How to Feel a Baby in the Womb

Your baby's first detectable movements may startle and amaze you. According to Kyra Karmiloff and Annette Karmiloff-Smith, authors of "Everything Your Baby Would Ask: If Only Babies Could Talk," your unborn baby has her own pattern of movements that you can learn to recognize in order to feel her more easily in your womb. Learning to feel your baby in the womb can lead to a strengthened bond between you and her and can also help foster communication as she prepares to be born.

A pregnant woman placing headphones on her belly. Credit: HalfPoint/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Press on your belly to encourage you unborn baby to respond. Apply gentle pressure on various areas of your stomach to see if your baby will press on your belly or kick, suggest Penny Simkin, Janet Whalley and Ann Keppler, authors of "Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide."

Step 2

Play music or read stories to your baby to see if he responds by moving or kicking. Expose your unborn baby to a variety of different sounds, such as the dishwasher or vacuum cleaner, to encourage him to move around so you can feel him more easily, recommend Simkin, Whalley and Keppler.

Step 3

Sit down or lie down and be still. Cease any movements and your baby is likely to wake up and begin moving around, say Karmiloff and Karmiloff-Smith. Take a rest and your unborn baby is likely to recognize your stillness as time to wake up and be active, so you can feel her movements more strongly.

Step 4

Place a book or hand on the top of your pregnant belly. Apply light pressure and your baby will likely react quite strongly since he already has only limited space in your uterus, write Karmiloff and Karmiloff-Smith. Invite friends and family members to place one of their hands on your belly and you may get a similar kicking response.

Step 5

Shine lights toward your baby to encourage movement after the 20th week when your unborn baby begins to have a sensitivity to shifts in light, explain Karmiloff and Karmiloff-Smith. Try turning off the lights or shining a low-watt flashlight on your stomach for a few seconds to stimulate movement.

Things You'll Need

  • Books

  • Music


Sing songs to your baby to encourage movement because unborn babies respond to the sound of their mother's voice. Talking to your baby may illicit a similar response. Invite your partner to enjoy the movements of your unborn baby by encouraging him to place his hand over where your baby is moving.


Do not use bright lights, loud noises or unnecessary pressure to get your baby to move. Doing so may cause injury or stress your baby.

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