One of the most memorable events during this entire journey – the first flutters of baby movements in your tummy! A moment when you will feel closer to the baby and a reassurance that everything is normal with the little one. You will have umpteen number of questions regarding these movements. When will you first feel the flutters? What is the baby doing inside the womb? Should I count the kicks? How many kicks can I feel in a day? When should I be worried about the movements? Read on to know more about these happy ‘kicks’…
The first movements of the fetus, called as ‘quickening’, will be felt somewhere in between 16th and 25th week of pregnancy. For the first pregnancy, this may be closer to 25th week, but for second pregnancy you may feel the kicks as early as the 13th week.
You may feel the movements more when you are in a lying position or while relaxing. The first movement may be like a slight twitch in your tummy or a tumbling feeling inside your womb. It is common for many to get confused with hunger pangs or movements of gas in the gut. The first time it may be more like the flutter of a butterfly, but with passing time it becomes more and more distinct.
How many times will the baby move in a day?
Early in pregnancy, these movements are felt once in a while as flutters. By the end of the second trimester, the kicks are distinct and more frequent. By third trimester the baby may move for about 30 times in an hour. The movements may be more frequent during certain times of the day. And they usually alternate between periods of alertness and sleep. Kicks may also be felt as a response to sudden sound or a touch.
There is no set number of kicks to be felt in a day or a trimester. You may soon realize the pattern/rhythm of sleep and alertness of your baby. This is different for different babies and hence each mother-to-be’s experience varies. Just be aware of the movements and YOU will be able to know what is normal for your little one.
Should I track/count the number of movements?
Keeping a track of the movements (generally after 28th week when the movement is distinct) may help some to be reassured. It is not a rule to count the kicks in a day unless your doctor recommends you to do so. By the third trimester counting the number of kicks for some time in a day may be helpful.
When should I be worried if I do not feel the movements?
It is easy to miss the movements if you are not focused on your baby’s pattern of sleep and alertness. If you feel that you have not felt the movement for some time, encourage your baby to move by:
- Relaxing and having a healthy snack – stopping the movements and eating may wake the baby up from sleep.
- Having a cold drink – a sudden change in temperature may encourage your baby to move away from it.
- Making a loud noise – loud music or sudden noise also cause your baby to move.
You should inform your doctor if:
You do not feel 10 or more movements when you are lying on your side for a couple of hours
- There is a sudden decrease in baby’s movements
- There is a gradual decrease in kicks over a period of several days
- The baby does not respond to sudden noise of loud music
If ever in doubt do not hesitate to talk to your doctor. This will help to rule out any risks and if all is well nothing better than that!