Baby Kicking Facts Pregnancy is full of wonder and if you’ve ever wondered what all those baby movements actually mean, here are 9 facts about baby kicking that you should know: #1: When Will I Feel My Baby Kick? First time mothers-to-be usually recognise their baby’s movements as late as the 24th week of pregnancy. Your baby has been moving long before that, but the sensation is unfamiliar, and you might not recognise it for what it is. A baby’s movements aren’t very strong in the earlier stages of pregnancy – some mothers think they just have wind! If the placenta is at the front(anterior) of your uterus, it may buffer the feeling of your baby’s kicks for some time. Women having their second or subsequent baby usually recognise the ‘flutters’ of their baby’s movement much earlier – even as early as 12 weeks. #2: Why Do Babies Kick? Babies tend to move mostly in response to what’s happening in their environment. Too much noise, light or even certain strong foods can stimulate your baby into kicking and moving. Babies also need to stretch and move for relaxation. If you’re moving about, it can be soothing for your baby, they will often relax and even go to sleep. Mothers-to-be who participate in relaxation exercises, such as mediation or yoga, may find their babies are quieter. This study found that pregnant women undertaking a guided imagery relaxation exercise experienced a reduction in fetal movements. The exercise resulted in physiological signs of relaxation in the mother, such as lowered heart rate, respiration rate, and skin conductance. This in turn lowered fetal heart rates and decreased movements of babies. #3: How Many Baby Kicks is Normal? The average number of kicks falls between 15-20 per day, remembering this includes all movement, not just kicking your bladder! Every baby is different, and this includes their movements. Some babies literally sleep all day and move at night when you are asleep, whereas others seem to be moving all the time. Babies rest and sleep in the womb as much as 17 hours a day, usually for periods of around 40-50 minutes at a time. If you’ve been busy and on the move, you might not notice your baby’s wakeful movements. Most pregnant women will notice a peak in activity after meal times, after being active and during the evening. #4: When Should I Count Kicks? There isn’t a ‘normal’ pattern for movements, but you have probably worked out what is normal for your baby. As your baby grows and develops, the pattern of baby kicking might also change. It’s normal to worry if you think you haven’t felt your baby move for a while. Here are signs that mean you should monitor your baby’s movements: Experiencing less than 10 movements in a two hour period Reduced or no movement in response to external stimuli like loud noise, patting or prodding your belly, or the sound of your or your partner’s voice A gradual decrease in your baby’s movements for more than two consecutive days. #5: How To Count Baby Kicks If you think your baby’s movements have reduced, make a note of any movements in the following hour. Sit down, have a snack or a cold drink, and put your feet up. The sugar in food or the coldness of the drink will usually wake your baby and you should feel at least ten movements in the next two hours. These movements include rolls, thumps, hiccups, kicks and pokes. If you notice reduced movements in a two hour period, you should contact your care provider as soon as possible. #6: Does Reduced Baby Kicking Mean Something Is Wrong?