babycentre.uk, Spinningbabies, Livestrong.com, Babycenter.com, Mynaturalbirth.com