One of the things you will most look forward to when pregnant is being able to feel your baby move.
Baby movements can be complicated, though, and can sometimes cause confusion or worry.
You might wonder why your baby is only moving in one place. Or whether there are enough kicks, or if the kicks are strong enough.
Some women even wonder whether their baby’s kicks are too strong.
Your baby’s movements and how they feel will change as he grows bigger; where you feel them will change, too.
Read on for more information on why your baby is kicking so low and what to expect at different stages of your pregnancy.
Why is my baby kicking so low down?
Most women begin to feel baby kick between 16 and 25 weeks. By this time, your baby has grown big enough for you to feel those flutters and bumps.
But this can differ from woman to woman. Each pregnancy and each baby is different so these are just average ranges.
But remember, the uterus is still quite low for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It doesn’t move up out of the pelvis area until then.
By the time you’re around 20 weeks pregnant, your womb is about the same level as your belly button. That means your baby is still low down in your abdomen, which is why all the movement feel so low.
Is it normal to feel baby move very low?
In the first trimester, you’re not likely to feel any baby kicks.
During this stage of pregnancy, your baby is simply too small for you to feel the kicks.
All babies move around, so you might feel something. Your womb is still low in the pelvis, though, so anything you feel will be very low down.
At times you might have a sensation that feels like fluttering or tingling or even slight pressure.
This is known as quickening and sometimes feels like gas bubbles. You might mistake it for your digestive system being overactive.
What does it mean when baby is kicking low?
Once those baby movements start up in earnest, you’ll be tuned in for everyone. You might start to notice quickening early, around 12-14 weeks, or a little later on.
You’ll feel more obvious bumps or kicks at 18 weeks or more.
Once you’re past 18 weeks and you’re feeling regular kicks, you might notice the kicks low down, near your pubic bone.
One reason for this is that around 20 weeks, your uterus has only reached as high up as your belly button. It’s unlikely you’ll feel a kick higher than your belly button.
Way down near your cervix is a much more likely place to feel baby moving or giving a kick.
It’s important to note an anterior placenta can make it more difficult to feel kicks. An anterior placenta is located on the front wall of your womb. This tends to muffle any signs of movement your little one makes.
If you have any prenatal ultrasounds, your healthcare provider should be able to tell you where your placenta is located.
Can you tell which way your baby is positioned?
As your baby gets bigger, you might start to get an idea of where he’s hanging out by the location of the kicks.
Some positions babies can be in are:
- Transverse (sideways), with the head on the left side
- Transverse, with the head on the right side
- Breech (bottom down)
- Vertex (head down).
If you’re feeling kicks up under your ribs, it’s likely your baby is head down. Kicks on one side or the other indicate transverse. Kicks lower down can mean your baby is in the breech position.
Fetal position isn’t a concern during the middle of your pregnancy. It’s definitely something to consider as your pregnancy progresses though.
Optimal fetal positioning can make birth easier and is something you can actively encourage.
Do low kicks mean breech baby?
In the middle part of pregnancy, it’s still normal for babies to move a lot.
You can have some fun guessing where they are by feeling where those adorable baby feet are.
Baby might decide to hang out on the left or right side of your belly. Some babies like to move around into different positions all day.
If you’re feeling baby’s feet on your cervix or bladder, he might be spending all of his time in the breech position. This means the head is up and the legs and bottom are down.
It doesn’t mean this is the final position your baby will take for birth. A baby usually chooses a head-down position from around 30 weeks onwards.
Baby kicking very low at 27 weeks
The baby isn’t expected to be head down until at least 30 weeks. So at 27 weeks, it’s still normal to feel baby kicks very low.
You might simply have a baby who just prefers being in one position. Some babies pick one spot they prefer and some move into different positions during the day.
You’ll get to know your baby and his individual pattern of movements.
It might help to be in touch with an online community of women who are also pregnant. Having a support network can help you feel connected and give you a place to share any feelings, concerns, or answer questions.
Research shows a sense of community helps improve health outcomes for mothers and babies.
Of course, always check in with your healthcare providers if you have any concerns at all. They can also answer your questions and help you understand what’s normal for your pregnancy.
You might like to check out 27 Weeks Pregnant – What To Expect and find out more.
Why do babies kick in the lower abdomen?
As you get closer to your due date, you’ll want to pay more attention to:
- Any changes that seem unusual or not normal for your baby
At this time, positioning is important.
You should expect your child to turn vertex (head down) from 30 weeks onward.
If he’s still breech after that, don’t worry. By about 36 weeks most babies in this position will turn to head down.
Have a discussion with your doctor or midwife about what you can do to encourage your baby to move head down.
You might like to try:
- Chiropractic, osteopathy or osteotherapy for adjustments.
Check that any practitioner you see has training and experience in treating pregnant women. The Webster technique has been proven to be successful 82% of the time. You can read more about it in our article about breech birth.
Sometimes you can do everything ‘right’ and the baby still chooses a different position than is optimal. You haven’t done anything wrong.
What happens if baby movements slow down?
You might have heard, as the fetus grows and there’s less room in your womb, your baby’s movements could slow down. Or that your baby might go quiet before labor.
This is very dangerous information. Changes to movement aren’t a sign of impending labor or a lack of room.
Babies develop a pattern of movement that you will come to know as normal for them. The feeling of their movements might differ as they get bigger, but the frequency should always stay the same.
If you notice a change in this pattern, tell your healthcare provider immediately. They will assess your baby’s wellbeing, as changes to fetal movements can indicate distress.
Tests can provide reasons for what is happening and help you decide the best course of action.