When does fetal movement begin? And what does this indicate?

When does fetal movement begin? And what does this indicate?

fetal movement inside the uterus

The movement of the fetus felt by a pregnant woman is a sign of the development of the fetus, and the frequency and pattern of movements varies from child to child, therefore it is important not to make comparisons.

The mother feels the movements of the fetus in several forms, for example, waving or fluttering, rolling, jerking or a simple push, or as a feeling similar to contractions in the stomach when feeling hungry and others.

When does a pregnant woman start to feel fetal movements?

The fetus begins to move in the seventh or eighth week, but most women feel the first kick of the fetus in the period between two weeks 16 to 22 Especially if it is a first pregnancy, and when the movements first begin, it is often difficult to distinguish them from contractions and gas.

Even pregnant women who have been pregnant have a higher chance of feeling their first movements as early as the fourth month of pregnancy. As for external observation of these movements by another person, this may last until the end of the second trimester of pregnancy or even the third trimester.

The feeling of the baby’s movement pattern continues throughout the pregnancy, but what is important is that it will continue to be felt until the end of the pregnancy and the time of birth.

In general, the following can be noted:

time period Fetal behavior
16 – 19 weeks A woman may feel flutters of butterflies or palpitations.
– If this is not her first pregnancy, the woman understands the movements of the fetus much earlier.
20 – 23 weeks The fetus starts hitting and kicking gently, and the strength and frequency of these movements gradually increase.
The pregnant woman may notice increased movements at the end of the day when she lies down or after eating.
24 – 28 weeks The increased amount of amniotic fluid gives the baby more room to move freely, so it may move in random or acrobatic ways.
The movements of the limbs may seem awkward, while the movement of the whole body is smoother.
The mother may feel the movements in the case of a sudden noise or if the passion suffers from hiccups.
From 29 – 31 weeks The fetus shows smaller but more specific movements such as strong punches and kicks, and the location of the sensation in them changes depending on the position of the child, it may be under the ribs, in the middle of the abdomen or on its side or in the pelvis.
The pregnant woman may feel a tremor if the baby squeezes his hand, elbow or shoulder.
32 – 35 weeks During this period the sensation of movement changes as the child grows due to lack of space in the uterus, the movements may be slower, but they last for a longer period, as the movement can be felt as lumps and rotations.
36-40 weeks – As the date of birth approaches, the size of the fetus increases and the area of ​​movement decreases, so the movements of the child seem slower, but they remain strong.
The head turns towards the pelvis in preparation for birth. So you can feel every turn of the head at the bottom or feel the kicks under the ribs.
Traffic schedule by week

When will the fetal movements be detected?

A pregnant woman perceives the movements of the fetus at certain times more than others, for example:

  • Fetal movements are more likely to be noticed when a pregnant woman is lying still at night than during the day, as the mother’s body movements dominate as well as her focus on other things.
  • After a snack, high blood sugar gives the fetus a boost of energy.
  • In stressful situations, adrenaline can affect the fetus.
  • When the fetus has hiccups, the pregnant woman feels a small flutter of weak tics that range from a minute to an hour.

natural changes

It is important to avoid getting used to one movement pattern as soon as you feel the baby’s movements for the first time. The frequency of fetal movement continues to change throughout pregnancy.

Increased movement of the fetus

  • Sufficient room in the uterus during the second trimester and at the beginning of the third trimester gives room for additional movement. This feeling is normal, as this is the way of the fetus to train its muscles as well as the growing bones.
  • Mothers may notice that the fetus is more active after eating a meal or dessert or drinking something very cold, or after exercising.
  • Fetal movement increases in case of hunger.
  • Sometimes pregnant women feel increased movements for a short period, accompanied by period pains, for 15-30 seconds without increasing their frequency or intensity. Which indicates a condition of false labor or the so-called Braxton Hicks contractions.

Lack of fetal movement

  • The position of the placenta can affect the feeling of fetal movements, if it is placed in front of the uterus, this may be delayed, as well as if the back of the fetus is located in the front of the uterus.
  • Engaging in sexual intercourse affects the movement of the fetus, as the constant contractions of the uterus following an orgasm can cause the child to sleep, and with some fetuses the opposite happens and its activity increases.
  • With the onset of movement in the second trimester, the fetus is too young for its movements to be consistent and regular, within minutes many random movements may appear and diminish the next day. Also, its size sometimes makes it difficult to feel all the movements, and sometimes its peak activity at night may coincide with the mother’s sleep.
  • The narrowing of the space in the uterus as the fetus grows keeps a narrow range of motion with different patterns than the above, from fluttering to fists, you may notice what looks like wrapping, stretching and twisting.
  • In the third trimester, the intensity of the movements and their frequency may also decrease as the baby develops a sleep-wake pattern. The absence of movements may indicate deep sleep, which may not correspond to the mother’s sleep times. The fetus may sleep for 20-40 minutes (sometimes up to 90 minutes).

What is the normal range of fetal movements?

There is no specific number of normal fetal movements, but usually after the period between 18 and 24 weeks, the movement increases.

In the period between 24-28 weeks the movements become more stable and the pregnant woman gets used to the normal pattern of the fetus, but after the 28th week the feeling of movements is constant.

You should contact your doctor if you have reached the 24th week without feeling any movement of the fetus, or if the rate of movement decreases.

In this case, the doctor can conduct a stress test to assess the fetal heartbeat, and if the test is not reactive, this may indicate that the fetus is asleep.

Therefore, this test may last for a longer period of time, and in case the result does not change, additional tests are performed such as an ultrasound test to assess the fetal breathing, movement in addition to the fetal pulse and amniotic fluid volume. liquid.

Other important measurements may include the size of the uterus, blood pressure and urinalysis, especially at 24-28 weeks.

Early detection of a defect

In some cases, there may be a possibility of a problem in pregnancy and for early detection of this deficiency, the doctor asks to calculate the number of kicks or movements of the fetus starting from the 28th week of pregnancy until its end, that is. Done using:

  • Allocate a quiet and stable time each day to count the movements, and you can choose any time when the child is usually most active.
  • The pregnant woman takes a position that suits her, it may be comfortable to sit with her stomach raised with her hands, or to lie on her left side.
  • Calculating the time it takes for ten fetal movements, they should usually take an hour or less to be normal.
  • The count may sometimes take longer, so it is recommended that she eat a snack or fruit juice and then lie down and resume the count.
  • If it takes more than two hours to reach ten movements, it may be necessary to evaluate a doctor, and it should be taken into account that the closer the due date is, the more important the number of regular kicks.

During the second trimester, it is normal for hours to two days to pass without the hair moving due to a particular position or small size of the fetus or the pregnant woman sleeping at night when the movements are active. But during the ninth month, movements should be regular and notice a decrease in their number during the day.

Reasons for low fetal movement

There can be several pathological reasons for low fetal movement:

  • Amniotic fluid is low, usually at the end of the third trimester of pregnancy, and the condition may pass without feeling any symptoms.
  • Increased amniotic fluid, which inhibits the feeling of fetal movements, and may cause discomfort in the chest and abdomen due to the large size of the uterus.
  • Fetal distress due to lack of oxygen supply before or during birth.
  • show one 2020 academic year. The results of low fetal movement were related to the small size of the fetus relative to the gestational age andFurther research in 2017. It has been shown that a decrease in fetal activity may be associated with an increased risk of stillbirth.

As for the increase in fetal movement, it is found Academic year 2019. This may be related to the increase in fetal size relative to gestational age.

medical advice

If the pregnant woman feels that the fetus is not moving as expected, she can try to induce movement by:

  • Eat a healthy snack like cheese, crackers, fruit or drink juice as the child reacts to high blood sugar.
  • gently poke or press the stomach.
  • Walk or do light exercise.
  • Talk to the baby or listen to music. The fetus’s hearing begins to develop around week 16, and by week 22 it is expected to hear and respond to external sounds.
  • Pointing a flashlight at the belly, where until week 22 the fetus perceives light and darkness and interacts with it.

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