Those movements that you feel inside your womb when you are pregnant are one of the most beautiful experiences you have. Kicking and swimming around, the baby moves a lot. But you will be surprised at the things your baby can do apart from simply kicking. How about your baby licking the uterine wall? There is that and more that goes on inside. Read on to find out.
Your baby’s first movements start at about the ninth gestational week. Though a mother might not begin to feel these movements yet, they can be seen in an ultrasound.
Mothers begin to feel the fetal movement between the 16th and the 20th gestational week when they can feel the baby stretch, twist and kick. Around the 25th week, your baby would be able to expand her lungs and get ready for life outside the womb.
After the 16th week, your baby can move 50 times or more every hour. By the 29th week, you may feel the baby move ten times an hour. Movements could involve extending the body, flexing, moving the head or face, moving the limbs, and trying to touch the warm surroundings. A baby may try to touch her face, feel one hand with the other, or might reach for the umbilical cord.
Other odd movements can be licking the uterine wall and trying to push her feet into the confined space.
By the 20th week of gestation, your baby might develop certain gestures that would stay on in the postnatal years.
Babies are active during the day just after the mother has had breakfast. Be ready to experience a lot of kicks then as you sit or lie down. When you move to seat yourself comfortably, the baby will try and move too.
As your baby grows bigger inside, there will be a shift in the movements. The somersaults might almost be replaced by kicks because there is little room inside for your baby to move around so much.
Sometimes you might not feel the baby move. This would be your baby’s napping time. Yours and your baby’s nap times can differ and as you advance into your pregnancy you will feel that your baby’s sleep duration lasts longer.
At around 32 weeks, your baby sleeps deeply 90-95% of the day. At times it could be REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep whereby your baby can move her eyes back and forth, and some scientists believe that fetuses can dream during this time. At other times, your baby would be in an indeterminate state of sleep due to her immature brain.
At around the 36th gestational week, babies would pass through sleep cycles alternating between deep and light sleep, which lasts about 70-90 minutes. Unlike in deep sleep, in light sleep, your baby will move around a little and even suckle her finger or thumb.
As your baby is close to being born, she sleeps about 85-90% of the times, which is the same after she is born.
Your doctor might recommend that you count the fetal movements beginning the 28th week. Now is when you can feel your baby move several times in a day. Counting your baby’s kicks, jabs, and rolls might help you identify potential problems and be instrumental in preventing stillbirth.
Some mothers might find it hard to feel the kicks. If you are overweight or if the placenta is on the front side of the womb, you may feel fewer kicks.
Most mothers find sleeping on the left side convenient as it gives maximum comfort and also makes it effective for monitoring their babies. It also helps in blood circulation, making your baby more active.
Ultrasounds have shown that fetus bounces up and down when the mother laughs.
In case of the second or the third pregnancy, your baby has more room in the womb owing to the larger size of the uterus and longer umbilical cord. These babies have more motor experience in the womb and turn out to be active infants.
Your baby begins to recognize your voice right in the womb.
So now you know how your baby moves and spends time inside the womb. They may not just be kicking but could be exploring the world inside out of curiosity.