On a hot summer’s day, all you can think of is a long drink of ice-cold water. And then you remember that the passenger you are carrying may not really approve of it.
Feeling your baby move is one of those grand milestones that give you a thrill every time you think of it or feel it. If you log on to any forum for expecting mothers, you are likely to see entire threads dedicated to a direct correlation between drinking ice-cold water and increased movement from the baby.
In fact, some expecting mothers are reportedly given ice-cold water to drink so that movement can be detected during ultrasounds. Why the extra set of kicks? Are they excited? Are they cold? What’s the story, little one?
The scientific jury is still not out on this topic.
Because many babies do respond to cold-water consumption by the mother, doctors do use this to test the baby’s movements (1). Even for this, the expecting mother would have to lie on her left side to help the doctor gauge the baby’s movements. However, experts say that there is no scientific proof that this is really true. While the water may be ice cold when the mom-to-be consumes it, by the time it goes through the esophagus, it reaches body temperature and is hence much warmer.
Experts also say that the baby is more likely to respond to sugary food rather than just plain cold water. So doctors have also been known to offer their expecting patients with some cold juice before they observe kick counts of the baby. In the case of sugary and high carb foods, blood sugar levels of the mother rise rather rapidly, and consequently so does the baby’s, and hence doctors are able to form a positive link between sugary foods and movement on the baby’s part.
Babies start moving before the well-known 28-week mark, but the mother cannot quite detect these. It is at around week 24 that you can actually start feeling the baby move around. At around 28 weeks, as you ease into the third trimester, doctors suggest that you monitor the baby’s movements and keep a fetal kick count every day.
If you cannot feel the kicks coming, do not panic instantly. It is quite possible that your own movements have rocked the baby to sleep or that you just did not feel it in your busy movements. In such cases, it is recommended that you have something sweet and cold unless you are diabetic in which case you would skip the sweet part, and find a quiet and relaxing place to lie down. In a few minutes, you should feel a baby-to-mother contact signal happen.
Doctors caution that if your baby does not respond with a few jabs or kicks within an hour of intake of high carbohydrate foods, this could be a cause for concern and that you should contact your medical team right away. Observing kick counts is especially important in high-risk pregnancies.
Each pregnancy is unique, and babies behave differently. Some expecting mothers report that the babies are more relaxed after the mothers have eaten, but the opposite is also true for some.
Note down your baby’s patterns. Are there some foods that excite your baby in particular? However, if you constantly have to eat or drink something cold or sugary to induce movement from the baby, you need to discuss this with your obstetrician. Your doctor will most likely recommend an ultrasound evaluation to make sure that everything is fine.
If your doctor gives you the green signal, then go ahead and swig an ice-cold drink to get your baby a little excited.