Baby Kicking Like Crazy? It's a Good Thing

Filed under: Just For Moms, Your Pregnancy, Development/Milestones: Babies

Kicking baby

It's good when baby kicks. Credit: Getty Images

While a baby's kicking may cause some discomfort for expectant moms, health care providers see it as a good thing.

Movement is a sign of a "nice, healthy, active baby," says Dr. Melissa Goist, an obstetrician and assistant professor at The Ohio State University.

"As obstetricians, we are happy with that," she says. "There's no amount of kicking that's too excessive."

Kicking isn't associated with any health problems for Mom or baby, adds Cindy Farley, a nurse-midwife and teacher at the Midwifery Institute of Philadelphia University.

"I'm not aware of any disorder" associated with the issue, she says.

The real cause for alarm, the sources say, is when babies stop moving.

Many practitioners recommend women do fetal kick counts as a way to check on their babies' health. Most recommend eating a light snack or drinking some juice, and then sitting or lying in a comfortable position. While you're relaxing, count the number of times the baby moves. Women should typically feel eight to 10 movements in an hour, Goist says.

There's nothing that can be done medically to alleviate any discomfort from kicking. Applying counter pressure or switching positions might help, Farley says. Swimming also is a good way to feel better during pregnancy, she adds.

Although babies start moving their limbs around eight weeks, women typically feel the first kicks around 18 weeks, Farley says.

Complaints from expectant mothers tend to come later in the pregnancy when the baby is larger and stronger, Goist adds.

"It's especially noticeable while you're in your third trimester," she says. "There's less room for the baby, so its movements are more significant."

If you have a concern about the extent of your baby's movement, discuss it with your care provider, Farley says.

"You don't want to be out there worrying unnecessarily," she says.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.