Kicks usually indicate that your baby is developing well inside the womb.
You can feel how active your baby is, when they turn, tumble, roll, and kick inside your womb. Little kicks can be experienced in your tummy when the baby stretches out its limbs. These movements become stronger towards the later stages of pregnancy.
Your baby is likely to respond to external stimuli
Babies can kick in response to changes in your everyday activities, such as, sugary food or drink, different or loud noises or changes of your position.
Response to sounds:
During the 20th week, your baby begins to hear low-pitch sounds, and respond by kicking. These movements can indicate the normal growth of your baby.
Response to foods:
The food that you eat during pregnancy, introduces your baby to different flavours through the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby inside the womb. These flavours can make the baby move if they like or dislike them. When you come for a scan with us at The Original Window to the Womb, we ask you to have something sweet to eat or drink to get your baby moving.
Your baby’s kicks increase when lying on your side
You can feel more kicks if you sleep on your side. This is because the supply of blood to the baby increases while lying on the left or right side, thereby improving their movements.
Kicks are felt after 16-25 weeks
The movements start around the seventh week of pregnancy, too early for mum to feel them. Typically, your baby will start kicking after nine weeks of gestation as they start moving their limbs. If you have a posterior placenta you could feel babies movement around 16-20 weeks, with a anterior placenta it could be much later. After 26 weeks of gestation, you can feel your baby’s kicks and hiccups quite often.
Reduced kicks might indicate your baby’s distress
Once your 28 weeks, your midwife will advise you to keep a count of your baby’s kicks. A baby, usually, kicks ten times in two hours. A reduced fetal activity can indicate fetal distress such as:
Maternal stress or nutritional problems
Your emotional and physical state impacts the baby’s movements. Similarly, inadequate nutritional supply can lead to improper development of the brain and nervous systems that can reduce your baby’s activity. Drink a lot of water or keep walking around if you do not feel any movement of your baby.
Premature rupture of the amniotic sac
It can lead to decreased amniotic fluid and slow down the fetal movements due to stress or insufficient supply of oxygen.
This condition arises when the umbilical cord gets twisted, kinked or deformed. This cuts the supply of oxygen to the baby.
An ultrasound scan or a non-stress test can help determine the baby’s heartbeat and the reason for reduced fetal movements.
Reduced kicks in late pregnancy
Babies do sleep in the womb for 20 to 40 minutes at a time. However, as they grow in size, their movements become difficult as they fill all the available space. Therefore, it is normal for the number of kicks to reduce
- If you’re concerned about your baby’s movement
- Sit down and try to relax. Your baby can feel if you’re tense.
- Have a cold drink or sugary snack and keep your feet up. The coldness and the sugar in the food may cause your baby to respond. Play some music and try lying down on your left side.
- Your baby might respond through hiccups, rolls, kicks, thumps or pokes.
Feeling the kicks of your baby is very important in pregnancy. It indicates the well being of your baby, and is reassuring to you that all is well with your pregnancy.
Keep a record of your baby’s kicks, and if they have slowed down or stopped, call your midwife for info or go to your Maternity unit, the staff will monitor baby’s heartbeat to make sure all is well.