Everything pregnant women need to know about their baby’s movements inside the womb

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It’s a momentous milestone in our pregnancy when we feel our baby moving for the first time!

Whether it’s small ‘butterfly’ ripples or a full on kick, there are a lot of tales out there about how often you should feel your unborn bub.

Obstetrician Dr. Joseph Sgroi has helpfully debunked these myths and pulled together some important information for mums-to-be about how often they feel their baby should be moving.


Everything mums need to know about their baby’s movements in the womb

Many pregnant mums feel confused about whether or not they should feel their baby moving or not.

Here’s what you need to know, according to Dr. Joseph, about foetal movements in the womb.

When should you start feeling your baby?

Many mums-to-be reveal they first notice a ‘butterfly’ sensation at 20 weeks, but then will begin to feel their baby more.

“Movements or “quickening” generally start 18-20 weeks and for some women may not feel movement until after 20 weeks as the placenta may lie in front of the baby, therefore making it hard to feel movements,” says Dr. Joseph.

“This is known as the anterior placenta.”

How often should pregnant women feel their bump moving?

Don’t worry too much if you don’t feel your baby moving in a constant pattern, says Dr. Joseph.

“This will differ for every baby during pregnancy and there isn’t a ‘normal’ pattern for movements,” says Dr. Joseph.

“Many women will note that their babies will begin to move in a regular pattern. The average movements per hour, however, most women won’t feel all of these movements.”

Photo of pregnant woman sleeping on the blue couch

Can you make your baby move by drinking something sweet?

Sometimes what we do or eat can cause your baby to become active.

“Some babies may be stimulated by something sweet, where others a cold or hot drink or stimulation, such as touching your stomach or resting with your feet up,” says Dr. Joseph.

“A recommendation is to lie on your left side and within two hours should be able to feel a movement and if there is a concern to seek medical advice.”

Do babies sleep in the womb?

We know babies sleep a lot when they come into the world, but they only nap for short cycles in mum’s tummy.

“Yes, babies sleep in the womb and will on average sleep for 20-40 minute cycles,” says Dr. Joseph.

If you prod your bump can it hurt them?

“No, the baby has a lot of padding with skin, the muscle of the uterus and the fluid around the baby,” says Dr. Joseph.

“However, if you’re injured in a fall, or whiplash from a car accident, for example, it’s important to seek medical advice.”

Should you speak to your GP if you feel the baby is moving less than usual?

“It’s important to listen to your intuition. If you feel that the baby is moving less or there is a change in movement it’s important to seek the advice of your GP or obstetrician,” says Dr. Joseph.

“After 32 weeks you may not feel as many movements, this is because the baby is beginning to run out of room in the womb.

“Even though during the third trimester when there is reduced space within the uterus, babies can still flip and move. It is sometimes not uncommon even at 39 weeks for the baby to flip and turn into what is known as a “breech” position.”


If bub appears to be kicking a lot, is there anything you can do to stop them?

On the other hand, if you’re baby is moving a lot Dr. Joseph says it’s a good sign.

“No, that’s a sign a baby is active. If you are concerned that a baby is unusually active or outside of their movement pattern, it’s recommended to speak to your GP or obstetrician,” he says.

Do unborn babbies like it if mum moves a lot?

Babies want you to be active, says Dr. Joseph.

“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 with your movements,” he adds.

Wow, so interesting! If you are expecting and have any concerns about your baby’s movements, it’s advised you seek medical advice.

The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothies

pregnancy smoothie

Are you currently pregnant? Then you should try our yummy Healthy Mummy Pregnancy smoothie.

The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie is designed to complement, not replace, your prenatal vitamin intake. Our nutritionists ensured that the vitamins and minerals in the smoothie are at a low level so there is no risk of doubling up on any pregnancy vitamins.

It is ideal as a high-protein, high-calcium snack in pregnancy. You can download the Pregnancy Smoothie Label here.

To purchase yours, click here.

*Please note that The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy range promotes healthy weight gain in pregnancy*

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