Wondering what it means when you’re pregnant and your baby starts kicking? Is it a bad thing? Should you be worried? Along with things like skin changes and constipation during pregnancy, when your baby moves it’s nothing to be concerned about.

Between 16 and 24 weeks, you’ll start to feel your baby wiggle, and this will continue until you give birth. It’s an exciting milestone when you first feel this movement, and it’s a positive sign that your baby is healthy. The first few fluttery movements are known as quickening.

How often should a baby move during pregnancy?

Although research on baby movements during pregnancy is still pretty limited, ten movements over two hours is often given as a healthy average. That said, every baby is different. Getting to know the patterns of movement that your baby makes is more important than counting kicks.

You’ll notice that your baby moves at certain times of day and not at others – which is normal. Some women report that their baby kicks a lot when they sleep, and others say it’s only when they’re standing or sitting — it depends on your baby. Many pregnant women say that during the third trimester the movements become more forceful.

It’s good to sit or lie down somewhere quiet and focus on feeling the movements. More than just recording the frequency, it’s important to focus on the way the movement feels in terms of strength and sensation. This helps you get to know what’s normal for you.

Are baby movements during pregnancy always kicks?

Lots of pregnant women are surprised to find that they actually feel fluttering sensations at first, which feel a bit like butterflies in your tummy. As well as fluttering, you may also feel swishing, rolling and tumbling. When your baby gets bigger, the kicks, elbows and jabbing may get stronger.

What about if my baby stops moving?

Of course, your baby won’t be moving constantly. They’ll sleep for 20-40 minutes at a time during the day or the night. Often, when you’re active or busy, you won’t notice any movements.

If you haven’t felt any movement by the time you have reached 24 weeks, you should contact your doctor. Additionally, if the movements have decreased in frequency or strength, seek medical advice immediately. Sometimes, when your baby is unwell, they move less – so it could be a sign that something is wrong.

If you have focused on your baby’s movements during pregnancy and still feel that something isn’t right, contact your GP or midwife straight away. You’re the one who will know your baby the best — so don’t be shy about contacting a medical professional if you have concerns. Don’t wait until the next day to do something about it.

As a pregnancy naturopath and fertility expert, I can help you achieve a health pregnancy naturally and support you through childbirth and beyond.

Make an appointment with me today.

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