Benefits of communicating with your baby before birth
By Still Aware, Still Aware
You are your baby's voice. A baby’s only direct link to the outside world is through its mother. Taking time each day to monitor a baby’s movement is as important as mother’s taking prenatal vitamins and staying healthy. By setting aside time daily to feel your baby’s kicks, rolls or pokes, you can bond with your bump but monitor your baby’s health as well.
Is there an easy way to communicate with my bump?
There sure is. “Kick counting” is an adopted method, widely used in Norway, the UK and America for mothers to monitor their baby’s movements in the third trimester. It’s a great place to start to get to know your baby’s individual movement patterns.
You will likely feel your baby moving before the third trimester, so you can get to know the regularity of your baby’s movements in advance, in readiness for “counting the kicks”.
Baby’s movements can vary from 4 to over 100 every hour. It is important to know what is normal for you and your baby and report any change in that. The safest and most reliable method of monitoring baby’s movements is to encourage an expectant mother to get to know her baby’s own pattern of movement. She will then be able to determine if her baby has a period of reduced or increased fetal movement.
Why do I need to get to know my baby inutero?
You and your baby are a team. You’re in sync. You are your child’s best advocate and know them better than anyone and should feel movements every day. If something feels irregular then you need contact your health care provider.
So if you’re “counting the kicks” and don’t feel the regular movements during your usual counting period, try to wake your baby up by drinking fluids, pushing on your tummy or taking a quick walk. Then, repeat the kick count. Call your healthcare provider immediately if you still don’t feel any movements.
Don’t wait to report an irregular movement pattern
Listen to your instinct. Contact your carer immediately don’t wait. Usually your doctor, maternity ward or midwife will monitor your baby’s heartbeat or conduct an ultrasound, reassuring you that all is normal and well. In some cases, not feeling a baby moving is the only warning sign that is noticed before a baby is stillborn.
My baby’s just having a quiet day and doesn’t a baby slow down before birth anyway?
A baby will keep moving throughout pregnancy, even during labour. The movements will likely be more subtle as the baby grows; of course there is less room to move, but a baby will never stop. Particularly in the last few weeks of pregnancy, be conscious of your baby’s movements and call for a check-up if anything seems irregular or different.
Remember everyday - Be still. Be aware. Count the kicks!
Have fun! Dads and kids you can help too.
Find out more about Still Aware at www.stillaware.org