Around week 18, you may start to feel your baby for the first time. The first few movements might feel like flutters or bubbles inside your tummy. As your baby grows bigger, you will notice the movements becoming stronger and more deliberate.
Some babies develop a pattern of movements by the third trimester, usually resting around the same time each day. Not all babies do this though, and some pregnant women report no pattern to the movements felt throughout the day. There is no normal pattern, or average number of movements, because all pregnancies are different. This is why it is important to get an idea of what is normal for your pregnancy.
You may notice that the baby responds to your activities throughout the day. After drinking a cold drink or eating a meal, you may notice an increase in your baby’s movements. You may notice that during periods of activity, there is a reduction in fetal movements as the movement helps your baby to fall asleep.
Counting the kicks
If you have noticed a regular pattern of fetal movements by week 28, you may be able to rely on that as a way of monitoring baby’s movements. If your baby does not have predictable periods of activity throughout the day, you may want to try counting the kicks.
To count the kicks, you should have a cold drink or something to eat, and then lie down on your left hand side. This may wake the baby up and give him more room to stretch out. You should time how long it takes you to feel 10 movements. They don’t have to be goal-scoring kicks, just the odd nudge will suffice. Hiccups don’t count, but pretty much everything else (for example, swishes, punches, kicks and rolls) counts as movements. You should be able to count 10 movements within two hours.
Reduced fetal movements
If you have noticed a reduction in fetal movements, you should count the kicks as detailed above. If you are unable to feel 10 movements in one hour, you should contact your healthcare provider for advice. Your healthcare provider may ask you to go in to be checked out. Around 70 percent of women reporting reduced fetal movement go on to have uncomplicated pregnancies.
If you notice a significant or sudden change in fetal movements, you should contact your healthcare provider. It is always best to speak to your healthcare provider if you are feeling worried about your baby’s health.
Are you counting the kicks during your pregnancy?
Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.