Counting Kicks

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For many expectant mums, feeling those first baby movements can feel a little bit like the Motherland! The prize for surviving all those pesky pregnancy symptoms and looking a little peaky whilst the world is oblivious to the tiny human growing inside. Those kicks, once they start, can be a regular reassurance that you have a growing baby inside and once they really get strong, an opportunity for your partner to feel connected. That said, not all women like the sensation of feeling their baby move, so don’t stress if it is not a part of pregnancy that you relish - it's not uncommon.

Aside from being a reminder that you have a baby growing inside you, your baby’s movements are also a good indicator of their overall wellbeing. An active baby is generally a happy baby. Just like when we are unwell, we slow down. Your baby is no different. Therefore, keeping an eye on your baby’s movement is so important. As is getting checked anytime you have any worries.

When Should I Start Feeling Kicks?

Baby should start to make themselves known between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy, with some first-time mums not feeling anything until after 20 weeks. It is a myth that baby’s movements slow down in the later stages of pregnancy, so if you haven’t felt your baby move by 24-weeks, or notice a reduction in movements, contact your midwife so that you and baby can be checked over.

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What Do They Feel Like?

In the early days, feeling your baby's movements may just feel like little flutters in your tummy before your little kickboxer starts landing some serious kicks and punches and you are then left in little doubt that your baby is live and literally, kicking!

A common occurrence is baby experiencing hiccups! It is perfectly normal for babies to have hiccups as they get used to swallowing. What is important, is that baby’s movements are otherwise the same. So, hiccups with normal movements - worry not. Hiccups with a change in movements - get checked.

Once your baby starts to move, you will start to get a feel for what is normal. They will have periods of rest and activity, and by being conscious of their activity, any time you feel their normal activity changes and you are worried, please call your midwife.

A reason why getting checked out is so important, is that a reduction in movement could indicate that all is not well. If that is the case, it is far better to learn this sooner rather than later, so that you and baby can get any treatment needed. Remember, doing this could save your baby’s life.

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