39 Weeks Pregnant & Baby Very Active At Night (How Can Mom Sleep?)

Babies nearing the term tend to become active, especially during the night, and it is completely normal. It can be quite uncomfortable for moms, but it is nothing to worry about. An active baby is a good sign manifesting his growth and development. Babies tend to be more active during the night as mom decreases her activity and gets ready to sleep. When she is less distracted, every movement inside the tummy becomes obvious. Babies are soothed to sleep as moms go about their daily chores and kick into action when mom is at rest. What is worrisome is when there is a noticeable substantial decrease in fetal activity.

How can you feel comfy as your baby literally kicks into party mode? Read this post to find some answers. 

Why is the fetus active at night?

In a published journal that analyzed the fetal movement pattern, about 73% of mothers agreed that babies move more in the evening.

It tends to go up at nighttime when it is time for bed. The number of kicks varies widely, and some women can experience about four kicks an hour.

Interestingly, some moms have counted up to a hundred baby somersaults within that same period. 

By theory, babies move at the same rate during the day but mostly go unnoticed.

The circadian pattern is only noticeable as the mom decreases her activity and is less distracted. 

Some facts about your baby’s movements

A pregnant woman is lying in her bed at night, awake and noticing that her baby is noticeably moving in the womb.

By the time your pregnancy hits the seventh or eight-month, baby movements become more noticeable. You will also observe some set of patterns in the behavior.

Babies may stretch, squirm, and flex until they become aware of noises.

They may also do somersaults until they feel cozy in the uterus.

1. Babies’ movements indicate their health and well-being

An active baby generally indicates a healthy baby.

The movement inside the mother’s tummy is not just about the baby changing position. Moving is actually essential to exercise and promote bone and joint development. 

Fetal movement is also an indicator of the baby’s growth and strength. Thus, although it is a slight discomfort to the mom, baby kicks are a good sign.

2. Babies are alert if they don’t feel any activity

When nighttime rolls in and moms decrease their activities, babies are likely to kick into gear.

So, thinking that you will lose sleep after delivering the infant is an understatement. The last three months of pregnancy will also see you with sleepless nights amid all the squirming. 

Babies are lulled to sleep as you move around with your daily chores. That’s why they have decreased activity during the daytime.

But when moms lie down to sleep, they tend to wake up and roll. And as you near the term, the kicking will only get stronger until the baby is delivered. 

3. Babies respond to their environment

As early as 18 weeks, babies start hearing their mom’s heartbeat and stomach rumbling. But, they will only react to internal and external noises at 26 weeks.

They will respond, especially and specifically, to maternal stimulation. 

As the pregnancy progresses, babies become more responsive to outside noises. They will react to uncomfortable positions, and even to their moms’ sitting or sleeping positions.

If they cannot hear a sound, it can become astounding to them. Thus, they are likely to become more energetic when mom is ready for bedtime. 

4. Fetal movements vary

Every pregnancy is different and even a baby’s activity while inside the womb is a unique milestone. There is absolutely nothing to worry about if other mommas bear a kicker and you don’t have much.

However, doctors warn moms to keep an eye on the baby’s activity.

Monitor their daily movement to determine if there are changes in it. The baby should increase or maintain the movement, but never decrease it.

If you notice a substantial decrease and waver in your baby’s activity, always check with your OB to be sure. 

Decrease in fetal movement – what does it mean?

Feeling your baby pulsate underneath your belly is a mixture of excitement, a little pain, or maybe some annoyance.

But, it is a good indicator to tell you that your little one is doing well. It will tend to get stronger as you near your term. What is worrisome is when the baby begins to slow down.

A decrease in fetal activity sometimes means a potential problem that needs to be addressed early.

According to a study in 2020, about 6.2 to 18.4 percent of stillbirths were from reduced fetal movement.

When detected early, doctors will provide additional monitoring to support and sustain the baby until delivery. 

Decreased movement does not always mean something bad, as babies do calm down sometimes.

To monitor their activities, count the kicks daily to figure out if they have decreased their activities.

Ideally, they should do at least ten movements within an hour, although it differs from baby to baby.

It is still prudent to report any changes to the doctor for them to recognize if the baby needs help.

How to help yourself with active baby movement?

Baby activity while inside the womb is some form of prenatal communication.

A pregnant woman is massaging her belly to bond with her baby and help the baby stay active in the womb.

It prompts moms to react to their activities and it is their way of communicating feelings to their mothers.

Their energies are inevitable, but here are little tips for taming the vivacious little one to lend you a little shut-eye:

  • Turn on some soothing music
  • Rock in a rocking chair
  • Gently massage your belly
  • Change your sitting or sleeping position
  • Lightly push him back

FAQs

Can baby activity suggest the baby’s behavior?

No, babies move in different patterns but will not suggest they will grow hyperactive or future soccer players.

When should I worry if I do not feel movement?

Generally, babies will respond to stimuli by 22 weeks. If you do not feel any movement by that time, talk to your doctor for additional monitoring. 

Why is my baby not turning around anymore but still kicking vigorously?

As the baby gets older and bigger, he will cramp up in the uterus limiting the movement inside. But, he will still kick and squirm to let you know he is well.

Takeaway

Some babies are unusually active in the womb, especially when it rounds to bedtime. It is a normal process and a positive indicator of a baby’s health.

The activity can get stronger as the pregnancy nears the term, and moms may need to adjust to such movements.

Fetal movement is only concerning if the baby decreases its activity over the week.

It should be reported to the doctor for immediate assessment and supportive care when it happens.

Ann Marie is a licensed nurse in the Philippines. She experienced handling and assisting deliveries of newborns into the world. She also trained in labor rooms and pediatric wards while in nursing school - helping soon-to-be mothers and little kids in the process. Though not a mother by nature but a mother by heart, Ann Marie loves to take care of her younger cousins as well as nephews and nieces during her free time.

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