Feeling your baby move is a sign that they are doing well and developing how they should be. From a flutter to a kick, movement can vary but are still very normal. However, if you don’t know what to expect, how will you know what is normal and how will you know when do you feel baby move?
It’s normal to start feeling movements from your baby around the 16-week mark – however this is incredibly early and isn’t the same for everyone. More commonly, women start to feel kicks and movements between 18 and 24 weeks – this is when your baby is in their prime development stage. If you’re pregnant with your first baby, it’s normal not to feel any movement at all until you’re around 20 weeks. This is because your body is still adjusting to the changes and you may not be as sensitive to movements.
Movements can range from kicks to what feels like rolling. It’s just your baby getting themselves comfortable. It’s quite a fascinating sight when your baby begins to kick as quite often, you can see this happening from the outside.
For the remainder of this blog, we’ll be answering some common questions about your baby’s movements and how to tell if they are normal or not. We recommend that if you feel anything that worry’s you or your baby goes through a prolonged amount of time without moving, you should seek medical advice to check up on your baby and to ensure they are developing normally.
Baby’s movements can range from little kicks to swishes in your stomach. They might feel a little strange at the beginning of your pregnancy, especially if it’s your first baby, but you will get used to them over time.
They can sometimes cause a little bit of discomfort, especially if your baby is positioned in a way that puts pressure on your ribs or bladder. This is more common as your baby gets bigger as the amount of room, they have gets much smaller. However, if you find yourself in this situation, lay or sit in a comfortable position and wait for your baby to move themselves along. Some mother’s find that rubbing the area can also help to soothe it as well as tell your baby to budge over!
There’s not specific guide on how many movements you should feel a day as every baby is different. Over the 9-month period that you carry your baby for, you will get to know their movements each day and will definitely know if they become abnormal.
You should start to feel movements around 18-24 weeks. From the point that your baby start moving, you can expect them to start moving around more and more from there. However, at around 32 weeks, the movements that your baby does every day should start to feel the same until the end of your pregnancy.
There are a few myths that we feel passionate about clearing up for your baby’s safety. Firstly, baby’s do not move less as it gets further to the end of your pregnancy. If you feel a change in your baby’s movements at any point in your pregnancy, you should seek medical advice by calling your doctor or midwife. You will them be assessed to ensure your baby and you are doing ok. Secondly, it’s normal to feel your baby move right up until they end of your pregnancy. Again, if you notice a change or stop in your baby’s movements, please seek medical advice.
It’s important that if you notice any changes, you should not wait to go and get help. Even if it is early hours of the morning, you can still contact the maternity ward – there will always be staff available here 24/7. Changes can include slow movements, movements getting dramatically faster or stopping completely.
If you wait too long to get help, you can put your baby and yourself at risk.
Your baby moving around means that they are healthy and active. It shows you and medical professionals that things are developing normally. When your baby’s movements slow down or stop, it can mean that they are unwell. However, by going to get help early on, you can avoid any serious problems and get your baby back to normal health quickly.
Moving is also great for your baby’s mobility, it means that they are able to move themselves around in the womb to get into a comfortable position and that they have the normal strength of an unborn baby.
Although you may be able to feel your baby moving, it might not be as strong as you’d expect. In the first instance, this could just be down to you being active or busy at the time your baby is moving around. When your mind is more focussed on something else, it’s normal not to feel your baby’s movements as much.
However, if you are sitting down and still find that this is the case, it could be the positioning of your placenta or baby. If the placenta is positioned in front of the uterus, it can act as a cushion and mellow down the kicks that your baby gives throughout the day and night. As well as this, if your baby is positioned with their back to your uterus, it means they ar not directly kicking into the font of your body.
You shouldn’t just rely on this information if you are worried about your baby’s movements. If at any point you feel worried that you cannot feel your baby normally, the best thing to do is to go and get checked out. This will assure you that your baby is fine, and you can continue your pregnancy without any stress.
You should avoid trying to make your baby move if you notice any changes. This could potentially injure you or your baby. Instead, contact your midwife who will be able to assess you and your baby to see what the situation is.
As we have said through our entire blog, you should seek medical help if you notice any changes in your baby’s movements. You should not wait until the next day, it’s important that you do it right away to ensure your baby is kept safe. If you’re worried as to what will happen when you go to one of these appointments, we have a a guide to make you feel more at ease.
If you notice changes before 24 weeks, contact your midwife. They will carry out checks that involve checking your baby’s heartbeat to see if it’s normal. In some cases, you may also have an ultrasound to check your baby’s health further. If there are any minor concerns, you may be sent to the maternity ward for some extra checks – this may seem daunting but it’s the best for your baby’s health.
Your baby is much more developed at this stage so extra steps may be taken to ensure the health of your baby is normal. Once you contact your midwife or doctor, you will be bought in for a full antenatal check up – this will involve checking the size of your uterus and checking your blood pressure.
If it shows that your uterus is smaller than it should be, you may be taken for more ultrasounds to ensure your baby is growing at a normal rate.
The same checks will be done as if you were 24-28 weeks. However, there may be more concern at this stage as your baby should be nearly fully developed. You should not worry at this stage as you could hurt your baby or yourself. Instead, let the professionals do what they need to do and put your trust in them.
Less movements from your baby can mean they are unwell, but that isn’t always the case. In the majority of cases, women go on to have a very healthy baby but it’s important that you get help if you notice anything change in your pregnancy.
If your gut tells you that something is still wrong despite having checks done, speak to your midwife to see what they can do. They may be able to put you through further checks to help you feel less stressed. Overall, you should get help whenever you feel that you need it, even if everything was fine the last time you went.