Women who are preparing for the emergence of a first-born child begin to feel the baby’s movements, usually from the 20th to 22nd week, and those who are waiting for the second or third child, a little earlier – from the 18th week, because their uterus muscles are stretched more, Yes, and recognize the familiar feelings easier for them. Some expectant mothers claim that they registered the first “shocks” at 15–16 weeks.
You should not put their words in doubt: everything is very individual, and therefore it is quite likely.
What the first movements of the baby look like, there is no unanimous opinion either. To some women, they resemble a “gurgling” in the stomach, to others – light shocks, to the third – gentle stroking. Sometimes it also happens that it is quite difficult to distinguish the work of the digestive tract from the movements of the baby.
If you have strong doubts, you can consult an obstetrician-gynecologist and, if necessary, pass an additional examination. But if the child does not give obvious signals even after the 20th week, this is a reason to be wary and to make a mandatory visit to the doctor.
At the end of the 8th week of pregnancy, the baby begins to develop the nervous system, which is responsible for physical activity. At this point, the crumbs already have muscle tissue and nerve fibers, through which the nerve impulse passes, giving it a command to contract. Having at his disposal all that is needed for free movement in the intrauterine space, the child begins to perform his first exercises from the 8th to the 9th week of pregnancy.
But his movements are still poorly coordinated, and he himself is so small that a woman does not feel his rare touch on the walls of the uterus.
At 16 weeks, the baby begins to move in response to sounds, primarily to my mother’s voice, responding to changes in intonation. At 17 weeks, he already knows how to blink, at 18 — to touch the umbilical cord with his fingers, squeeze and unclench the fists, touch the face and even close it with his hands, as if defending himself from harsh, loud or unpleasant sound effects.
The longer the term, the more actively the child moves in order to master the key skills necessary for survival by the time of birth, and hone the full set of innate reflexes. So, on the 20th week, according to various sources, the baby moves about 200 times a day. Starting from the 24th week of pregnancy and up to the birth, it moves almost like all newborn babies.
The greatest activity (about 600 movements per day) is noted between the 28th and 32nd weeks: the size of the uterus and the volume of amniotic fluid still provide enough space for maneuvers. During this period, during sleep, the baby can suck on a finger and smack it sweetly, and during waking periods, it can stretch, yawn and move with its arms and legs.
After the 32nd week, the motor activity begins to gradually decrease: the child grows and becomes cramped in the uterus, so that he is unable to manufacture either somersaults or somersaults. For this reason, by the end of the third trimester, the number of perturbations may slightly decrease, but their strength and intensity will only increase.
The activity of the baby is influenced not only by the size of the uterus and its own temperament: the emotional state of the mother is also taken into account. In moments of joy, the level of endorphins rises rapidly in a woman’s body, and stress hormones are released under the influence of strong negative emotions or nervous overloads. In both cases, such sharp jumps affect the work of not only the heart, but also of the vessels, including those in the placenta.
Thanks to this tricky mechanism, the baby perfectly reads the mood of the mother.
Sometimes the crumb stirs. If mother has not eaten for a long time, the level of glucose decreases immediately in two organisms. To enhance the flow of nutrients from the umbilical cord, the baby begins to actively move, accelerating blood circulation.
Thus, he sends his mother an eloquent message: “It is time for dinner!” It is necessary to fulfill this urgent request, as the crumb calm down and become quiet.
To the active movements of the child are often encouraged and affectionate speech addressed to him, and it does not matter who speaks with him, mom or dad. Still, according to many observations, it is a great pleasure for children to stroke over the abdominal wall!
If the baby’s movements become too sharp, most likely, the mother took an uncomfortable position: for example, lay on her back or sat up, with her legs crossed. In order for the crumb to calm down, it is usually enough to turn on its side or change the position of the legs.
If this does not help and painful movements continue for several hours, you should consult a doctor.
However, with the help of pushes, the baby can tell not only that the music picked up by his father does not cause him delight, but it would be nice to repeat her mom’s tale for an encore. The nature and number of perturbations make it possible, first of all, to judge his general state of health, more precisely, whether he receives enough oxygen.
Evaluate the condition of the crumbs on these two parameters can be approximately from the 28th week. It is believed that from now on in an hour the child should remind of himself at least 10 times a day. It is only necessary to take into account that for 3-4 hours it can fall asleep, and during these periods it is not necessary to wait for a response from it.
It should be borne in mind that the intensity of movements of the baby can change during the day, and this is also the norm.
Sometimes the movements are so delicate that the woman does not feel them. If, for her own comfort, the expectant mother wants to make sure that the baby is fine, you can try to encourage him to be active.
A cup of sweet cream tea and a small cupcake, biscuits or toast with jam are usually sufficient for this. 15 minutes after the dessert is consumed, you should lie down for a couple of hours and relax in a relaxed atmosphere. If the crumb does not react to the bait, most likely he has a quiet hour.
In this case, the experiment can be repeated a little later. But if, despite all the tricks, the child does not remind himself during the day, consult a doctor to eliminate hypoxia (oxygen starvation).
A future mom should be wary when a baby moves less frequently than usual. At home, the test can be arranged in two ways. Particularly popular is the Pearson “Count to 10” test, which is carried out from the 28th week of pregnancy.
From 9 o’clock in the morning to 9 o’clock in the evening it is necessary to record the time of every tenth stirring. If there are less than 10 marks, the child may have hypoxia. According to the Sadovsky method, crumbs should be counted within one hour after eating, preferably in the prone position.
If during this time he has moved less than four times, you need to continue to sum up in the second hour. If in two hours four movements also do not reach, there is reason to suspect hypoxia.
In both cases, you must immediately consult a doctor.
Dispel doubts will help cardiotocography. This study is done after 34 weeks of gestation. A woman sits down or lies on her back, and two sensors are attached to her stomach.
One shows the tone of the uterus, the other – the child’s heart rate. The study lasts from 20 to 60 minutes, during which the expectant mother should mark each stir of the crumbs by pressing a special button. Normally, at rest, the karapuz has a heart rate of 120–160 beats per minute, and during movement it increases to 170–190.
Deviations from these indicators indicate hypoxia. Doppler metrometry will then be necessary – an additional ultrasound study, which will allow to evaluate the nature and speed of blood flow in the arteries of the uterus and umbilical cord and in the middle cerebral artery of a child.
The procedure is painless and safe for both women and children, and can be performed an unlimited number of times.
If hypoxia is confirmed, the doctor prescribes a special course of treatment, the purpose of which is to improve the intercellular exchange in the placenta and strengthen the blood microcirculation. Since there are many reasons that lead to a lack of oxygen, the tactics are chosen individually. So, in order to regulate the blood supply of the uterus and reduce its contractility, sometimes bed rest and taking special medications are required.
In some cases, it is necessary to take measures to reduce blood viscosity and increase cell permeability to oxygen. Vitamin E, ascorbic and glutamic acids, glucose solutions also have a good effect.
If, after the measures taken, the character of the movements does not change, intensive treatment will be required in the hospital. In this case, the doctor prescribes drugs that improve uteroplacental blood flow.
Therapy is carried out under the daily control of CTG.