Wondering How to Get Baby to Move? Find Out Here
Pregnancy is an extraordinary moment for parents and soon-to-be parents. I remember carrying my first baby. It was a memorable moment of my life, and I see to it that everything is planned out perfectly starting from how I should take care of myself during pregnancy to the preparation of our home for the coming of the baby.
I was so thrilled and expectant of what may happen in 9 months. I read books to equip myself with knowledge on what to expect and do. That is how I came to know that babies do move and the mother can feel it. Even my husband was so excited to feel his child before getting out.
Then, one day, I realized that my baby was not moving at all. How come I do not feel my baby kicking inside my womb just like what the books say?
I became worried since I know that the baby’s movement is a sign of health and growth. I also want to connect with my child by feeling her inside me. Without it, I thought that I might lose my baby! My doctor suggested that I should find a way how to get baby to move. I did my research, and fortunately, there are different ways we can do to get our babies kicking inside us.
What You Need to Know About Baby Movement
Reasons Why Babies Move
Babies move in response to their environment. When triggered by certain factors, you will feel that your child seems to kick you from the inside.
However, doctors say that the movements are not limited to kicks alone. There are also other movements going on such as the moving of the diaphragm, side turning, hand movement and even hiccups. Mothers would usually feel the kicks alone and may not be aware of the other changes.
Other reasons why baby kicks:
- They try to stretch their limbs. They want to relax their bodies hence they move their legs and hands.
- They kick after a meal. The activity in your stomach catches their attention, making them more active.
- They respond to noise and light. When you find yourself in a noisy place or a well-lighted area, you may experience a lot of kicking from your baby since they also experience the same as you.
- They start to become observant. Fetuses are also active during a time in a day. It usually happens when you are relaxed, quiet and doing nothing. Moving a lot can be soothing for your baby thus making them sleep more than move.
When to Expect Baby’s Movement
On the average, mothers can feel their babies moving between 16 to 20 weeks. At first, you will feel small changes coming from you baby. It will feel like little butterflies fluttering in your womb. This stage is called quickening, or the first time you will feel your baby move inside you.
There will be fewer instances of movements by your child during quickening. Sometimes, you may not feel them every day. However, quickening last for about 24 weeks and after that, the movements are more recurring and constant.
As weeks passed, you will continue to feel a gradual increase in movement such as kicking and rolling. Your baby will discover varieties of actions, and your perception on how they move depends on the location of your placenta and your overall body weight.
Women with placentas attached in front of their uterus will feel less movement from their babies since it creates padding between her and the baby. Regarding body weight, pregnant women who are overweight may have extra belly mass adding more to space in between.
The average number of movements a baby does is 15 to 20 each day. However, take note that some children may move fewer times than others, depending on the factors involved. Fetuses can rest for up to 17 hours every day for 50 minutes. Such time will reduce if triggered by factors that make them awake and alert.
The important thing to remember is that babies must have at least one active hour each day. Within an hour, they move at least six times.
What Do Babies Do
There are a variety of movements babies do when inside your womb.
- 7 to 8 weeks – He will start stirring such as making sudden but small bending at the sides.
- 9 weeks – Hiccup will be a new adventure for him. He will also begin to move his arms and legs. He will learn to swallow.
- 10 weeks – He will start to move his head. He will stretch his limbs and try to open his jaws. He will also be able to love his hands on his face.
- 12 weeks – He can express himself with a yawn.
- 14 weeks – Your baby will be able to move his eyes.
- 15 weeks – He will know how to suck his thumbs.
Other interesting things your baby does inside you:
Tasting what you eat – It is surprising to know that babies can taste the food that we also eat. For instance, they will taste the sweet flavors of pastries and even know the taste of sour fruits. Babies swallow the flavors of the food through the amniotic fluid. They are likely to take more of the fluid when they taste better.
Listening to what you say – Now is the time to watch what you speak because even if you think that you are alone, your baby is listening to what you are saying. He will pick up the rhythm of speech and is likely to hear the words done in the language of his mother. Studies show that such action enables them to learn their native tongue even before they come out into the world.
Practicing breathing movements – Your baby is smart enough to prepare himself when he comes out. You do not need to worry if he knows how to breathe since he had been practicing it while inside your womb. As you breathe, the oxygen that goes into your lungs is transferred to the umbilical cord, and your baby breathes it in. The carbon dioxide that he breathes out is released through the placenta. Then, he will continue to inhale and exhale while moving his diaphragm up and down.
Peeing – Ever wondered if your baby also takes a pee? The answer is yes. He will start to learn how to pee when you are 30 weeks pregnant. Urine will be produced at this time when more amniotic fluid is swallowed and filtered by his kidney. It will then release back to the uterus.
Dreaming – Your baby is also having dreams. And you can feel it with the same rapid eye movement as we do. Babies go through REM beginning at 23 weeks, and they are under a deeper level of sleep.
Doing faces – Who would have thought that babies will have a busy time even when they are still inside the womb? They will entertain themselves by learning how to smile. They will blink their eyelids and even roll their eyes.
Do acrobatic movements – Can you imagine your baby doing summersaults? Yes, they do. While babies move as early as seven weeks, we can feel their movements a few weeks later. Mothers who are expecting their second, third or fourth child will be more vigilant of the actions earlier than 16 weeks.
How to Get Your Baby To Move
During your pregnancy, there may be times when you feel like your child is not moving at all. It may not be an immediate reason to panic but no movement for an extended period can be a sign of distress.
One way to make sure that no wrong falls on your baby is to get him to move. Once you felt that your baby is moving, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Babies move less or not at all if they are in their sleep cycle. When you are under stress or feeling dehydrated, he will also react by moving less.
So, what do you need to do to make your baby move?
Eat – Each time you have your meal, he knows it and enjoys it as much as you do. Pack on some sweet fruits, so your baby will swallow more food and become active. Try to choose healthier choices such as fresh fruit juices, yogurt, cheese, and crackers.
Rest – You can lie down on your bed or sit quietly on a chair. Moving around will create a rocking sensation that will soothe your baby and make him fall asleep. It may sound like an opposite situation, but your baby becomes more active the moment you stay inactive.
Turn on some music – Remember that your baby loves to listen, and music is one of the things that struck them. By 22 weeks, he will develop his fetal hearing, which enables him to hear from his surroundings. You can play songs from your sound system or sing to him a lullaby. Just make sure that the music is not too loud that can affect his hearing.
Talk to him – Your baby will listen to your voice especially when he is already familiar with it. He would love to hear sweet words from you such as “I love you” and “I can’t wait to see you.”
Drink something cold – It will make your baby move away from it due to the change in temperature.
Play with your positions – It will encourage your child to play along and shift as well. When lying down, you can change to a different angle when your baby is not moving. He will likely follow if he is a follower.
Poke your stomach – A gentle nudge would be like you are touching your baby to move. You can use a palm of your hand or two of your fingertips. However, this trick must not often be done since you need to make sure your baby is safe and not hurt inside.
Do some light and safe exercise – There are light exercises that are appropriate for pregnant women. Most of these exercises keep the body healthy and ready for labor. Some will also help in turning the baby especially when they are breech.
What I Do
I tried most of the ways on how to get my baby to move. All are effective, but I usually follow an exercise routine to keep my pregnant body in a healthy state. Each time I do my exercises, I can feel my baby kicking as if she is doing the routine too.
Sample Exercise for Pregnant Women
While this works for me, you should consult with your doctor first if your situation is suitable for this kind of activity. Not all pregnancies are the same. Some may be more vulnerable than others so best consult everything first to make sure.
Step 1 – Look for a comfortable place to lie down
Make sure that the floor is even and smooth, so there will be no uncomfortable areas on your back. You can add a soft blanket or a yoga mat for support and added comfort. If you do not have a smooth and even floor, you can use a wide board to lie down. Get a broad wooden plank or perhaps your ironing board and set it up on your floor. Spread your blanket.
Step 2 – Lie on the floor and elevate your feet
You can move a chair or a sofa for your feet to rest while elevated. Your hips must be raised between 9 to 12 inches above your head. When lying down, make sure your head is at a comfortable position and not hurting from the floor. If it is difficult, add a thin pillow under your head. Alternatively, you can use pillows as support on your feet.
Stack a few pillows to the desired height that is relaxing to your body. Make sure that the pads would not move when you are resting your feet on them.
Step 3 – Lift your bum to a 45-degree angle
Gently pull your bum up and add pillows beneath it to support your body in that position. Try to hold your position while remaining calm and in a relaxed mode. If you feel any discomfort, you can change your location and start all over again.
The key is to maintain a steady position without putting any pressure on your body especially on your womb. During the 15-minute exercise, take a deep breath. You can stop in as early as ten minutes if there is difficulty on your part.
Step 4 – Do the exercise 3 times a day
Schedule a time each day when you can do the exercise without any pressure on your part. It helps if you are not doing anything such as household chores or work-related responsibilities. If you already know when your baby is more active during the day, you can also do your exercise at those times. For a more calming feel, turn on some music. You can also apply a hot or cold compress on your body.
When to See Your Doctor
Know the signs when to consult your doctor related to your baby’s movement. These signs will tell you that something may be wrong inside your womb so better have it checked before it can get worst.
- There is no responsive movement whenever there is a stimulus such as a noisy environment, well-lighted place or when you are eating.
- There is a consistent decrease in the number of kicks every day.
- There is no movement from your baby for the entire day.
- There are 10 or more separated movements when you lie on your side for 2 hours.
Savor Every Moment
It is a special feeling to hear your baby kicking inside of you. The first time you feel the movement, jot it down in your journal and record any notable signs or instances. It will help you remember it even after several years.
Bear in mind that kicking is also an indication of health. You can be assured that your baby is alive and well when you feel him every time. Be more mindful of his kicks each day. Record each movement, so you will know when he had his last and how often or scarce his movements are.
I still had my mini notebook containing the kick counts of my first baby, and it helped me when I feel that he is not moving at all. My doctor found it very useful also when I had my consultation.
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