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How To Tell Baby Position By Kicks

pregnant woman and midwife

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As your baby grows in your womb, they’ll tend to move more and change their position more often.

Some positions are more comfortable than others. But your baby’s position can also give you an idea of their health, and it could even let you determine your due date!

In this post we’ll explore some ways you can tell your baby’s position based on their kicks.

When Will Your Baby Start Moving and Kicking?

Most babies start moving around 20 weeks into your pregnancy. But if this is your first baby, it might take a little longer for them to start moving. If you’ve been pregnant for over 20 weeks and you haven’t felt any movement yet, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your baby’s unhealthy.

It might just be that they’re not moving much, that they’re not yet strong enough to make the sort of movements you can feel or that the position of your placenta will mean kicks don’t feel as strong.

But you should get in touch with your doctor anyway, just to make sure.

How to Tell Baby Position by Kicks

Your midwife or an ultrasound scan will tell you exactly which way your baby’s lying. But some things can give you an idea of your baby’s position in your womb, such as their kicks.

Below we’ll discuss some of the most common positions for babies in the womb, and the signs to look out for.

Cephalic Position

The cephalic position means the baby’s lying head down. Look for lumps to the left or the right at the top of your belly. Try pressing down on them gently. If this makes your baby’s whole body move, then they’re probably in a head-down position.

Anterior Position

This means your baby’s lying head down, with their back towards the front of your belly. You might feel some movement just underneath your ribs.

Posterior Position

This means your baby’s lying head down, with their back against your back. If they’re in this position, you may feel their kicks right at the front and in the middle of your belly. Also, your belly might look flatter rather than rounded.

Some pregnant women develop anterior placenta, meaning the placenta is at the front of the bump. In this case, you might find it difficult to feel your baby’s movements.

Breech Position

The breech position means your baby’s lying head up, with their bottom down. You may feel different things depending on where their legs are.

Frank Breech

Also known as the extended breech, this means your baby’s lying head up, with their feet up by their ears. In this position, you might feel some kicks around your ribs.

Cross-Legged Positions

If your baby’s lying head up with their legs crossed, you might feel different things depending on where they’ve positioned their legs.

For example, in a footling breech, they have one or both feet below their bottom. In this case you’ll feel the kicks below your belly button.

Transverse Position

In a transverse position, your baby’s lying across your belly. Depending on which way they’re facing, you’ll either feel kicks to the left or the right of your belly. You may also feel the pressure of your baby’s head or back against your belly, and even a swooping sensation as your baby turns.

How Often Do Babies Move?

Babies move more often as they get older. They can start getting particularly active during the second trimester. And by the third trimester, you might start feeling up to five movements an hour.

As you reach your due date, your baby is most likely to be in a head-down position. Some babies stay in a foot-down breech position shortly before birth. If this is the case, your doctor may gently encourage your baby to turn in your womb.

Throughout your pregnancy, you can also encourage your baby to move. Sometimes you might want to make your baby move, if they’re lying in an uncomfortable position, for instance. Read our full guide to encouraging your baby to move.

Support Throughout Your Pregnancy and Beyond

We have loads of guides and resources to help you through your pregnancy and birth, and those crucial early months and years of your baby’s life:

We also stock a range of sustainable baby products, including eco-friendly reusable nappies and breast pads.

Browse our full range of green and comfortable products for you and your baby.

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