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Are you feeling your baby’s movement in your lower abdomen? Here’s what might be going on

You have waited for weeks for this major pregnancy milestone when the second trimester brings about the awe of feeling your baby’s first fluttering movements. Then, as you go into the final trimester, you might feel some more formidable pressure. Still, all throughout your pregnancy, you might wonder, “Why is my baby kicking in my lower abdomen?” You can relax because there are plenty of logical reasons, and you shouldn’t panic over feeling the baby’s movement in your lower abdomen.

Pregnant woman facing the sun
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Why am I feeling my baby’s movement in my lower abdomen?

So far, there’s a lot of room for kicking and even somersaults. At this stage, your baby has discovered that he or she comes equipped with these movable appendages that we know as arms and legs. Thus, the movement is similar to play or exploration exhibited by newborns and very young babies when they move their limbs about freely to see what happens. In this case, the level and location of the baby “kicking” varies, and at times, it feels like it’s located lower in your belly. Nonetheless, you don’t need to worry if you feel your baby kicking in your lower abdomen, as this movement means that he or she is “frolicking” and “exploring,” which facilitates gross motor and neurological development. It’s actually pretty cute, when you think about it. According to Healthline, when you feel your baby’s movement in your lower abdomen, he or she might be:

  • Turning over
  • Hiccupping
  • Flexing
  • Kicking
  • Stretching their limbs

(After all, it’s a little crowded in there!)

pregnant woman on bed

The location of the kicks differs with each trimester.

Furthermore, in the early stages of pregnancy, your baby’s fluttery movements feel somewhat faint. At the same time, the kicks can be felt lower in the abdominal area close to your belly button or right below it. Because the upper uterine wall is still growing, your baby might wiggle around in the lower pelvic area and eventually make his or her way up.

Keep in mind that your baby still has a lot of wiggle room, and the location of the kicking is likely to change within days if not hours.

pregnant-woman-cradling-baby-bump
Getty Images / JGI/Tom Grill

Do baby kicks hurt in the lower abdomen?

Additionally, if you wonder, “Do baby kicks hurt?” then you might be surprised that the answer is usually “no.” In general, a baby’s kicking or punching doesn’t cause sharp pain, but at the same time, you’ll definitely know the difference between pregnancy-related flatulence and your baby’s movement. For example, during the sixth month, a baby’s kick takes on a “punchy” type of movement. Plus, if he or she has hiccups, then you can feel the rhythmic tremors. Nonetheless, the only time you’ll be feeling your baby’s movement in the lower abdomen is if he or she is performing some rather elaborate acrobatics because there is still a lot of space in the amniotic sac.

Likewise, if you experience pressure, more like a “thud” in your lower abdomen, your baby’s head, rather than the feet, is likely pressing against your belly or your back.

Pregnant woman in third trimester feeling baby kicking

Third-trimester movement

Another factor to consider, going into the third trimester, is that the baby found a comfortable spot to occupy for the time being. Plus, your little one might still have his or her head facing upward. However, you don’t have to be alarmed because most of the time, the baby will likely turn over as the due date approaches.

One other odd sensation that some pregnant women experience is kicking that appears to take place in the upper vaginal area. However, the baby’s feet (or arms) are not reaching down that far but rather, right on top of the cervix.

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When to check with your doctor

If your baby is in a breech position, you’re going to feel more kicking in the lower abdomen than if your baby was in a vertex (head down) position. However, your obstetrician might be able to “flip” the baby over before the due date. This is called an external cephalic version or ECV where the doctor uses gentle but firm pressure to turn the baby over. Healthline also advises contacting your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe diarrhea
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Vaginal bleeding or unusual discharge
  • Pain in your arms, chest, or legs
  • A fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Swelling
  • Pain while urinating
  • Blurred vision or severe headaches
Pregnant Woman Sleeping On Bed
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Final thoughts on baby kicking

When you wonder, “Why is my baby kicking in my lower abdomen?” you can rest assured that there are no major issues affecting your pregnancy, and for the most part, the location of your baby’s movement relates more to his or her position. The size of your baby and the stage of your pregnancy are also contributing factors, but of course, if you ever have any questions or concerns, you should always contact your practitioner. In the meantime, simply enjoy feeling your little one turning flips and think of the joyful delivery day that will soon arrive.

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