A baby’s kicks are one the most anticipated parts of pregnancy. Whether it’s the first or the fourth baby, moms always look forward to the moment when the baby will make its first kick. To moms, this means the baby is healthy and their minds can rest at ease. These movements remind the mom of the life growing inside of them and that another member of the family will be joining them very soon. Baby’s kicks are also a form of communication between the mom and the fetus. The baby could be saying something’s wrong or just wants attention.
The Bump.com states that first time moms will notice movement of the fetus during the 24th week of pregnancy, although the fetus had already started moving long before that. Some moms even think that they are passing wind, not recognizing that it is the baby’s first kicks.
The baby’s kicks could mean so much more than just a kick. It could be a warning sign to the doctors or the mother that the baby might be in distress. On the other hand, it could also mean that the baby is perfectly normal and healthy and therefore you have nothing to worry about. As a mom, you will want to know what every kick means to make sure your little munchkin is safe.
So here are 15 facts about baby’s kicks and what they mean for your pregnancy.
15 Kicks Could Mean The Baby Is Ready To Come Out
Feeling pressure on some parts of your body is completely normal. For pregnant women, a pressure is felt on the rib cage and the pelvic area. Babies can produce a lot of pressure on the mother’s ribs to the point where the mom feels as if she is having a heart attack. However, there is no way that the baby’s foot could find itself in your rib cage because it is protected by a sac, so rest easy.
In the last months of pregnancy, most women experience a lot of pressure in the pelvic area. Take note that during this period, the baby is getting into the position where the head faces down and near the pelvic area. They get ready for childbirth, which means going down the birth canal. This, in turn, increases pressure. It explains why you tend to visit the bathroom more often and feel like the baby is about to pop out. Light exercise like walking can reduce the pressure.
14 Strong Kicks = The Baby Might Have Hiccups
There is a point where the baby’s kicks could make you wonder if World War III going on inside your womb. The kicks could be too violent making you wonder if the baby is tired of staying in one place, knowing too well you’re already exhausted from carrying your little one. Not to worry though, violent kicks could mean that the baby has hiccups. Babies develop and practice skills by swallowing the amniotic fluid. They get hiccups when they swallow the fluid, just as we get them sometimes.
Hiccups indicate that the baby has a healthy digestive system, which is developing normally.
Violent kicks could also mean the baby is almost coming out. The little fetus knows that it is almost time to see the world and tends to be very active. These are all signs that your baby is extremely healthy and there is nothing to worry about.
13 The Baby Might Be Cramped
As the baby grows, he gets bigger and his strength also increases. Instead of hitting lightly they start kicking. As they grow they run out of space and it starts becoming a bit uncomfortable for them. To get comfortable, they stretch their legs and kick.
When you stay in one position for a long period of time you may experience a cramp that occurs most of the times in the legs. This is also the case for the baby as he becomes bigger. He may experience cramps in the muscles, hence the need to kick.
Fetal movements are not meant to cause any pain explains MedicineNet.com. However, there are certain times when the movements will be distressing to a mom. This can even lead to a mom losing her breath for a while, forcing her to relax before she continues with whatever she was doing. Particularly if the baby kicks right in the same spot, it can get uncomfortable. To ease this discomfort, jostle your stomach or press in gently.
12 Slower Kicks Could Mean Something Is Wrong
If the baby does not move for an extended period of time, it could be a clue that something is wrong. This indicates that there is lack of movement, which shows that the baby is in distress.
Experts claim that the baby should at least move 10 times in an hour.
Moms often miss this because there is a lot going on in their lives.
How could you notice baby kicks while you are worried about your teenage daughter being knocked up! It is therefore advisable to do kick counts if the baby has not made any movement for a prolonged period of time. Drink water, lie on your left side for one hour and then count the number of times the baby has moved. Whether the movements are big or small, you will definitely notice some kind of movement. If that’s not the case, then you should definitely consult your doctor immediately.
11 Kicking Could Be In Response To Mom’s Voice
The thick layer of the uterine wall cannot prevent sound from passing. The fetus hears a lot of what is going on in the outside world and it can definitely remember the mother’s voice because it calms the fetus. Doctors have also seen that the heartbeat of a fetus can be slowed upon hearing the momma’s voice. So adorable!
Sometimes, once a baby hears the mom’s voice it tends to get excited and starts kicking a lot. The baby could also get excited after hearing the father’s voice if it is familiar with it. Kicking is a way of telling their parents that it can hear them. They prefer their mom’s voices to their dad’s because they find it is more soothing. Other sounds from moms that babies are used to include the sound of the stomach when digesting food and the sound of blood being pumped through the body.
10 Kicks Will Increase When Mom Is Lying On Her Side
Pregnant women feel more kicks while they are lying on their side. Blood circulation and supply increases when the mom lays on her side and hence movement of the fetus is improved.
Professor Peter Stone from the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the New University of Auckland, New Zealand, led a study and found that when the mother lay on her back, the baby was not very active and it conserved oxygen.
He added that the baby was only active when the mother laid on her left or right sides.
Mothers are also advised by doctors that if they do not notice movements coming from the fetus for an extended period of time, they should try lying on their sides for half an hour or so. The baby will definitely start moving and if not, a doctor should be consulted immediately as this could be dangerous.
9 Can Indicate The Baby’s Likes Or Dislikes
Did you know the baby can taste what you eat or drink? Pregnant women have noticed that some babies respond to different flavors. This shows that the baby is already developing his personal preferences at an early stage. This also applies to music. When some babies hear classical music they will tend to kick a lot. Others will lie still when you play DJ Khaled’s music. Ha!
Some moms say that their babies kicked a lot when they had a full bladder and after they visited the bathroom, the kicking would stop. The baby could have been feeling crowded and was letting mom know. This proves that every baby is unique and has its own preferences. Their little brains react differently to stimuli and through this, you are going to discover what your baby likes or dislikes.
8 Baby Kicks Are Affected By Light
The uterine wall is not opaque. It can be considered translucent. The baby’s eyes are not yet fully developed and they will tend to turn away if the light is shined at the belly. To get away from the light they will tend to kick more when it is at different intensities. They close their eyes and turn away. Since the fetus’ eyes are not usually well developed, they cannot put up with bright light. When the woman is being examined it is noted that the baby’s heart beats faster because of the light that is exposed to the belly at that time.
The optimum conditions in the womb that babies like are the dark, warm and soft part because there is no light here.
It is advantageous for the baby to come out of the womb when they are ready to cope with natural light.
Mayo Clinic.org explains that a dark womb-like condition is created for babies born premature so that the baby can feel as if it is still in the womb. They will be exposed to normal lighting when the right time comes.
7 Boy Or Girl?
A number of women swear that their boys kicked a lot more than their daughters while in the womb. However, there is no scientific evidence that proves this to be true. It has been shown that fetus activity in the womb, whether for a female or male child, is practically the same. Who do we believe then? Is it the scientists who have studied these facts or mothers who have actually experienced the journey?
Researchers claim that moms who feel more movement with their sons were pregnant with their daughters first. This means that during the first pregnancy they did not notice movement as easily as during the subsequent pregnancies. Some daughters are actually more active than boys in the same family, signifying that it entirely depends with the baby. In truth, a lot of things affect how active the baby is. They include how active you are, whether you are overweight and the state your body is in.
6 Can Predict The Baby's Personality
The relation between a baby’s kicking to its personality has not been scientifically proven. Hadassah-Med.com offers that some say that the activity level of the fetus directly indicates what they will be like in the future.
Many women swear by the fact that their babies who kicked a lot are now very active.
They are always running all over the place compared to those that were not very active in utero, who tend to be more shy and subdued.
Though it has not been scientifically proven, almost all mothers have claimed this to be true. So, it is very important to check your baby activity because it could be an indicator if your baby could be next star soccer player. Other factors could make the baby kick a lot, including foods such as noodles, chocolate, Italian foods, hot wings, peanut butter and hotdogs. You’re probably thinking that your baby is quite active, but it’s just the pizza you had for lunch that’s boosting his energy level.
5 The More Kicks... The Healthier The Baby Is
Kicking is most often a sign that the baby is the picture of health and according to Pathways.org, it indicates normal development, regular functioning, and your baby could just be having a party in the womb. A person is always active when healthy and the same applies to the baby.
First movements are felt between the 16th and 22nd week. Not to worry though if you have not felt anything yet, especially if you are a first-time mother. It also does not necessarily mean that your baby is a lazy bum because they have not yet started moving by the 16th week. At first, kicks are not as many and moms might think that it is gas, but as weeks pass there will be no doubt that the baby is kicking as if he is preparing for a match. The best way to feel the baby move is lying on your back or sitting down. If your baby has been turning, tumbling, rolling and kicking inside the womb it means they are active and healthy.
4 A Kick Could Mean The Baby Is Awake
The mother is always busy during the daytime doing her job, exercising or attending to her chores. This constant movement and swaying of the hips cause the baby to fall asleep. Hence, the baby is usually awake most of the times during the night. At the 30th week of pregnancy is when this starts to happen. Up to this date, they have spent most of their time sleeping. At this point, they start developing sleeping and waking patterns that are more organized and are made up of four states that range from being awake to deep sleep. These cycles help in the development of the nervous system. It is very important for the fetus to sleep, just as it is in an adult. It strengthens memories and consolidates experiences.
When a mom is resting, the baby will most probably be awake at this time and start having a blast. This can explain why newborns are awake mostly at night and sleep during the day.
3 Reduced Kicks In Late Pregnancy Are Normal
Between the 20th and 30th weeks of pregnancy, the baby’s movements increase. At this point, he develops his own pattern of sleeping. The baby will sleep for a period of about 30 minutes at a time and will therefore not move around during these naps. Babies are usually active during afternoon and evening, especially when it is time to eat.
At the 32nd week, the baby will be very active. Your baby should continue with these movements as the mother nears the due date. The movements should not go down at this time. In late pregnancy, the movement will definitely feel different because there is less room for the baby to move. The baby cannot flip, kick, roll or turn as much as he used to in the previous months. It is very normal for the number of kicks to reduce. It is also natural for a mom to feel painful kicks under the ribs, which can last for a few minutes.
2 Squirming Could Mean The Baby Is Out Of Space
It will reach a point in your pregnancy where you will wonder if you are actually pregnant with a human baby because of the extreme squirming. This is a way of getting comfortable in the womb.
The baby runs out of space and the only movements they can make is squirming and rolling.
Kicking and punching are no longer possible because there is no space. Also, movements in the belly can tell you where the baby is at in the womb. Movement and pressure near your rib cage mean that the baby’s head is facing down and the feet are near the ribs. This also causes one to feel a lot of pressure in your pelvic area that is without a doubt, uncomfortable. It feels like the baby can pop out and the only way to prevent it is crossing your legs since there is no assurance that the baby won’t pop out before time.
1 They Aren’t Always Moving
It may feel as if your baby is always kicking but this may not be the case. There are a number of things that the baby could actually be doing. For instance, if the movement is violent and follows some kind of pattern it is possible that they are hiccups. The baby could also be stretching and he accidentally nudges you. When the baby is small, it can rotate in the womb. At this point it can do somersaults, jumping jacks and can walk around the uterus like some ninja.
During the second trimester, the pregnant woman is more likely to experience kicks, nudges, and punches. The lasts months will be different because the movement will remarkably change and is completely natural. Instead of the usual kicking and nudging, the baby will tend to squirm and roll, which is a bit uncomfortable to some women.
References: Babycentre, Mumsnet, Newscientist, Bellybely, Refinary29, Momjunction
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