Increased Baby Movement Before Labor: Is My Baby Kicking Too Much?

Increased Baby Movement Before Labor

Is there such a thing as an increased baby movement before labor? Apparently, there is.

But before we delve deeper into the issue, cast your mind back to when you first felt your baby moving. It was such an exciting moment for you, wasn’t it? Then those flutters turned into hard kicks to your bladder, and what you once looked forward to is making you pee in your dress at the convenience store. 

Still, the kicks remind you that your bulging belly isn’t just due to those tacos you ate at lunch, but because there’s indeed a baby inside you. And that’s awesome (except for when he’s practicing his kicking technique at 4 in the morning).

Baby Movement During Pregnancy

Most pregnant women feel more settled when there are regular baby movements. A movement of the baby (roll, kick, or flutter) is often first felt 18-20 weeks into pregnancy.

The number of movements steadily increases until around 32 weeks into pregnancy and then stays more or less frequent until childbirth.

Most babies stay still as they sleep, for up for 90 minutes at a time. Other times, they can be felt moving for 20 to 40-minute episodes throughout the day. 

Each baby has its own movement patterns. While the baby runs out of room in the last stages of pregnancy due to increasing baby weight, it’s movements still remain regular and strong. But if your baby moves too much, or less frequently, there could be a problem.

When Does Baby Movement Start During Pregnancy?

C:\Users\User\Downloads\love-1237394_1280.jpg

Babies begin moving at week 12, but moms may not feel anything apart from “flutters” until week 16 to 20. That’s when the first kick is thrown. The kicks should intensify, along with twitches (baby hiccups), through to trimester 3, slightly slowing down at around 36 weeks when the womb gets too congested for vigorous kicking.

Babies are most lively in the evening and morning, and the easiest way for mom to detect movements is when she’s lying down or sitting. Dads, let mom relax if you want to know how a kick feels!

At the start of trimester 3, doctors usually recommend that moms and dads begin keeping an eye on baby movements. If you suspect the baby is kicking less than normal (even after week 36), call your doctor right away.

Babies don’t move at all times but, generally, have up to 10 movements per hour in trimester 3. And keep a close eye on whatever is unusual for your child. If your baby constantly bounces against your tummy in the morning, just one morning without movement may indicate that something’s wrong.

Is Increased Baby Movement Before Labor a Cause for Concern?

Fetal movements usually increase when mom is hungry, indicating decreased sugar levels in both the mother and baby. This is like the increase in activity of animals seeking food when hungry, followed by a moment of inactivity when they’re fed.

Smaller babies might move more when their blood sugar starts to drop or when they’re hungry, as for some reason they’re already getting less food through the placenta, compared to bigger babies who receive an adequate placental supply.

A much more serious spectacle is when one episode of unusually forceful baby movements occur in the last stages of pregnancy. One study has linked this phenomenon to 7 times the risk of stillbirth. There are several possible causes of this, including infection-induced seizures or inadequate oxygen supply, or the baby trying to free itself from the umbilical cord wrapped around some area of the body.

Vigorous baby movement before labor, described as “crazy” or “frantic”, is different from the increasingly frequent, strong movements felt in a healthy pregnancy leading to childbirth.

Dealing with Increased Fetal Movement

C:\Users\User\Downloads\pregnant-woman-1512961_1280.jpg

Each pregnancy is different. There’s no fixed number of kicks or movements your baby should make, so it’s unlikely that he’s moving “too much”.

But if your fetus is moving so much so that you can’t relax or rest, trying walking about for some time. Walking around will cause a rocking motion that can soothe your child in the womb—just as it’ll once you’ve given birth—and help her drift off so you can also get some rest. 

Avoid caffeine, as it might stimulate your tot to get more active.

Last Words

While a very active fetus is unlikely to be worrisome, you should pay attention to movements that are considerably different from what you consider normal. You should report any sudden, unexpected and vigorous episodes of movements immediately, particularly if they suddenly go up for some time followed by inactivity.

When it comes to increased baby movement before labor, always trust your gut and let your doctor or midwife know if something feels “off” to you.

7 Weird Signs of Labor You Probably Didn’t Know About

7 Weird Signs of Labor You Probably Didn’t Know About

Do you recognize the weird signs of labor below? Perhaps not. 

For the last 9 months or so, you’ve been getting ready for your baby’s arrival. But what you may not know is that there are actually many less known but odd labor signs that are fairly common.

Spotting (also known as the “bloody show”), contractions, dilation and water breaking down are all common signs of labor. And when they happen, you’re probably already on the way to the hospital or on a call with your obstetrician at the very least. 

Weird Signs of Labor

Did you know that not all labor signs are obvious? We’ve rounded up these odd signs of labor to help you know if your little bundle of joy is arriving soon.

Labored Breathing

When you’re pregnant, you get used to huffing and puffing. Even a walk to the bathroom can leave you out of breath. Did you know that this so-called “labored breathing” may suddenly stop at the end of pregnancy? 

The reason why breathing is easier at this time is that your baby has descended into the pelvis, in a process known as “lightening”. 

Your baby’s making all your organs squish together, often making it difficult for you to breathe. As your child is close to being born, you’ll finally be able to breathe freely. That’s a good thing as you’ll probably need lots of fresh air to get ready for all the “pushing” you’ll do soon. Exaggerated? You’ll see…

Mood Swings

pregnant mom holding her belly and her worried husband
Pregnant woman with husband in the bedroom

Have your mood swings increased lately, and you’re on an emotional rollercoaster? Or have you snapped at your family members as of late? If so, then it might be that you’re about to experience labor. 

The moodiness you might feel before labor very much resembles that moodiness you feel during PMS. If you’re feeling particularly low during the last weeks of pregnancy, cheer up because this will soon be over. You’ll soon be holding your baby in your arms – joy and happiness will replace that glumness.

Just explain to your loved ones that you don’t mean to get snappy, it’s just part of being pregnant. They will surely understand and give you the support you need during the last days of your pregnancy. 

Diarrhea

Your body naturally tries to remove anything in your bowel just before labor. And by emptying your bowel, it creates more space for your baby to move. Don’t even worry about going on number two while giving birth, it’s normal. Moms giving birth just can’t help it, and we assure you that you won’t even care about it! All nurses are used to this and will subtly clean it up even before you know it. 😉

If you’re still worried, (who wouldn’t – it’s a bit embarrassing!) we strongly recommend refraining from eating anything that will make your body scream “bathroom!” just minutes before you have to give birth. You especially won’t want that to happen while your screaming like a banshee, crying and pleading for your baby to finally come out.

Loss of Appetite

Pregnancy is one big rollercoaster. Perhaps you spent trimester 1 trying to limit your food intake, thanks to morning sickness. Your appetite then more than likely went up during trimester 2 and 3. This is good news as you’ll just want to savor all of your favorite food (the ones you’re allowed to eat while you’re pregnant). 

Unfortunately, your lack of appetite on your first trimester may return just before you get into labor. If this happens, you may soon be in labor. To help your stomach, you can eat crackers, broths and other light treats. You’ll want to ensure that your body has enough energy to completely win this challenge!

Nesting

pregnant mom touching a baby crib

While most pregnant women engage in some nesting of sorts in the last few weeks of pregnancy, this can intensify a few days before the actual due date. If you start cleaning anything you see for some reason, then it’s best to start preparing everything to ensure you have all that you’ll need for labor.

Weight Loss

During pregnancy, you kept fat and water to protect your body and help your developing kid. 

As hormones change in the final weeks of pregnancy, you may release a little of that stored fat and all the water weight. Plus, you may have a reduced appetite due to a nauseous tummy and your rather huge baby squeezing your stomach, so much that it can’t hold much food anymore.

When your weight drops at the end of trimester 3, you can expect your labor to start soon. Of course, not everyone experiences weight loss or weight gain during pregnancy. It’s a well-known fact that weight differences in expecting moms still depend on their preferences, discipline, or beliefs.

Dreams of Labor 

C:\Users\User\Downloads\hospital-840135_1280.jpg

Perhaps you’re hoping to catch enough sleep before one of the most important days of your life arrives but that’s often not the case. 

From being extremely uncomfortable in late pregnancy to the worries you might have about becoming a mother (again or for the first time) and the joy of the imminent arrival of your baby, it can be difficult to drift off. And when you fall asleep, you may actually have very intense and realistic dreams about labor. So do yourself a favor, stop or don’t even think about reading or watching videos about actual footage of childbirth. You’ll just needlessly scare the wits out of you!

Last Words

As you get closer and closer to your due date, remember that these weird signs of labor could be a warning sign that your little angel is coming home soon. Never assume though. These signs may be similar to most, but not everyone goes through the same thing. It’s still best to check with your doctor, especially if your baby’s moving a lot more than usual. They’ll understand if you’re persistently checking every now and then. You wouldn’t want to get too many false alarms – that’ll be mentally and physically exhausting for everyone! 😁

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some signs that labor is nearing?
Here are the odd signs of labor to help you know if your little bundle of joy is arriving soon:

  • Labored Breathing
  • Mood Swings
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nesting
  • Weight Loss
  • Dreams of Labor

Is exhaustion a sign of labor coming?
To some, yes. But others claim that they experience the opposite. Honestly, most pregnant moms are easily exhausted no matter which trimester they are in. So we really can’t rely on exhaustion as a sign that your labor is coming.

What were your first labor signs?
Aside from the ones listed above, I also experienced the following:

  • Back pain that’s getting worse as time goes by
  • Belly cramps, commonly known as small contractions
  • Difficulty on breathing (not the same as heavy or labored breathing)
  • Extreme eagerness to walk around
  • Spotting

Do you get more emotional before labor?

Definitely! You and the people around you wouldn’t understand why your emotion’s all over the place, especially if your expected due date’s still weeks away. Most people call it “emotional” because most pregnant women whose about to go into labor can become a totally different person every time you blink. So just a piece of advice: tell your loved ones to blink very, VERY slowly… 🤣 Kidding aside, it will all pass. It’s just one of those precious moments that you’ll fondly reminisce years later.

39 Weeks Pregnant Cramping and Baby Moving a Lot

39 Weeks Pregnant Cramping and Baby Moving a Lot All You Need to Know About Pregnancy Week 39

Are you 39 weeks pregnant, cramping, and baby is moving a lot? Congratulations, your pregnancy is in week 39! With about a week to go, you’re soon going to become a mom. Your baby is fully developed, meaning that it’s only a matter of time before it comes into the world. 

Your body is still experiencing lots of changes and you have prepared everything you need to welcome your child. Keep on reading to know what actually happens to both your baby and you at this stage.

What’s the Size of Your Baby at Week 39 of Pregnancy?

C:\Users\User\Downloads\watermelon-551235_1280.jpg

At week 39, your baby is the size of a small watermelon. In other words, it can be anything from 18-20.5 inches or about 50cm long. 

The baby has piled on some pounds too, weighing about 6.5-8 pounds—roughly 2.9-3.6 kilograms. This weight won’t change significantly and probably might be the weight your baby is born with.

Your Baby’s Development at 39 Weeks Pregnant

At week 39, your baby is full term. Your pregnancy and the third trimester is coming to an end.

Your baby’s brain and lungs aren’t fully developed yet and will keep developing after it’s born. In fact, the baby’s brain will continue to develop and reach its final size in two years, and its lungs might not be fully developed until about age 3.  Currently, the lungs are busy making surfactant to prevent air sacs from binding when the baby takes its first breath. 

Your cute little angel hasn’t got enough room to move about in your womb now, so if there have been changes in the baby’s movements, that’s probably the reason. If you’re experiencing less than unusual movement, you can always consult your doctor for reassurance.

39 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

C:\Users\User\Downloads\pair-3397611_1280.jpg

In addition to the visibly distended belly, you’ll also feel some of these symptoms:

Braxton Hicks Contractions (False Labor)

These light contractions last for just 30 seconds to 2 minutes. They’re not a sign of labour, but it’s the body’s way of getting ready for the due date that’s fast approaching.

Pelvic Pressure 

While preparing itself for birth, your baby might be sitting quite low in your uterus, making your lower torso feel uncomfortable and heavy.

Bloody Show

Your vaginal discharge may be tinged with brownish or pinkish blood due to the rupturing of cervical blood vessels. Have no fear—it’s an indication that your cervix is opening up or dilating and that’s good news.

Diarrhea

As the body readies itself for childbirth, your rectal muscles may become loose, leading to loose bowel movements.

Difficulty Sleeping

It might be harder to have a good night’s sleep in the last stages of pregnancy. Due to your ballooned belly, it might be hard to sleep comfortably, and anxiety and nerves can keep you awake as well. Make sure your bedroom is as comfortable as it can be, with several extra pillows to keep you comfortable. 

Summary

At week 39 of pregnancy, there’s nothing you can do except wait for the baby, see the doctor, and keep yourself busy with just about anything. We know that when you’re 39 weeks pregnant, you’re cramping and your baby is moving a lot, things can be tough on you! But hang in there—you’ll be meeting your little angel soon!

Related Post: There’s Only One Thing to Do if You Are in the Final Weeks of Pregnancy