FEEL­ING KICKS

Living and Loving - - PREGNANCY & BIRTH -

Q| I’m three months preg­nant, but haven’t felt my baby kick. Is this nor­mal?

A The first ex­pe­ri­ence of a baby kick­ing in the womb is known as “quick­en­ing” and is sim­i­lar to the sen­sa­tion of pop­corn pop­ping or the gen­tle feel­ing of a but­ter­fly mov­ing its wings in your belly.

First-time moms can’t al­ways dis­tin­guish early move­ments from bowel rum­blings, and the first aware­ness of foetal move­ments will be felt at about 22 weeks. How­ever, women who have been preg­nant be­fore can feel move­ments as early as 16 weeks. It is eas­ier to feel your baby move when you are quiet or sit­ting down.

A baby’s move­ments will be more dif­fi­cult to feel if a preg­nant woman is car­ry­ing more weight or if the pla­centa is in front. As the preg­nancy pro­gresses, the baby’s kick­ing will be­come more reg­u­lar and stronger – enough for

Dad to be able to feel it, too.

Vig­or­ous kick­ing may be al­tered by pe­ri­ods of sleep for the baby. Hic­cups can be dis­tin­guished from nor­mal kick­ing. Most ba­bies are ac­tive at night when you’ll be try­ing to sleep.

Dr Ger­rit Viljoen, ob­ste­tri­cian

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