As you baby slowly starts moving, it is blissful to just lie down and fell those tiny sensations inside your body. These subtle kicks also known as “quickening” are the sign of your baby’s very first movements.
While ultrasounds can detect these movements at seven to eight weeks itself, the fetal movements strong enough for you to feel them usually start in the second semester of your pregnancy.
Most women feel the baby kicking at around 18 to 20 weeks, while others may not observe it till they have completed 25 weeks. As your baby starts growing, these movements become increasingly rapid and its regularity increases.
By 28 weeks, the doctor will advise you to start kick counting. This is essential for ensuring the well being of the fetus and recognizing potential pregnancy problems. While there are several methods to track the fetal movements, the best way of kick counting to check the time it takes for your baby to complete ten movements.
Some doctors may recommend counting these fetal kicks after breakfast and dinner for around thirty minutes to chart out the baby’s daily kick pattern which includes jabs, rolls, kicks and turns.
These are usually considered to be the waking time of your baby or rather the time when it is the most active. The time and the sleep cycles may differ in babies. Most babies complete these movements between fifteen minutes to two hours.
Decrease in the fetal movements is usually a sign of certain problem especially if it is a high risk pregnancy. You need to immediately see a doctor if there is a sudden fall in the fetal activity.
It may be a result of fetal distress, inadequate oxygen in the placenta or a sign of unavailability of enough nutrients. In the worst case, a sudden decrease can be attributed to an increased risk of stillbirth. The doctor may recommend a non stress test when a patient voices her concern. This biophysical profile can reassure you of your baby’s well being.
There are certain steps that can help you feel the fetal movements. If you fail to elicit any response from your baby then it is best to have a snack and lie down on your side. Concentrate on the baby’s movement. You can also have a cold glass of water or play loud music to see if the baby responds.