The most fun part of pregnancy is feeling all those miniature kicks, signs of the tiny life that exists inside. During the third trimester doctors recommend tracking fetal movements to make sure baby is healthy; and as Arlene Eisenberg writes in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” “Anxiety over when the first movement will be felt is often replaced by anxiety that fetal movements don’t seem frequent enough, or that they haven’t been noticed for a while.” There are some ways to get baby’s attention, but if fetal movement isn’t felt enough, call the doctor.
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The gentle rocking of mom’s everyday movement most often lulls the baby to sleep, hence baby sleeps all day and wakes up when things get calm at night. To alert baby, simply lie down for an hour or two and chances are she’ll wake up and move around. While you are reclining, change your position occasionally, between lying on your back to lying on your side, for example.
Have a Drink
Drink a glass of milk or orange juice. The cold, refreshing boost to mom’s digestive system will many times wake baby up and he’ll make all kinds of movements in response to the glucose. Drink natural sugars as opposed to high fructose corn syrup and caffeine.
Have a Snack
The same idea applies to drinking and eating a snack; baby likes the change from mom’s sedentary digestive track to the sounds of digestion and the nutrients coming from mom's system into baby’s. Many moms claim a sweet snack will do the trick; getting baby to move is a nice excuse to eat a scoop of ice cream or a handful of chocolate covered almonds.
Listen to Music
Listen to music to arouse baby’s senses. Babies are lulled to sleep by their mom’s voices and heartbeats, but louder noises like music or big sister’s tap dancing class are sure to catch baby’s attention. Some moms even try to influence baby’s musical taste from the womb.
Fetal movement is important, but remember that “every baby has her own pattern of activity and there’s no correct one” according to Baby Center. Eisenberg notes that before the 20th week, many women do not notice movement for three or four days at a time. After that time, if movement isn’t felt within 24 hours you should try these tricks to grab baby’s attention and if nothing works, call the doctor; it’s best to be safe.
- "What to Expect When You're Expecting"; Arlene Eisenberg; Workman Publishing; 2002
- Baby Center: Your Pregnancy 33 Weeks