Baby Movements That Can Be Noticed During Pregnancy

By Subodini Menon

It is exhilarating to learn that a new life has taken roots in your womb. But it is when you start feeling your baby's movements that it truly hits you. It is when you first feel the flutters of your baby moving that you really bond with this tiny life in you.

From that moment on, every move and every kick is a gentle reminder that you are to become a mother.

baby movements during pregnancy

These movements that your baby makes when within your belly are not just the proof of the life within you, it also tells you about a lot of things about the baby.

Movements can reflect the mood of the baby. The elderly will tell you that a baby who is active in your belly is going to be a feisty, naughty child when he/she grows up.

Folk tales say that the movements during pregnancy can even predict the sex of the child. When it comes to the medical point of view, doctors can tell you if your baby is healthy from his/her movements in the womb during pregnancy.

They can sometimes even predict or diagnose congenital diseases.

Today, we shall talk about the movements of the baby when he/she is still in your womb. So, read on to learn more about the foetal movements that your young one makes while in the womb.


When Will The Baby Start To Move?

Most babies start to move as early as 7 to 14 weeks of gestation. It might not be felt by the mother to be that soon. Most pregnant women feel their babies move by 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy.

If you are going through your first pregnancy, you may mistake these gentle flutters for gas. If you have had babies before, you might be more likely to feel the baby earlier; some as early as 16 weeks.

If you don't feel your baby move by 24 weeks of pregnancy, let your doctor know. She will listen for your baby's heartbeat and may order for an ultrasound if deemed necessary.


What Causes These Movements In The Womb?

As the baby grows, the baby starts to perform actions and starts to explore the confined space of the womb that he/she calls home. It might take 16 weeks for you to feel your baby's movements, but the baby has started to move long before that point of time.

At seven weeks, the baby is making general movements. By the time he is nine, he can have hiccups. He can swallow, suck and move his limbs. He will start rotating his head by the 10th week mark. By this time, he can also open his mouth, stretch and touch his face with his little hands. By the time he turns 14 weeks old, he yawns and blinks his eyes.


Will The Baby Move All The Time?

Even after you start feeling strong kicks and painful jabs, there will be periods during the day that the baby will not move. This is the time that the baby will use to rest and catch up on his sleep. It is said that by the 30th week mark, your baby will take 45 minutes of rest.


How Will The Baby’s Movements Feel Like To You?

Do not expect your baby to move all the time and even when he does move, you may not be able to feel it all the time. Here is a week-by-week description of the movements you can feel during your pregnancy.

  • 20-24 Week

The baby's activity increases. Most babies are livelier in the day. The kicks and the somersaults are more common in the evenings. As the pregnancy progresses, you will start to learn the pattern of your baby's movements.

  • 24-28 Week

The baby will start to have hiccups now. The baby's hiccups will feel like rhythmic jerks to you. Your womb will have 750 mL of amniotic fluid. This will allow your baby to move a lot. Your baby will be startled at the sudden noises.

  • 29th Week

The baby grows bigger and the womb becomes a little cramped. The movements will become smaller but they will be more definite.

  • 32nd Week

By the time the baby is 32 weeks old in gestation, the movements go to a peak. After this, it will go down.

  • 36th Week

The baby will turn over into a head down position. At this time, the movements will feel like jabs and kicks to the ribs and pelvis. If you have had babies before, your abdominal muscles will be weaker and the baby may keep turning upright and upside down until the due date.

  • 36-40 Week

When it is close to the due date, the bay will not roll over as often, but the strong jabs and kicks will persist. The head of the baby will feel like heavy melon on your pelvis. Some babies may be active during the night, causing you to lose sleep. Expect this pattern to follow well into the months after birth.


How Many Kicks Per Day Are Normal?

The kicks cannot be prescribed, as it may vary from pregnancy to pregnancy. you should try to be aware of your baby's movements and soon, you will learn that there is a pattern to it. If you find a discrepancy in this pattern, call or go to your doctor immediately.


What To Do If You Have Not Felt Your Baby Move For More Than 24 Hours?

Chances are that you have missed the baby's movements if you have not put conscious effort. Wait for some time and check if your baby moves. Lie down on your side and wait for two hours. If you feel at least 9 movements of varying strengths, your baby is fine.

You can also get your baby to move by trying one or more of the following things:

  • Sit down with your feet put up. Be relaxed and eat something. The baby may react to the change in the movement and food.
  • You may try a cold drink. The change in temperature may encourage your baby to move.
  • Make some sudden noise or turn the volume of the music up. This too may wake your baby up.

If the baby moves with these tricks, your baby is most likely well and healthy. Just keep an eye out for more discrepancies in movements. Contact your doctor if you feel something amiss.

  • Atseven weekstoeight weeksyour baby starts general movements, such as bending sideways and startling.
  • At aboutnine weekshe can hiccup, move an arm or leg, and suck and swallow.
  • At10 weekshe can flex and rotate his head, bring his hands up to touch his face, and open his jaw and stretch.
  • At11 weekshe can yawn.
  • At14 weekshe can move his eye
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    Read more about: pregnancy baby
    Story first published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 15:20 [IST]
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