Whether this is your first pregnancy or your fifth, every mom-to-be looks forward to feeling those first flutters and those precious first kicks.
Those first flutterings are known as quickening and it is often the first reassuring sign that your baby is growing and thriving.
Babies are busy and spend an awful lot of time moving their hands, exploring the uterus, hiccupping, changing sides, and even doing somersaults.
In this article
- Why Do Babies Kick?
- When Can I First Feel My Baby Kick?
- How Many Kicks Are Normal?
- When Should I Count Kicks?
- Why Am I Feeling Kicks Low Down?
- What Should I Do If I have Reduced Movements?
- The Final Thought
Why Do Babies Kick?
Primarily baby’s kick because they need to stretch and move for relaxation. But babies also tend to move in response to what’s happening in their environment.
They can be stimulated by too much noise, light, and even certain strong foods that can make them kick and move about.
If you are moving about, it can be soothing for your baby, they will relax and often go to sleep. Babies whose mothers take part in things like relaxation classes or mediation tend to be quieter.
In this study, they 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, and lowered respiration rate. this then showed to lower fetal heart rates and decreased movements of babies.
When Can I First Feel My Baby Kick?
First-time mothers-to-be usually do not recognize their baby’s movements until late in the second trimester. It can be as late as 24 weeks but your baby has been moving long before you recognize the signs.
View in gallery
But because the sensation is unfamiliar, you might not recognize it for what it is. In early pregnancy, babies’ movements are not very strong and flutterings can often be mistaken for gas.
Depending on where your placenta is, it can reduce the feelings of those kicks and movements.
While women having their second or subsequent babies may recognize the flutters as their baby moving as early as 12 weeks.
How Many Kicks Are Normal?
Every baby is different and that includes how much they move around and kick. The average number of kicks falls somewhere between 15 – 20 per day.
But this does also include all movements and not just when you feel a kick to your ribs. Babies can rest and sleep for as many as 17 hours a day in bursts of 40-50 minutes at a time.
You may begin to notice a pattern with your baby’s movements in that they will be quiet all day and then once you sit down to relax for the evening they will come alive.
Whereas your friend’s baby may be moving and kicking all day long. This is quite normal and as we said every baby is different.
Most pregnant women will notice a spike in movements after eating, being active, and during the evening when you are usually trying to relax.
When Should I Count Kicks?
It is usually suggested that pregnant women become familiar with their little ones’ pattern of movements from around 28 weeks pregnant. If you’re a second-time mom you may be in touch with their movements way before this time.
Pick a time in your day when you can rest and focus and also a time when your baby is usually active. The evenings are normally a good time for this depending of course on your personal circumstances.
View in gallery
But whatever time you pick, you need to ensure that you are consistent and choose the same time each day.
Over a week or so of counting your baby’s kicks, you will begin to notice a pattern and be more in tune with what is normal for your baby.
It is important to note that as your baby gets bigger you shouldn’t be feeling fewer movements but what you will notice is that those kicks now feel a little different.
Why Am I Feeling Kicks Low Down?
Many new moms worry about being able to feel their baby’s kicks in their pelvic region but this is completely normal. Where you feel your baby kicking is simple to do with how they are positioned in your womb.
So if you are feeling kicks very low down in your pelvic region there is a pretty good chance that your baby is lying feet down and will need to turn 360 degrees before labor.
Babies often move around a lot before settling into the position ready for their birth.
Put your mind at rest that just because you are feeling these movements low down right now does not mean that you will have them premature or that they will be born breach. It is just them getting comfortable in your belly.
Another reason that you may be feeling these kicks so low down is that they are in fact not kicks at all but your baby has hiccups. This is a really good sign as it shows that your baby’s digestive system is all as it should.
What Should I Do If I have Reduced Movements?
When you feel your baby kick for the first time, it is a very special moment for most moms. It makes the whole process feel real and it helps moms to create a beautiful bond with their babies.
It also shows that your baby is reaching new milestones as their brain develops and connections are made ready for life outside the womb.
Any reduction in movements should be taken seriously and checked with your care provider as soon as possible. Often there is nothing wrong and your baby was just having a lazy day but it still needs to be checked as a matter of urgency.
View in gallery
Does fetal movement predict future behavior?
Everyone in the world will want to comment on our baby’s movements and what it means for their future.
One study has shown that there is a link between movement in the uterus and regulatory behavior in early childhood. Regulatory behavior involves impulse control, inhibition, and self-regulation.
Is kicking a sign of a healthy baby?
Even growing and developing babies need exercise. Frequent movement is an essential part of development inside the womb.
What does it mean if the baby kicks a lot?
Research has shown that girls kick as often as boys. Babies who kick a lot in the womb are also more active after birth.
The Final Thought
Pregnancy is a beautiful time to bond with your baby and to prepare for the next stage of your life. The kicks that you feel no matter how high or how low are your baby’s first means of communication with you.
In a few short months, you’ll miss these exclusive moments that you get to share with your little one.