One of the things many mothers-to-be look forward to is feeling their baby move and kick inside of them. However, there are some things you should know about fetal movement that you may have never thought to ask your doctor.
If you're pregnant and have questions about your baby’s movement, Dr. Inga Zilberstein offers complete obstetrics care at her office in the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City. She has years of experience caring for expectant mothers and helps you navigate your pregnancy. Here’s what you should know about fetal movement that you may not have thought to ask.
When does fetal movement begin?
Fetal movement begins early, when your baby is still very tiny; however, you won't feel kicks right away. Movement in the first trimester is sometimes called quickening, when you feel little flutters in your abdomen.
In the early part of pregnancy, you may feel gassy or bubbly in your stomach, which may be fetal movement. However, being able to feel your baby move doesn't happen until the second trimester.
You can generally feel the first kicks and movement anywhere from 16-22 weeks. You might not feel them until about 20 weeks if you're in your first pregnancy. However, if this isn’t your first pregnancy, you may be able to feel your baby move a little earlier.
Essential facts about your baby's movement
Feeling your baby move for the first time is exciting. But beyond the excitement, there are essential facts that Dr. Zilberstein wants you to know about your unborn baby's movement.
By the 3rd trimester, your baby moves almost 30 times an hour
As your baby grows, there's less and less room in your uterus, meaning you'll feel kicks and movement more often as your pregnancy progresses. By the time you're in your third trimester, you should feel the baby moving quite a bit, up to 30 times per hour.
The most active movement is between 9pm and 1am
Babies are typically most active in the evening and at night. They're often especially active between 9pm and 1am because of the change in your blood sugar levels after dinner and before you go to bed.
You'll feel more activity after eating
You may notice more fetal movement after you've eaten a meal. Babies are sensitive to changes in your blood sugar, so when your blood sugar rises after you eat, the baby becomes more alert and more likely to move around.
You can increase your baby's movement
If you want to feel your baby move around more, you can get up and move around, rub your belly, play music, or drink a sugary beverage. Babies respond to all of these things, and you should feel more movement in no time.
Counting movements can ease anxiety
Dr. Zilberstien can advise you on how to do kick counts, which are fetal movement counts, in which you count how many times you feel the baby at a specific time. Doing the counts after you eat, for example, helps ease anxiety and worry during pregnancy.
When to seek help for your baby
It's important to understand that every baby is different, and your baby may move around anytime. You must learn your baby's specific schedule and movements so you can recognize when something isn't quite right.
If you have concerns or need clarification, call Dr. Zilberstein. A few instances where you should give the office a call right away include:
- Your baby isn't moving like normal
- It's taking longer for you to feel the baby move
- Your baby stops moving altogether
- There's any change you're concerned about
You should also attend all of your prenatal appointments to ensure you and your baby are healthy throughout your pregnancy. Don't be afraid to ask Dr. Zilberstein questions regarding fetal movement.
If you require expert obstetric or gynecological care, don't hesitate to call the office today or request an appointment using our convenient online booking tool.