Once you hit that 5month mark in your pregnancy, you can start to feel your growing baby move inside the uterus. At first it feels like a little butterfly floating around in your belly. Ah! But then that miraculous feeling of those first real kicks and stretches of a healthy baby. The upside is you know your baby is “healthy and, literally, kicking”. The downside I often see in my prenatal yoga classes happens when a mom-to-be gets a big old kick in the ribs. Oof! I can always tell because the hand goes quickly to her ribs and her eyes get big and round! But most of the time, you can use these tricks to get your baby to move inside the uterus and enjoy that miraculous feeling.
A Bonding Experience
Getting your baby to move can be a bonding experience for you and your partner and your baby. Around 26 weeks of your pregnancy, your baby can actually react and respond to stimulation both inside and outside of your body. Studies show that language development actually begins in the womb.
Talk to Your Baby
You might be wondering what should I say? Read a book to your baby if you can’t think of anything to say. If you read the same book, like nursery rhymes, or Goodnight Moon, or The Big Red Barn, your baby will actually recognize the sounds and the words after birth. The rhythm and sound of your voice will actually calm down your baby as they listen to that familiar cadence and sound.
Sing to Your Baby or Play Music
Just like familiar books, rhymes, and stories, familiar songs will calm your baby. Your baby doesn’t care if you’re off key. Don’t worry about that. If you have an older child, have him/her sing the same song to your belly every day or every week. Your baby will respond or react both in the womb and outside the womb.
Gentle Poking and Prodding or Massage
Try to poke at your belly. You may be surprised to find your baby will respond by kicking back. Or if you poke or massage where you saw movement, your baby may react by kicking back. Sometimes a gentle rubbing or massage of the belly will stimulate your baby to move in response.
Shine a Light on Your Belly
At 20 weeks your baby can open her eyes and actually see the light from a flashlight that you put against your belly. Sometimes when babies are breech, this is one of the ways to encourage your baby to go head down in your womb.
Eat or Drink Something
Eating or drinking something can raise your blood sugar. The nutrition gives you energy and also gives your baby energy. Depending on what you eat or drink, you might be able to get your baby to do a little dance in there.
Babies tend to sleep when you are moving around. All that movement helps rock your baby to sleep. So if you lie down and try to rest a bit, you may find your baby starts to wake up and move.
You may notice your baby moves at certain times of the day. During my first pregnancy, my daughter had hiccups every night at 10 o’clock without fail! Keep track of your baby’s normal movements and times, so that you have a baseline. Then sit back and enjoy these special moments and movements.