Feeling your baby move for the first time is an exciting experience. Most women experience this between the 16th and 24th week of their pregnancy. First movements can feel more like a flutter or a swish which you may think you imagined, but gradually the movements will become stronger and unmistakable; before long you will even see your baby moving beneath the skin of your stomach and the kicks will perhaps become a little uncomfortable by the end of your pregnancy!
All movements however are reassuring and it is important to become familiar with the regularity of movements specific to your baby so that you will notice if your baby is unusually quiet.
Baby’s do not move all the time and like you they will have more active and more restful periods. You may notice that your baby is more active at certain times of the day or when you are doing particular activities such as taking a bath. It is often when you are resting your baby may seem most active!
By the third trimester it becomes a lot more cramped for your baby inside your womb and you will expect to feel your baby move daily by this stage. It is widely advised to keep a count of your baby’s movements from week 28 through the remainder of your pregnancy.
How to count kicks:
Firstly it is not just kicks that you are counting it is movements of any kind. Pick a time twice a day once in the morning and once in the evening and start counting each movement you feel. 10 movements within the hour or less is normal, although it may take longer. It is important to note what is normal for your baby.
If you have not felt 10 movements when the hour is up take a drink of cool water or have something small to eat, lie down if you can and continue to count. If by the time the second hour is up you have still not noted 10 movements than contact your health care professional immediately for further advice.
Babies do have quieter times and an absence of 10 movements in 2 hours is not an exact indication of there being something wrong, but occasionally it can be a warning that something needs attention and rapid assessment is always important.
As your pregnancy progresses to full term it is important to keep a close awareness of your baby’s movements so that any lack of movement unusual to your baby can be assessed immediately by your practitioner.