Starting a new family can be a wonderful yet stressful experience. Newborns, and even older babies, can the development of the baby in the womb mysterious and taking care of them may be a little scary.
Fortunately, babies are born with the skills and desire to tell parents what they need. Starting around 25 weeks, babies make movements to expand their lungs, practicing for life outside the womb. There can be great variations among healthy babies as to how often and how hard they “kick”. You may notice that your baby prefers a particular position or has a favorite time of the day to be most active. Generally, moms find their babies are most active after eating a meal, drinking something cold, or after physical activity. More pronounced body movements also are easy to notice when you change from a sitting to a lying position. The baby’s movements will also change as he or she grows bigger and gets into position for birth.
You will feel fewer big turns and twists, but more kicks and jabs as your pregnancy progresses and your baby has less room to move. Your baby will sleep many times in the course of a day. Around 28 weeks gestation, your baby has developed a regular wake and sleep cycle. Unfortunately, it may not be the same as yours. For instance, I find my baby to be very active late at night, between midnight and 2:00 am! You’ll notice, though, your baby’s periods of sleep last longer as your pregnancy goes on. What the baby is telling you with his kicks is important!
Each baby is unique and will move in his own way. Your pregnancy check-up will help you keep an eye on your baby’s well-being, but you are the one that “knows” your baby best before he is born. Your doctor or midwife will explain to you how to count your baby’s kicks every day. Being attentive to your baby’s movements will help you notice any significant changes. Once you start feeling your baby kick every day, it is important that you notice when it kicks much less than usual. If you have any concern, call your doctor for advice.
You can practice feeling for kicks! It’s generally easier to feel the kicks when you are lying down than when you stand, walk or are busy. Some mothers have more trouble feeling their babies’ kicks than others. Start by finding a comfortable position during a time when your baby is usually most active. Some moms prefer sitting in a well-supported position with their arms holding their bellies. If you are pregnant, soon you will be spending a lot of time caring for your baby.