Written by Pradeep
Feeling your baby’s first kick is an amazing experience and cannot be expressed in words. Baby’s kick is his own way to make his presence felt. In this article, you can find Everything About Baby Kicks And Fetal Movements. It is in the second trimester (around 16 to 22 weeks) that you may start feeling your woolly woosh kicking. However, the baby starts kicking from 7-8 weeks onwards. If you are a first-time mother, you may not feel the baby-making any movements till the 25th week.
But, experienced mothers start feeling the baby flutters as early as 13 weeks. In medical jargon, this is termed as ‘quickening’ and is more easily noticed by second-time moms. That is because first-time expecting ladies confuse it with tummy rumblings or gas and cannot really figure out the difference between the two. Your physical build is also an important factor in determining when you will feel your baby’s first kick. Thin women perceive the movement earlier than the sturdy ad overweight ones.
In This Article
Well, you must be baffled as to what the kick feels like? Many women have summed up feelings of baby kicks like a tiny fish swimming gently, nervous twitches, butterflies fluttering, or popcorn popping up. It is like a soft, tender tap or whisper within your belly.
You will realize the difference between a baby’s kick and gas or hunger pangs only after you start feeling the kick in the second trimester of pregnancy. If you are into comparing this with other women, please keep in mind that every baby is different and every mother may interpret baby kicks differently.
In the beginning, there will be long intervals and the kicks will be few. However, within a week or so, both the frequency as well as the intensity increase. Also, since the baby is small, a lot of his movements may not produce a significant effect on you. You may not even feel it constantly, though the baby is almost enjoying his space every now and then.
Every baby has his distinctive pattern of movement and differs from others. Some babies also move a little less compared to others. All you have to do is to take care of the movements your baby makes. Nothing to worry about as long as your baby is moving frequently and you can perceive the movements.
As it is, babies tend to be more active after you have had a meal or snacked on something nice. They are known to practice their acrobatics after 9 pm and till 1 am – the slot after dinner when all you really want is to sleep peacefully.
A calm and relaxed body will be able to feel the baby’s kicking more easily. The first few times will make you want more, and then you’d really like the baby to slow down a bit and give you some rest.
As the pregnancy advances, the baby’s jerks or jolts can get stronger and you may feel uncomfortable sometimes. The kicks are usually most easily felt in the mid and later part of the second trimester.
In the third trimester, the growing baby occupies most of the uterine space and the kicks are not as felt or perceived as in the second trimester. The baby has lesser space to kick and move about, yet he should be making at least 10 movements in a time span of two hours. If you feel the baby is not making at least 10 movements in every two hours, quit counting and call your doctor.
You should pay attention to the kicks and immediately inform the doctor in case you feel any decrease in the activity level of your baby. The formula generically followed is at least 10 movements in a period of 2 hours. The doctor may advise you NST or non-stress test along with an ultrasound and assessment of amniotic fluid to determine the health status of your baby.
In your third trimester, your doctor will ask you to keep a record of the baby’s kicks as it is important for assessing the baby’s activity and development. You can find out the time when the baby is most active and start counting his kicks every day at the same time.
You can lie on either side or sit in a quiet place to avoid disturbances. Count the time interval between two consecutive kicks and the total number of kicks in say an hour or two. Make sure to inform your doctor if you do not perceive 10 kicks in two hours.
Below is a common week to week guide about your baby kicks and fetal movements:
Monitoring baby kicks and fetal movements is very important. Generally, there should be 10 fetal movements in 120 minutes. If you felt the baby is slow and the count is less than this, immediately seek your doctor’s help. Other important factors that can affect your baby’s movements are:
In some situations, decreased or slow fetal movements are due to serious problems such as sudden rupture of the amniotic sac or any problem with the fetal respiratory system, or even less availability of oxygen.
Placenta abruption or abruption of the placenta is another serious condition that causes separation of the placenta from the uterine wall. It is the placenta that is concerned with providing food and nutrition to the growing fetus from the maternal tissues.
The separation or detachment can be minor and recovers on its own, but sometimes there is complete cessation of food and oxygen supply to the fetus. This can result in fetal death if not corrected immediately by surgery.
In a few cases decreased fetal movements are suggestive of fetal death. The actual cause of fetal demise is however not always known. Infection, trauma, tumor, etc., can also cause fetal death.
Keeping in mind the significance of fetal movements, their proper monitoring is very important. Writing down at a specific time of the day about the intensity, frequency, and duration of kicks or jabs is the ideal way to keep a record of fetal movements. Routine ultrasonography is done particularly at four to five months of gestation to assess the development status of the fetus and to rule out the presence of any congenital abnormality.
Regular antenatal clinical examinations are also helpful in assessing the baby’s kicks and fetal movements and heart rate of the growing fetus. During these checkups, your doctor will hear your baby’s heart rate with a Doppler heart monitor or a stethoscope. Keep these points in mind and enjoy this beautiful phase of life.