It's something you probably heard about even before you got pregnant. Drinking and eating certain foods, particularly orange juice, can make a baby start moving like nothing else. But what is it about orange juice that makes your baby move? Does it have something to do with the acidity of the juice, or is your baby just thrilled about getting an extra dose of vitamin C?
For the most part, it looks like your baby goes on a little sugar rush when you take a few sips of the delicious citrus drink. The sugar in orange juice helps your baby wiggle around, which is especially great when you're getting an ultrasound or just want to feel fetal movement, as noted by Belly Image, a 3D ultrasound service. That's why a technician may give you a bit of juice if they want to see the baby do more during your exam. Even teeny tiny people still in utero can get a little wired from a sugar rush.
Oh, and if this comes as news to people (like me) who thought orange juice was healthy AF, it's a good reminder. A cup of orange juice contains 21 grams of sugar, which is quite a lot. This isn't meant to sugar-shame anybody, and it's a far cry from the sugar content in many soft drinks (which contain 39 grams of sugar), but it's worth remembering that guzzling orange juice is not like guzzling water, and that the quantity of sugar is what makes your baby dance around.
Furthermore, it does not appear that the citric acid in moderate amounts of orange juice generally have an effect on developing fetuses. (If you have any concerns about the way acidic foods may affect your baby, though, don't hesitate to reach out to your doctor for advice.) That said, acidic foods may not be your best friend at the moment. Consuming citrus juices may aggravate acid reflux, according to Healthline.
This probably does not come as news to you, but acid reflux can become a giant pain when you're expecting. This is because hormonal changes during pregnancy can slow the digestion process, and the growing uterus can push against the stomach, making the unpleasant possibility of acid reflux more likely during pregnancy, as noted in WebMD. If you're prone to issues with acid reflux, then orange juice may not be your drink of choice at the moment.
Good news for expecting mamas: There are many foods that will get your baby to squirm around, and you're likely going to find a healthy option that you actually enjoy snacking on. As suggested by What to Expect, cheese and crackers, fruits and nuts, or even peanut butter on toast can all make your baby move around more.
Pay attention to those kick counts throughout the day, and you just might figure out your baby's favorite snack through movement alone, and you'll have fun seeing if they respond in the same delighted way to those particular choices when they're old enough to eat solids. (Hey, most anyone would do a little dance the first time they taste lasagne or tacos, right?)
Food and drink aren't the only ways to get your baby moving, however. Some moms report that their babies move around when exposed to gentle music, or even the stimulation of a flashlight shined at the belly, according to What to Expect. You may notice your baby gets more active when you get a little exercise, or possibly when you try to lay still for a moment. Whatever the case, enjoy the unique bond that comes from feeling your baby move, because it's one of the most fascinating and personal parts of pregnancy that only you and your baby get to enjoy together.
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