The Reason Why Your Baby Moves When You Are Pregnant
Whether experiencing the first or fifth pregnancy, a mother can always expect the small flutters and kicks from her baby growing within. Also, called ‘quickening’, these gentle movements are a sign that all is well and your baby is strong and healthy.
You should consider that contrary to popular notions, not all quickening is a baby kicking. In addition to leg movements, the baby within is also playing with their hands, exploring their tiny world within the uterus, hiccupping, flipping and practicing as many activities as possible in those confined quarters.
Babies begin life long before they are actually born and they are plenty busy. This is just one of the many marvels of the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth. This article will shed some light on this thrilling adventure and provide some insights on what an unborn child is up-to.
Here are a few things to know and a few reasons why baby moves when you are pregnant.
When will the baby begin kicking?
While the baby begins moving about quite early in the pregnancy, first-time mothers to be will rarely recognize these movements as belonging to the baby until the 24th week of pregnancy. Before this the mild movements may be mistaken for intestinal action.
The position of the placenta is one factor that can affect perception of these movement. If the placenta is located at the front of the uterus, it can actually hide most of the action until the baby is larger and stronger. Women who have already born a child will usually notice the movements of a baby as early as 12 weeks.
Why will babies kick?
As a perfectly new human, babies are highly sensitive to their surroundings. Excessive noise, light or even especially spicy food can cause the baby to begin moving about. Babies are also building muscles and joints and will occasionally stretch to get in a more comfortable position. If you are calmly moving about yourself, the gentle motion may rock the baby to sleep.
Mothers who practice relaxation exercises have noticed that their unborn child is usually much calmer. A study confirmed this when expecting mothers were guided through a relaxation therapy and were recorded to have less fetal movement. The exercise in a physical relaxation of the mother including a lowered breathing rate and heart rate as well as skin conductance. These physical manifestations of rest are also transmitted to the baby and resulted in less movement.
How much movement is considered normal?
The average baby will kick their mother around 15 to 20 times in day. Of course, there is a broad spectrum of babies with many different kicking habits. It is not unusual for mothers to have one child that seems to sleep all day and another pregnancy characterized by what can only be defined as in utero Taekwondo.
It is important to understand that the baby works on a sleeping and waking cycle just like an adult, although a baby may sleep as much as 17 hours a day in increments of 40 to 50 minutes at a time. If you move around a lot or have your mind focused on work or projects, it is sometimes easy to miss the sleeping cycles.
Most women will experience most of the kicking right after they have eaten as well as at the end of the day when mommy is trying to sit down and rest.
Why does my baby seem especially active at night?
According to studies by the American Pregnancy Association, many babies are just more active after dark, like baby owls. On the other hand, your baby may be plenty active during the day as well, but with all the hustle and bustle of an active schedule it is easy to overlook these small flutters. When the evening comes and you are trying to rest you will easily notice these small movements.
As mentioned earlier, the baby is capable of a wide range of movements from batting their eyelashes to stretching arms legs and back. During the day, you might only notice the strongest of movements.
Furthermore, your daily activities like walking, talking and attending to business is all fascinating to the brand-new human and they will spend a lot of time listening to and observing their mommy in action. It’s all very comforting as well and your movements will rock your baby to sleep. Then the evening comes and all the activity stops; baby begins to wonder what’s up and lets you know she’s ready to change activities.
Your dinner or night snack could be another trigger that will alert the baby and get them moving about. According to “Psychology Today”, flavors from foods can be introduced into the amniotic fluid and perceived as strong smells, so when junior gets his first sample of liver and onions, you can bet there will be a big response.
Is my baby an “Night Owl-let”?
If you think your child could be only active at night, you can test your theory by recreating similar night time routines during the day and being extra sensitive to small movements. Turn on a TV show, put your feet up, do a breathing exercise or simply lie down for a nap, (something many specialists would recommend anyway), and see if the baby reacts in anyway. If you begin to notice the same quickening you see at night, Congratulations! You have an 24/7 active baby.
If you notice no movements during the experiments, nothing to worry about. Your baby has developed their own special patterns for sleeping. It could be that your baby is simply more active at night. The good news is that you can and should make up for lost sleep with an hour-long beauty rest the following day, after all the baby will be sleeping too.
The way the baby moves about while within his or her mother is the very first communication they will have with their future family. These movements indicate a new stage in their awareness both of themselves and the most important people in their life. It is not unusual for a baby to leap for joy when hearing the familiar voice of their father, siblings or any other relative special to them.
It is essential that you take seriously and respond to your baby movements as it is their primary form of communication at this stage. If you do notice something amiss with the communications you are receiving from your unborn child, it would be best to take the matter to a medical professional who can provide recourse and address you concerns.