10 Signs Of A Healthy Baby In The Womb You Need To Know

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So you are pregnant and expecting your bundle (s) of joy, how do you know that your little one is healthy in the womb? Some tell-tale signs help you know if you should be worried or not, and this is what we will be discussing in this post, signs of a healthy baby in the womb. 

First, let’s see below some 

of the symptoms of a healthy baby In early pregnancy. These are also symptoms of signs of pregnancy at five weeks, signs of a healthy pregnancy at four weeks, symptoms of a healthy baby in pregnancy. 

The symptoms that show a baby is healthy early pregnancy are:

  • Morning sickness.
  • Tender and sensitive boobs.
  • Tiredness.
  • Increased level of pregnancy hormones.
  • The doctor can hear the fetal heartbeat.
  • Your doctor confirms that you are in good health, that is, no abnormal blood pressure or sugar levels despite the morning sickness.
  • You can withstand infections.
  • There is fetal movement.

 

How To Know Your Baby In The Womb Without Ultrasound?

Though ultrasound is one accurate way to check what is happening in side the womb, you can check other physical signs to know if the signs of a healthy baby in the womb. Below are some ways

  • You experience the usual pregnancy symptoms, some of which have been listed above.
  • A steady weight gain in the woman.
  • An expanding belly bump.
  • Optimal levels of pregnancy hormones.
  • Fetal movement.
  • Fetal Heartbeat.

This post center’s on the signs of a healthy baby in the womb, both physically and otherwise. Let’s see 8 of these signs.

 

1.  Fetal Movement

Hearing your baby kick for the first time is so exciting, and it is something many women look forward to. The first movement is called quickening. The fetus begins to move by the 7th to 8th week of pregnancy. You will most likely feel this moment as kicks or blips by the 16th week of pregnancy.

Sometimes, it may tarry till about late 22nd week. If the fetus moves rigorously or you have not felt your baby’s movement till after then, there may be a cause for worry as fetal movement is a sign of a healthy baby in the womb. The best thing to do immediately is to see your doctor for an ultrasound to see if everything is okay. 

A baby kick signifies that the baby is growing well and there is activity.It is also an indicator that the baby is receiving sufficient oxygen and is active. The belly movement feels different for different women.

When I was pregnant, I felt like little butterflies were moving around my belly; sometimes, it felt like little kicks; other times, it felt like something was swimming in my stomach. Some women have even said that the feeling is like the popping of corn. 

As the saying goes, different strokes for different folks. As your pregnancy goes, you will get used to the feeling more often. From the estimate, the baby moves about 30 times per hour in the last trimester.

Yes, the baby moves that fast, only that you may not be able to notice it externally. Sometimes, you can’t know the exact time when your baby moves. You may experience it’s once a day or every other day in a week. Other times, you may experience it more than once a day. 

Also, note that the baby’s kicks should become more stable and stronger as you grow as a sign of a healthy baby in the womb. The baby’s movement indicates growth, increase in size, and strength of the baby. Factors that can affect the movement are comfort, space, navigation around the umbilical cord. 

If there is a decrease in fetal movement, it could be that there are decreased oxygen levels or an abnormal heart rate, which isn’t okay.

You can estimate your baby’s movements once you have established your baby’s movement. The baby moves about 10 to 30 times in an hour, so count if it falls between that range every two hours. 

You can help stimulate the movement by taking some sips of sugary drinks or milk. They may promote movement if the baby is inactive. Since fetal movement indicates the baby’s health in the womb, seek your doctor if you have not observed any movement.

 

2.  Fetal Heartbeat

You may not be able to detect your baby’s heartbeat on your own early in pregnancy. The doctor may have to do a transvaginal scan (TVS) or a Doppler scan to detect the heartbeat of a fetus early in pregnancy (about six weeks). By the 10th to 12th week, the fetus’s heartbeat is more pronounced, and you should be able to hear it.

To know the number of heartbeats in the fetus, count the number of beats in 15 seconds, then multiply the number by 4. The answer you get is your baby’s heartbeat in one minute.

The usual range of heartbeat should be between 120 to 160 beats per minute (BPM). Though it fluctuates, going higher or lower, the range should be not too far from above or below the range. If your baby’s heartbeat falls within the range stated above, It is a sign of healthy pregnancy. 

A healthy heartbeat indicates normal growth and development in the fetus and reduced chances of miscarriage. Sometimes it may be a little bit difficult to know the sound of your baby’s heartbeat. Just know the sound like little thuds but very fast. 

You may want to tell your doctor to help you use your heartbeat monitor if you’re planning to monitor your baby’s heartbeat at home, so you know how to use it. 

You can check your baby’s heartbeat using a stethoscope. Here, place it on the belly bump and keep moving it slightly until you hear the beats. You have better chances of hearing the heartbeat around the 18th to 20th week.

Another way you can use to monitor your baby’s heartbeat is through phone apps. There are myriads of apps that can help you track and monitor the fetal heartbeat.

You can also use a fetal monitor. There are some inexpensive fetal heartbeat monitors, though the expensive ones( which hospitals use) that are still accurate. Ask your doctor for directions on how to use it or follow the instruction manual. 

A fetal Doppler and an ultrasound scan, these two techniques are only used by doctors. It is important to note that since stress and anxiety affect the pregnant mother, it also impacts the fetal heartbeat. 

To determine the baby’s health and heartbeat, doctors can conduct a non-stress test that helps monitor the fetal heartbeat. In this test, the baby’s heartbeat is measured why asleep and active. If the heart rate level and activity match the normal range, the baby is growing well.

 

3.  An Expanding Belly Bump

As a sign of a healthy baby in the womb, you will feel your stomach expanding each month. In pregnancy, the baby bump keeps increasing. The belly bump grows and increases to about two inches every month.

The expanding belly bump is what shows that you are pregnant. It is what people see. Since the fetus increases at an average of 2 inches every month, the belly button keeps expanding and should be about 18 to 20 inches in the last trimester. 

An expanding belly bump which is a sign of a healthy pregnancy, shows in signs like stretch marks. The skin around a woman’s body will stretch to accommodate the weight gain and growth.

The stretch mark is also noticed in the butt breast, thigh, and other areas (find ways to manage stretch marks in pregnancy here). Other symptoms of an increased belly bump are back pain because of the increasing weight, leg cramps, a noticeable belly button, shortness of breath, linea nigra, etc.

You should know that the size of the belly bump varies for different women, so do not compare yours with other women’s belly bumps. During routine maternity visits, the doctors will measure the belly bump to know if it is increasing.

It will indicate the baby’s health. The woman will lie down. Using tape, a nurse or a doctor can measure the top of the bump to the top of the pubic bone. 

The measurement is usually 2 cm plus the number of weeks of a woman’s pregnancy. So if a woman is 32 weeks pregnant, expect a range of size of 30 to 34 cm. Note that the size depends on factors like the woman’s weight, height, ethnic group, number of kids, etc. 

However, you or your partner may not be able to measure your baby’s fetal growth. If you are worried that you are not growing well or big enough, especially if you do not notice fetal movement, you should talk to your doctor.

He would measure the bump for more accuracy; then, an ultrasound scan would be done. This will correctly show the condition of the fetus In utero. 

Other scans like intrauterine growth restriction (UGR) also known as fetal growth restriction can be done if the doctor is concerned that the baby is not growing normally.

 

4.  A Steady Weight Gain In The Mother

As the baby bump increases in size, the mother also experiences a steady weight gain. This is also a sign of healthy pregnancy. In the first few months of pregnancy, some women may not experience weight gain, probably because of morning sickness symptoms.

But once the morning sickness has waned, she should begin to experience a steady weight gain as she eats more. It is usually from around the 12th to 15th week of pregnancy. 

During maternity checks, you can ask your medics to check your weight using a scale and to monitor your weight. Ensure that it is the ideal Range of BMI 18.5 to 24.9 for pregnant women. Anything above or below that Range is a health risk for the woman and the unborn child.

You may also get a home scale to monitor your weight and ensure it falls within the normal weight range. As you grow bigger, you will eat more and gain more weight which isn’t bad because it is essential to nourish your baby and help you manage the pregnancy. Eating healthy meals consistently and taking prenatal vitamins is vital. 

You do not necessarily have to eat for two; eat healthily. While you should expect to gain weight and keep gaining weight till your third trimester, there are risks when one becomes overweight.

Risks like gestational diabetes, problems with labor and delivery, and hypertension can occur because of excessive weight gain. So, keep track of what you are eating and check your weight regularly. A woman can add extra weight of 11 to 15 kg to her current weight during pregnancy. 

In the first trimester adding 1 of 2 kg is ideal. In the second trimester, you should expect more weight gain. An additional 6 to 9 kg is expected because you need more energy at this time. After that, you should expect a more stable weight; an extra 2 kg weight per month in the third trimester isn’t bad.

 Since each trimester is divided into three months, here is an average weight you should expect:

  • The first trimester should be 1 to 2 kg only. Do not bother if you do not gain weight. You can add in your second trimester.
  • Second trimester about 2 to 3 kg per month. 
  • Third trimester 2 kg per month.

Below is the weight distribution of a pregnant woman: 

  • The weight of the fetus is 3.40 kg.
  • The placenta is 0.68 kg.
  • Increased fluid in the body by 1.80 kg.
  • The weight of the uterus is 0.90 kg.
  • Breast tissues 0.90 kg.
  • Increased blood volume 1.80 kg.
  • Fat stores, protein, and nutrients 3 kg.
  • The weight of the amniotic fluid is 0.90 kg.

All these amounts to the total weight gain of about 13 kg in the woman throughout pregnancy. If you are underweight or overweight or aiming for the ideal weight in pregnancy, try these tips:

  • Start pregnancy with an ideal weight. 
  • For a trying to conceive woman who is overweight or underweight.
  • Register on a weight loss program before pregnancy.
  • Eat balanced meals in smaller quantities at regular intervals.
  • Exercise rightly.
  • Take lots of fluids.
  • Have a pregnancy weight goal.
  • Eat healthy carbs and fatty foods.
  • Manage your cravings. 

Check the post on how to have a belly-only pregnancy. All these tips and many more are explained there.

 

5.  The Woman Experiences Usual Pregnancy Symptoms

It is expected that in pregnancy, women experience pregnancy symptoms like constipation, backache, dizziness, morning sickness, increased vaginal discharge. These are expected signs of pregnancy. When a woman experiences these symptoms, it is a sign of a healthy baby in the womb.

In the first trimester, it is normal to experience signs like extreme tiredness and weakness, vomiting, nausea, lack of appetite, headaches, apathy, smell aversions, weight loss or gain, sensitive breast, cramps, bleeding gums, etc. 

All these symptoms and signs are for the first trimester, and though they may cause discomfort, they are typical signs that the baby is developing in the womb. 

Women experience these symptoms as a result of hormonal changes. Since there is a rise in pregnancy hormones in the first trimester, It can trigger these symptoms, which are signs of a healthy pregnancy.

To cope, you need to eat more but in lesser quantities, avoid stress, rest, adopt a healthy lifestyle, etc. In the second trimester, a typical pregnancy symptom is that you will likely be experiencing lesser weakness, tiredness and nausea, and loss of appetite. All these symptoms should reduce. Women are more likely to eat more and feel stronger and more active.

The symptoms that accompany the second-trimester pregnancy, which is signs of a healthy baby in the womb are, cravings for food, weight gain, dryness of skin, swollen face and limbs, stretch mark in the belly bump, thigh, and bottom, a more darkened areola, backache, a line running across the belly bump call Linea nigra.

Increased vaginal discharge, changes in skin pigment called Melasma, pimples, oily skin, redness of the palms, leg cramp, bloating, excessive gas and constipation, frequent urination, skin itching, and a host of others. 

All these signs may be experienced as a result of the hormonal changes taking place in the body because of the baby’s increasing size and the extra weight of the baby and the numerous processes taking place in the body.

In the third trimester, it is normal to experience the symptoms of a healthy pregnancy like increased backache, swollen legs, and feet, increased appetite, shortness of breath, Braxton Hicks contractions, tiredness, leg cramps, heartburn, constipation, frequent urination, increased vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, waist pain, varicose vein, anemia, etc. 

These symptoms are signs of a healthy baby in the womb.

Women may experience these symptoms due to increased demand of the baby, as a way of the body preparing for labor, hormonal changes, increase in the weight of the baby, etc. 

At this time, the woman should avoid stress, reduce activities that involve standing or bending or putting strain on the bump, eat well.Yes, many of these symptoms are discomforting, but there are signs of a healthy pregnancy.

If you experience these symptoms at any time of your pregnancy but gradually have noticed that they stopped, you should see your doctor as this may be a sign of poor growth of the baby or miscarriage.

The symptoms you should watch out for miscarriage or poor growth are weight loss, excessive vomiting, spotting or bleeding, vaginal discharge, accompanied by traces of blood. Intense cramps in the legs and stomach, backache and waist pain, no fetal movement, no fetal heartbeat. 

All these signs are not typical pregnancy signs. Instead, they show that the baby is not developing normally, so watch out for any of them.

 

6.  The Position Of The Baby Before Labor

In the last few weeks before delivery at about the 32nd to 36 weeks, the baby should start positioning in the cephalic presentation, that is, the head should be down, the baby facing your back. Its chin tucked to its chest and the head close to the pelvis.

This is a sign of a healthy baby in the womb. However, there are other birth positions like transverse, occiput or cephalic posterior position, Frank breech, transverse lie. 

These positions pose more risks and difficulty during labor. If your birth position is in the cephalic position, things are on track, and the baby is developing and preparing to be delivered. If not, the doctor may have to reposition the baby using several techniques.

Note that it doesn’t mean that your baby is unsafe if he is not in the cephalic position or not growing well if the position is not cephalic. It will only pose more risks of labor and delivery.

 

7.  Increased Vaginal Discharge Throughout Pregnancy

You should expect a light, colorless discharge from the vagina. It increases more in pregnancy compared to before. It is because of the rise in the pregnancy hormone estrogen in the woman’s body.

This discharge helps for vaginal cleansing and preventing infection. The vaginal discharge will increase more during the tail end of pregnancy because as the baby’s head is close to the cervix, it puts pressure on the cervix leading to more discharge.

The increasing discharge also results from changes in the cervix during pregnancy. Also, as the vagina walls also soften preparing for childbirth, there is also an increase in vaginal discharge.

Note: the discharge shouldn’t be colored yellow or grey. It shouldn’t be foul-smelling, the vulva shouldn’t itch, shouldn’t be accompanied by bleeding. 

All these are signs of infection. To avoid infection, practice good hygiene, do not wear tight-fitting clothes, dry up properly after bathing or swimming, wear light breathable cotton underpants.

Add yogurt and other naturally fermented foods to your diet. It will help you with healthy bacteria. If you feel an abnormal discharge in pregnancy, see your doctor.

 

8.  Optimal Hormone Levels

In pregnancy, it is expected that there will be a lot of changes in hormonal changes. Estrogen and progesterone are two such hormones that experience a marked increase during pregnancy.

Oestrogen is needed for the growth of the uterus and placenta. It is also helpful in forming blood vessels, which leads to increased blood volume, transfer of nutrients, and support the developing baby. It may also help the fetus mature and develop. 

From conception, the levels keep increasing, and it is highest in the third trimester.  The rise in estrogen levels may be what causes the intense symptoms of pregnancy, like morning sickness.

Progesterone is also a known pregnancy hormone that includes that increases markedly in pregnancy. It helps to implant the egg and act as a relaxant to prevent the uterus from contracting until the baby is born. 

HCG hormone, human chronic gonadotropin hormone increases too during pregnancy. The level of hCG is what is used in pregnancy test strips to test for a pregnancy test. This hormone is at its peak between the 7th and 12th week of pregnancy.

 Other pregnancy hormones that increase during pregnancy are relaxin, melanocyte-stimulating hormones, cortisol, the human placental lactogen (LPL), prolactin, oxytocin. 

All these hormones change and increase during pregnancy. So if your doctor checks and these hormones are not decreasing, it is a sign that a baby is developing normally. All these 8 signs of a healthy baby in the womb. They give you an idea of the baby’s condition. 

Please always go for regular check-ups, take your prenatal vitamins, eat right, and exercise. These will ensure you are on the right path to avoid unnecessary risks.

Wishing you safe delivery. 

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Author: Thriving Mum

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