There are few things as miraculous as feeling your baby kick inside of you. Knowing that their whole being is wrapped up in yours, that they are actually really there — well, it's mind-blowing to say the least. Moms may get impatient to start feeling those first kicks though, and then you begin to fear something is wrong if you don't feel them for awhile. In fact, counting kicks can be an important tool to gauge the health of your baby in the third trimester. So what can you do to get your baby to kick? There are some tricks you should know.
Most women begin to feel fetal kicks between 18 to 25 weeks, with first-time moms usually taking a bit longer and veteran moms recognizing the feeling earlier, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA). After you hit 28 weeks, most health care providers will encourage you to keep track of the number of kicks by keeping a log every day. The APA has noted, "Being attentive to your baby’s movements will help you notice any significant changes. Setting aside time every day when you know your baby is active to count kicks, swishes, rolls, and jabs may help identify potential problems and can help prevent stillbirth."
If you're concerned about your baby's lack of movement, California-based doula Monique Cowan says you can take matters into your own hands. In an interview with Romper, Cowan says, "You can absolutely get your baby to kick in the womb. Giving little one a gentle nudge with your hand to wake him up can coax a few kicks out of him. Drinking cold and sweet fluids or eating a snack can coerce baby to move, as the change to your blood sugar can give baby a boost of energy. And also, sitting still can cause baby to get moving and kicking because the movement of your body is actually causing a soothing rocking motion for baby in the womb."
My own curiosity was piqued, so I asked around among my mom friends to see what had worked for them. Many of them swore that somewhat counterintuitively, laying down always did the trick, and one said she'd been known to put a light up to her belly or rub ice on it. Another hilariously said she would down a Krispy Kreme donut and chase it with a Mountain Dew. In my own experience, my pre-borns always seem to wriggle and squirm when I curl up, bend over, or otherwise take away their lounging space.
Clearly there is a list a mile long of effective tricks to get baby to wake up and smell the coffee. And speaking of coffee, a little doctor-approved serving size has been known to perk an in-utero babe up, too. Hey, any excuse for a little coffee is alright with me.