Once a couple gets a positive pregnancy test result, they are bound to be on cloud nine! However, this happiness also comes with loads of anxiousness. Because from now on, a soon-to-be mother needs to be extra careful about her baby’s safety in the womb. While the doctor is always there to help, an expectant mother can also look out for certain signals in order to avoid any unforeseen complications. And one such signal that lets her know about her baby’s condition inside is the baby’s kicks. So, here are some healthy and danger signals that your baby’s kicks can tell you:
Generally, by week 16, you might feel a slight, butterfly-like flutter in your tummy. This might be gas, but maybe your baby too. However, as you approach week 20 of your gestation period, you’ll start feeling the baby kicking your stomach more clearly. These first kicks are known as Quickening (1).
2. Fetal Hiccups
A few weeks after you’ve felt the first flutter, the baby kicks will change to weird movements. We say weird because you may not be able to relate it to anything else that you’ve felt before. And then, there’ll be rhythmic movements in your belly which you’ll feel occurring in a span of a few seconds. These are what is known as fetal hiccups and is quite normal and healthy (2).
3. Unscheduled Baby Kicks
With fetal progression, you’ll soon figure that your baby is more active at a particular period of time during the day or at night. However, do not panic if your baby is not active on that exact period of time on a particular day and is active instead during a different time or hour. As long as your baby shows movements, it doesn’t matter which part of the day or night it is (3).
4. At Least 10 Kicks In 2 Hours
Sometimes doctors recommend counting the number of times the baby kicks to know if there is any fetal distress or not. But then, there is no specific number of counts that are considered normal. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does suggest observing the time taken by the baby to make 10 movements. And, ideally, it should be 10 kicks in 2 hours (4)!
5. Kicks That Hurt
By the 28th week of your gestation, your baby should be moving regularly. The movements might feel like a kick, swish, roll, or even a jab. However, once in a while, if you feel a real hard kick that seems to hurt, do not panic. Even this is normal, so bear with it (5)!
6. Response To Stimulus
Another sign to look out for is your baby’s response to an external stimulus. If your baby seems to move soon after a meal; responds to you or your husband’s voice, or moves when you put a torchlight on the belly, then consider all is well (6).
7. Slow But Consistent Movement At 36 Weeks
It is often said that your baby’s movements will slow down a bit during your 36th week. However, it does not mean a drastic fall. As your baby grows, the space inside the womb becomes less due to which the movements might not seem active. However, your baby should continue to show consistent movements during this phase (7).
8. Decreased Number Of Kicks
By week 28, your baby’s movements should be significantly established. If you notice that the number of kicks and movements have reduced drastically, then visit your doctor immediately. Your doctor will perform Prenatal tests to check if everything is alright with your baby (8).
9. Sudden Surge In Weak Kicks
Sometimes, there might be a sudden surge of kicks by the baby. Usually, these kicks are weak and can be a sign of acute fetal distress. You should visit your doctor immediately if you feel any such abnormal activity (9).
10. No Daily Kicks At All
By week 24, soon after quickening, your baby should show some amount of daily movement. However, if your baby is not showing any movement every day after week 24, you should see your doctor immediately. Do not wait for 24 hours to pass (10).
We hope that these signs and signals about your baby’s kicks have given you an insight into what to look out for. Your baby is important to you and so is his/her safety. So, do not lose any time if you have even the slightest bit of doubt about your baby’s movements. Have a safe pregnancy. Good luck!