Moms-to-be anxiously await the first flutters from their unborn baby as a sign that all is ok. It also can give you a sense that the pregnancy is “really” happening. Usually you will feel the first kicks between weeks 18-25, if you are a first-time mom-to-be it might be closer to the 25 week mark. Women who are pregnant with their 2nd or more can sometimes identify the first movements as early as week 15.
Don’t worry if your not “sure” that you are feeling the baby move. The first movements are very light and can feel more like little butterfly movements. In fact the first kicks are often mistaken for gas bubbles. Soon you will begin to learn your baby’s movement patterns as well as their sleep patterns. Before you know it they will be moving and kick so much you will be praying the stop playing the bongos on your bladder.
Now that you recognize your baby’s movements you can use it to help you gage how your baby is doing. This is done with Kick Counting. Baby’s are usually most active after you have eaten or later in the evening. Try to use the same time of day if you are doing kick counting on a regular basis.
Start by finding a comfortable position, either sitting with a good back rest or lying down on your left side, which ever is more comfortable and relaxing for you. Place your hands on your belly if you would like and wait for the first movement. Once your baby gives you the first movement time how long it takes to feel 10 more movements. This can be kicks, flutters, swishes or rolls. Ideally, you want to feel at least 10 movements within 2 hours. You will likely feel 10 movements in much less time.
Kick counting is great way for women with high risk pregnancies to check in on the well-being of their baby, but it can also be used after you exercise. You should feel your baby move at least 10 times within 2 hours of finishing your workout. Remember when you move around it can put your baby to sleep so if you don’t feel your littleone moving very much try drinking a cold glass of water or juice to wake him/her up.
Have fun and use this time to relax and bond with your baby.