Whether it is the first baby or fourth, every pregnant mama looks forward to feeling flutters and kicks from her baby. For mother-to-be it is always special feeling to experience baby’s kicks and movements. Known as ‘quickening’ it’s a reassuring sign that the baby is growing and thriving. Not all the movements that are felt are actually kicks from the baby. Babies spend plenty of time moving their hands and exploring the uterus, hiccupping, changing sides and even doing somersaults.
During pregnancy feeling your baby’s kicks and movements is without any doubt is special and exciting experience for mothers, especially for those women who are expecting their baby first time. Mothers always eagerly wait to feel for their baby’s kicks and movements. Movements and kicks of baby are fair indication that your little baby is growing well and achieving a new milestone of development inside your womb and along with it your pregnancy journey is also reaching a new level. Pregnancy is full of wonder and if one has ever wondered what all those baby movements actually mean, with baby’s kicks and movements your body wants to convey something to you, here are some facts about baby kicking that you should know:
Baby Kicking Facts:
1. When Will the Mom Feel her Baby Kick?
First time mothers-to-be usually recognize their baby’s movements as late as the 24th week of pregnancy. The baby has been moving long before that, but the sensation is unfamiliar, and she might not recognize it for what it is. A baby’s movements are not very strong in the earlier stages of pregnancy – some mothers think they just have wind! If the placenta is at the front (anterior) of the uterus, it may buffer the feeling of the baby’s kicks for some time. Women having their second or subsequent baby usually recognize the ‘flutters’ of their baby’s movement much earlier than expected – even as early as 12 weeks.
Typically, baby can start kicking soon after she completes nine weeks in the womb. However, you can see baby’s movements and kicks in the ultrasound examination but that might be too early to feel and identify them for the expectant mother.
2. Why Do Babies Kick?
You feel the kicks because inside womb your baby tries to stretch her muscles and try to relax. Babies tend to move mostly in response to what is happening in their environment. Too much noise, light or even certain strong foods can stimulate the baby into kicking and moving. Babies also need to stretch and move for relaxation. If the mother is moving about, it can be soothing for the baby, they will often relax and even go to sleep.
Mothers-to-be who participate in relaxation exercises, such as mediation or yoga, may find their babies are quieter. This study found that pregnant women undertaking a guided imagery relaxation exercise experienced a reduction in fetal movements. The exercise resulted in physiological signs of relaxation in the mother, such as lowered heart rate, respiration rate, and skin conductance. This in turn lowered fetal heart rates and decreased movements of babies.
3. What kicks indicate?
A kick is considered as a sign of good development and good health of your little one in the womb. When your baby performs various movements in the womb such as hiccups, hand movements, movement of diaphragm, and a side to side turning, at that time you can feel your baby’s kicks. This is a sign that your baby is active. Apart from kicks you can feel flutters in your abdomen; this feeling is because of baby stretches out her limbs and this happens in initial weeks of pregnancy. However, you many not perceive all those movements and that is absolutely ok.
Kicks and movements are indication that baby is giving response to certain changes in the environment. A change in the environment means changes in the external stimuli such as if mother consumes food or there is more noise than expected outside the womb. There is absolutely no need to worry about movements and stretches as kicks and movements are normal developmental milestone for baby.
4. How To Count Baby Kicks
If one thinks that their baby’s movements have reduced, they should make a note of any movements in the following hour. Sit down, have a snack or a cold drink, and put the feet up. The sugar in food or the coldness of the drink will usually wake the baby and the mom should feel at least ten movements in the next two hours. These movements include rolls, thumps, hiccups, kicks and pokes. If reduced movements are noticed in a two-hour period, she should contact the care provider as soon as possible.
5. How Many Baby Kicks is Normal?
The average number of kicks falls in-between 15 to 20 per day, remembering this includes all movement, not just kicking your bladder! Every baby is different, and this includes their movements. Some babies literally sleep all day and move at night when you are asleep, whereas others seem to be moving all the time.
Babies rest and sleep in the womb as much as 17 hours a day, usually for periods of around 40 to 50 minutes at a time. If you have been busy and on the move, you might not notice your baby’s wakeful movements. Most pregnant women will notice a peak in activity after meal times, after being active and during the evening.