What Baby Movements in Pregnancy Mean

What Baby Movements in Pregnancy Mean

For first-time parents, that first baby movement is one of the most significant events during pregnancy. To feel your baby kick is the culmination of all the confirmations your doctor has given you. It is a Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram-worthy moment. Did I miss anything? Ah, Vine. Go ahead and document it. You’ll be thankful you did in a few years. But there are a lot of different movements in pregnancy, and many new moms wonder what each one means. Here are a few helpful explanations.

The baby’s first movement that can be felt by the mother is called “quickening”.  For first-time moms, quickening usually occurs around 18-20 weeks of pregnancy. Women who have given birth more than once feel that first movement at an earlier time – around 15-17 weeks. A lot more kicks, flutters, or wavy sensations – as others describe it – will occur. In fact, babies can move 10-12 times per hour! More on this later.

What do they mean? It tells the mother how healthy her baby is. A baby’s movement is one of the bases when assessing fetal well-being. Most moms are very anxious regarding fetal movements because they know that it is associated with the health of their baby. “It’s not moving enough”, “It’s moving too much”, and “Does it have to move that much when I’m full?” are some of the concerns about baby movements. This worry is understandable. A jitter that pertains to the life of each baby is very much acceptable.

How many times should it really move? A healthy fetus moves at least 10 times a day. This varies, though. Don’t immediately panic if yours does not make that mark. Some babies move less even though they are healthy. In contrast, a fetus that does not receive enough nutrients moves far less than 10 times per day. The peak of movement occurs during the 28th to 38th week of pregnancy.

Since inconsistencies in baby movements occur, techniques in assessing baby movements have been developed by different health care institutions. One is the Sandovsky Method. In this particular practice, the mother will be asked to lie in a left recumbent position (to avoid compressing the vena cava) after eating, and then record the number of fetal movements she feels for an hour. In this particular position, the baby normally moves around twice every ten minutes, or around 10-12 times per hour. If the movement felt by the mother is less than 10, she will be asked to do the test again. Ten movements per hour is the normal number.

The other method is called Cardiff, also known as “Count-to-Ten”. The mother will be asked to record how long it takes for her to feel 10 baby movements. It usually occurs within 1 hour, if it doesn’t, the mother will be asked by her health care provider to repeat the method. It is important to reiterate that baby movements vary. Some factors that may affect the test are the baby’s sleep cycle (he’s probably asleep during the time of the test) and the mother’s activity prior to and during the exam. Sometimes, the mother is too anxious during the exam. This can botch the result of the test as well. You have to take note of all before reporting back to your doctor.

Baby movement is indeed a great indicator for your baby’s health. However, before you make any conclusions about the number of your baby’s movements being less than normal, please do visit your doctor first. Never base your baby movements to that of your friend’s. Remember that fetal movements are not constant.

Keeping your baby healthy during pregnancy is a mother’s number one concern. A mother’s diet can also affect that, click here to find out more.


I may sound like a crazy women but I am always feeling little flutters, or movement in my stomach. My daughter is 19 months now & I am positive I am not pregnant again…

Has anyone ever felt kind of like movement, I don’t know how else to describe it, where their uterus is? Kind of like when you were pregnant? I’m 2.5 months pp and kind of freaking out that I’m pregnant again!

36 weeks pregnant and not feeling as much movement…when should I worry?

Hey moms! Second time pregnancies, when did you guys start to feel movement?

When did you start feeling movement while pregnant? I can’t quite remember when I felt it with my first pregnancy.

Is it normal for your baby’s movement to slow down when 32 weeks pregnant?

I’m 10 weeks (4th pregnancy) but why do I keep feeling little flutters (which feel like how kicks feel) in my stomach? This cannot be movement this soon can it? I don’t think it’s gas either anyone ever experience this?

My baby has always been very active since 17 weeks pregnant and the past two days I feel his movements have slowed and when he does move it’s barely anything…

So I know you are supposed to get 10 kicks in an hour and babies move less late in pregnancy but I just strongly feel my lil one barely moves. I will get some light movement occasionally but he is very quite lately. He has been an active baby since 17weeks. Should I be worried or am I over thinking things?

I’m 34 weeks pregnant and I feel a constant movement (kind of like hiccups) in my lower mid stomach (where babies head is) what could this be?? Is it normal?

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