One of the most exciting moments during pregnancy is the baby's first movements. Suddenly everything becomes real: there is really a small person inside! And although you can get used to such magic over time and even start complaining that this person will clearly be a football player, so often he hits the ribs with his heel, but at each stage a lot of questions can arise. MedAboutMe answers everything at once, so that there is less anxiety and more joy!
When does a baby start moving during pregnancy?
In fact, the first movements that can be felt in the second trimester are not the first ones. The child begins to move as early as 7-8 weeks. By this time, he already has muscle and nerve tissues, and they are already interacting.
At a period of 10 weeks, the fetus begins to be more active and does not just move, but moves inside the uterus, bumping into its walls. However, it is still so small that it is impossible to feel these light touches.
"Fish, butterfly, bubbles": when can you feel movements during pregnancy?
On average, the first movements are felt from 16 to 22 weeks: during the first pregnancy, the norm is closer to 20-22 weeks, during the second pregnancy - at 18 weeks, or even earlier - because they are already familiar.
However, all pregnancies are different and each is unique. There is no single and correct time for the first movements. Someone may feel them even before the 16th week or a little later than the 22nd.
At first, the sensations will be very soft and a little ticklish - as if a fish or a butterfly with wings appeared inside. Many mothers describe them as "bubbles" (and sometimes they are confused with gases - and bowel movements can be mistaken for fetal movements and vice versa. In general, sometimes it is not easy to distinguish).
Much affects the period of the first movements - from the activity of the mother (it is easier to feel light touches in a relaxed state) and the child himself to the physique and location of the placenta. If the mother is full or the placenta is on the front wall, it is more difficult to feel the movements - there are no nerve endings in the "child's place".
Some psychologists even argue that the relationship between the woman herself and her mother affects the duration of the sensation of movements: if the contact was not very good, then the first movements are felt later.
Fact: the child "communicates" with his mother by movements
This cannot be called a full-fledged communication, but a child can “tap out” a reaction to vivid emotions from about 24 weeks. At first, when the sensations of the first fetal movements (18-20 weeks) only appeared, they may not appear daily. But the larger the baby, the more often and more diverse they are - and this is a marker of the normal growth and well-being of the child, the development of pregnancy.
Peak physical activity - the period from 24 to 32 weeks. The body changes position, arms and legs become so strong that their touch is already well felt. And at the same time, there is still a lot of space inside for a little swimmer.
And this physical activity has its own laws: the child reacts with movements to the sound of his mother's voice (and if he often hears his father, then to him), to his mother's excitement and anxiety, to her well-being. And also for sweets (life hack: if the baby is sleeping on an ultrasound or CTG, but you need to check him in a waking state, shake his tummy, talk to the child and eat a piece of chocolate).
How many movements should there be in the second trimester?
From 24 weeks, the norm is 10-15 movements per hour. But it is too early to count them, it is advised to do this from 28 weeks, in the third trimester.
What does it mean if there is no movement for a long time?
3-4 hours of no sensation is completely normal. The baby needs to sleep too! Although babies sleep quite chaotically - they have not yet developed circadian rhythms. At the same time, they can sleep well while the mother is actively moving (and inside the uterus she shakes them at the same time, like in a cradle), and as soon as she decides to finally lie down, a new day and vigorous activity begins in the stomach.
If at the end of the 4-hour break, movement is still not felt, try to lie for 20-30 minutes on your left side and drink sweet tea (or eat sweetness). If that doesn't work, repeat after 3 hours. If there is no reaction to the second attempt to wake up the baby, it is already necessary to consult a doctor.
For a period of 7 obstetric months, the number of movements gradually decreases: the baby is growing, and the mother is not rubber. The space is getting small. At the same time, the movements remain the same intensity and strength (and sometimes intensify, especially before childbirth).
You need to see a doctor urgently if:
There are no movements for 12 hours or longer; The child was at first especially active, and then suddenly became "quiet"; Perturbations became weak and rare. How to count movements correctly: tests and applications
Why count the number of fetal movements, when to start and how to do it?
It is usually recommended to start counting in the third trimester. The main rule: during the day you should feel ten distinct movements.
To assess the well-being of a child, there are two of the most popular tests:
We count to 10. For this, it is convenient to use a sign on which the number of distinct movements is noted for 12 hours in a row, for example, from 10 am to 10 pm. Sadowski's method is more accurate and is used to check the condition. They do it this way: in the evening after eating, you need to lie on your left side, wait for the child's activity (usually starts immediately or within 20 minutes) and count absolutely all movements, even light ones. If in an hour or earlier there were 10 perturbations, everything is fine. If less, then another hour is counted. If you don't have 10 in 2 hours, you need to undergo an examination.
Why exactly in the evening and after meals? This is the time of increased activity of the child after a day of mother's stress and when glucose enters the bloodstream.
On the software market today there are a lot of mobile applications for counting fetal movements. Scientists (Women Birth magazine) indicate that not all of them are performed efficiently and give correct results.
Nevertheless, it is more convenient to use such counters than a piece of paper. Just make sure your program follows our counting guidelines.
And how much does the baby move? By 20 weeks, the child makes about 200 movements a day, and then their number grows. The maximum occurs at 7 obstetric months: from 28 to 32 weeks of movements about six hundred! At the same time, the mother feels a very small part - after all, scientists calculate both flexion of fingers and grimaces. So, out of 600 movements at 28 weeks, only 100-160 can be felt on average. But from the third trimester, they can sometimes not only be felt by putting a hand to the stomach, but also seen through the skin (most often the feet are visible).
By eight months, the fetus has more or less stable cycles of activity and sleep. At the same time, they do not coincide with mom's: activity increases from 7 pm to 4 am, and long sleep most often begins at 4 am and ends at 9 am. The rest is pretty chaotic.
Baby's movements can be painful
This is not to say that the movements of a whole person inside, even if small and weak, bring only pleasure. Sometimes these jabs are quite painful! What to do?
If you feel uncomfortable, change your posture or activity level, for example, lie on the other side or walk. Feelings should pass. If the soreness from movements persists for hours, you need to tell the doctor. This happens, for example, due to lack of water.
Well, if all your complaints at 8-9 months are associated with kicks in the ribs, then alas - this is normal and will only go away with childbirth.
Is too much wiggling normal?
Normally, activity increases after the mother has eaten, or when a pregnant woman is excited, frightened, or stressed. At 20 weeks, your baby begins to hear and also respond to bright light - and sounds or changes in lighting can also increase the amount of movement.
When is excessive activity a sign of oxygen starvation in a child?
There is a version that too nimble children are those who suffer from hypoxia. However, this is not entirely true, because every child is different.
The fact is that with oxygen starvation, the anxiety and activity of the child increase only at the initial stage - this way his body increases blood circulation and receives more oxygen through the blood.
But if hypoxia increases, then there is no strength left for movement - they weaken or completely stop. For this reason, it is necessary to pay attention to unusual behavior: suddenly the movements became more frequent, and then the counting of movements showed less than 10 pieces per day. Or normal kicks are suddenly replaced by light touches (over 30 weeks).
Such situations require urgent examination - first by a doctor, and then, probably, an ultrasound examination with cardiotocography.