Read more here about life in your belly in various phases of your pregnancy.
Up to 24 weeks
Not all women daily feel life in their belly. Have you still not felt your baby after 24 weeks? Then contact your obstetrician or gynecologist. He or she will listen to the cardiac sounds of your child. You will set up an appointment for an ultrasound.
From 24 to 28 weeks
In this period the pattern of your baby’s movements still varies greatly from day to day. If you are doubting whether you can feel your baby enough, contact your obstetrician or gynecologist. You will be given extra checkups if necessary.
From 28 weeks
Now you should feel the baby regularly every day. If your baby moves less than normally, take the time to feel movement in your belly. You can feel your baby best when lying on your left side. In this position the blood flow of the placenta is optimum.
When you're in doubt, lie on your left side for two hours. If you feel less than ten movements during these two hours or if you are doubting the strength of the movements and you are not reassured, then immediately contact your obstetrician or gynecologist. Do not wait until the next day!
Braxton Hicks contractions
During the pregnancy you can feel the muscles of the womb contract occasionally. These are Braxton Hicks contractions. These Braxton Hicks contractions are useful for your baby, as they work like a type of massage. They stimulate your baby’s nerves. It is possible that you get many Braxton Hicks contractions if you exert yourself too much and you are too busy. This way, your body lets you know that you should take it easier. The Braxton Hicks contractions do not cause dilation of the uterus and are not dangerous.
As the due date becomes nearer, you may experience more Braxton Hicks contractions. They will also get a little more painful. The contraction of your uteral muscles occurs as a practice for the delivery. It is a preparation of the contractions, which is why they are sometimes also called practice contractions.