Baby (Fetus) Movement / Rolling During Pregnancy
Childbirth usually occurs about 38 weeks from fertilization, i.e. approximately 40 weeks from the start of the last menstruation. Thus, pregnancy lasts about nine months, although the exact definition of the English word “pregnancy” is a subject of controversy.A pregnancy is divided into trimesters: the first trimester is from week 1 to the end of week 12, the second trimester is from week 13 to the end of week 26, and the third trimester is from week 27 to the end of the pregnancy.
From the 3rd month of pregnancy the baby may open and close its mouth and start moving its hands, legs, and head. At this point, however, you will not feel this movement.Your baby is now 4 inches long (10 centimeters) and weighs just a little over 1 ounce (over 28 grams). This is the end of the first trimester of pregnancy. The baby is now called a fetus.
From the 4th month of pregnancy the baby moves, kicks, sleeps, wakes, swallows, and passes urine.Your baby is now sleeping for about 20 to 30 minutes at a time. Fetal movement will be most obvious when you're sitting or lying down. You may start to feel a slight sensation of movement in your lower abdomen. This feeling is like bubbles or fluttering. When you first feel the baby's movement (called quickening), write down the date. This date helps the doctor determine when your baby is due.
Your baby becomes much more active, rolling from side to side and turning upside down and back. He or she begins to suck its thumb. At the end of the sixth month of pregnancy your baby is approximately 12 inches long and weighs about a pound and a half.Your baby continues to pack on the pounds and store fat all over his or her body. The crowded conditions inside your uterus may make it harder for your baby to give you a punch, but you'll probably feel lots of stretches, rolls and wiggles.
In the second trimester, tiredness is usually replaced with a feeling of well being and energy. But in the third trimester, exhaustion often sets in again. As you get larger, sleeping may become more difficult. The baby's movements, bathroom runs, and an increase in the body's metabolism might interrupt or disturb your sleep. Leg cramping can also interfere with a good night's sleep.
Your baby is still growing and moving, but now it has less room in your uterus. Because of this, you might not feel the kicks and movements as much as you did in the second trimester. During this final stage of your pregnancy, your baby is continuing to grow. Even before your baby is born it will be able to open and close its eyes and might even suck its thumb.
As your body prepares for birth, the baby will start to move into its birth position. You might notice the baby "dropping," or moving down lower in your abdomen. This can reduce the pressure on your lungs and rib cage, making it easier to breathe.
During third trimester final weight gain takes place, and the fetus begins to move regularly. The mother's belly button will sometimes "pop" out due to her growing belly. This period of her pregnancy can be uncomfortable, causing symptoms like weak bladder control and back-ache. Movement of the fetus becomes stronger and more frequent and the fetus prepares for viability outside the womb through improved brain, eye, and muscle function. The mother can feel the baby "rolling" and it may cause pain or discomfort when the baby is in the mother's ribs.
Movement is an important sign that the fetus is doing well. As your pregnancy progresses and your fetus gets larger and larger, the type of movement can change. Instead of your fetus punching you or doing flips, the baby may roll more or stick an arm or leg out. Pay attention to these movements. If your fetus is not moving as much as normal, keep track of its movements. Eat a meal and then lie down on your left side. If the fetus does not move 10 times in the next two hours, call your provider. There are many ways to count fetal movement; ask your doctor/provider how she wants you to count. If the fetus is not moving, your doctor will order a non-stress test, a contraction stress test, or a biophysical profile (BPP).
One way to monitor the well-being of your baby is to do a fetal kick count. This is a way to determine if the placenta is functioning correctly. Lie down and rest after you have eaten a good meal, with juice or pop to drink. The sugar in your juice or pop tends to make the baby more active. Count each time you feel the baby kick or move during the first hour after you’ve eaten. Normally the baby will kick 10 times in one hour, or at least three times in 20 minutes. Another sign of a healthy baby is one that gets the hiccups regularly, so watch for those rhythmic jerks in your abdomen every now and then. Warning signs and when to call your doctor would be a sudden decrease in movement of less than 10 kicks in 12 hours after the fifth month of pregnancy. If you have concerns or worries about your baby, contact your health care provider.
As your pregnancy continues, your health care provider will closely monitor you and your baby. He or she will check your cervix to see if it's begun to thin and dilate in preparation for labor. If you're more than one week overdue, your baby's heartbeat may be tracked with an electronic fetal monitor, and an ultrasound may be used to observe your baby's movements and measure the amount of amniotic fluid.
While an ultrasound can identify fetal movement as early as 7 to 8 weeks of pregnancy, women generally don't begin to feel the baby move until sometime between 16 and 22 weeks or later, particularly if it's the woman's first pregnancy.The Fetus as a Patient reflects some of the major changes that have occurred in perinatology, particularly in ultrasound imaging techniques. The introduction of transvaginal probes, three-dimensional imaging, and, most recently, four-dimensional imaging (which shows fetal movement) makes possible the observation of embryos and fetuses with some degree of accuracy and precision.
The initial sensations you'll notice aren't real kicks, either. Instead, some women describe the feeling as being like popcorn popping or butterflies in the stomach. If you don't feel any activity by 22 weeks, ask your doctor or midwife about it.After a while, you'll begin to discern a pattern to your baby's movement and you'll know if something's amiss. If he's not moving as often as he usually does, your baby may be in distress. Ask your practitioner when and how to count your baby's kicks.
You can monitor your fetus's movements yourself by keeping a kick count in late pregnancy.
To record a kick count, you simply note the number of times the fetus moves over a certain period. Your health care provider can tell you when and how to perform this test and what the results might mean. If you do not feel the fetus does not move in a 12-hour period, let your health care provider know.
Fetal heart monitoring lets the healthcare provider monitor the baby's heartbeat in the uterus, under different conditions including active labor. The procedure can be done with monitors outside the body (external monitoring) or in the uterus (internal monitoring). NON-STRESS TEST (NST) is another way of externally monitoring your baby. The NST can be done as early as the 27th week of pregnancy, and it measures the FHR accelerations with normal movement.
It's also strongly recommended that you call your health care provider immediately if you experience:
- heavy bleeding
- a sudden loss of fluid
- a marked absence of movement by the baby once he or she has begun moving
- more than three contractions in an hour