If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know how special it is to feel baby’s first movement. I remember my experience well: I had just gotten situated on the table in my doctor’s office when I felt a semi-ambiguous flutter under my navel that I sensed was the start of many somersaults to come in my pregnancy. It’s totally surreal!
But feeling those kicks and movements are far from just fun thrills for mom—they’re also a super important way to monitor (and protect) your developing baby.
To that end, the nonprofit First Candle (which has the aim to support healthy pregnancies and help babies thrive) and product company Boppy have partnered together to promote overall pregnancy health—and, specifically, the importance of fetal movement monitoring—by way of a new “Pregnant and Empowered” website, brochure, and other helpful info.
These tools help promote the organization’s Kicks Count! campaign, meant to be a proactive strategy that can educate expectant moms about how they can play a role in monitoring their baby’s health by being vigilant about fetal movement; that awareness can help prevent stillbirth.
Among the tools available is a downloadable counting chart that helps you easily check the box that corresponds with the number of minutes it takes for you to feel 10 kicks. Use it every day beginning at week 28, and share it with your doctor on each visit.
These new tools can help you make sure you continue to feel baby’s important (and yes, exciting, too!) kicks and movements—and help ensure that you both progress toward a safe, healthy delivery day.
Who doesn’t love a steamy sex scene, especially when it’s on an awesome show that always keeps you guessing, like Homeland? Well, the show’s star, Claire Danes, for one—at least during pregnancy!
According to Claire the most uncomfortable scenes to film pregnant were the sex scenes (which I imagine would be incredibly awkward to film even at your skinniest weight, and without all those lovely gastrointestinal issues that come with being pregnant!). “At the very end, I was a month and a half shy of popping, and I was doing a romantic scene,” says Claire, during a roundtable discussion for The Hollywood Reporter. “And Cyrus was really active. It was late at night, it was after dinner, and [my son] was going crazy in my belly. It was like he was protesting on my husband [Hugh Dancy]’s behalf or something. That was hard!”
Claire shared that filming while pregnant with her now-17-month-old son was the most physically demanding job of her career. “I was pregnant for the second season of Homeland, and as my baby progressed, the show got more action-packed,” she revealed. “At one point, we were shooting in an old sewage factory. I was kidnapped, I was chained to a pipe, it was 4 a.m., I was 7 ½ months pregnant, and I was like, ‘This sucks.’ At one point, the baby was on my sciatic nerve, and I was charging down the halls of pretend Langley.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted just reading that! As tough as it was for Claire, though, having to power through long, physically-demanding hours with no sleep sounds like the perfect boot camp for motherhood!
TELL US: What’s been the most uncomfortable thing you’ve had to endure while being pregnant?
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One of the most exciting moments of being a mama-to-be is when you feel your baby kick for the first time. Even though the novelty may wear off, as the baby starts to move more and more, the amazing connectedness you feel definitely doesn’t. But at times all that fetal movement can be downright shocking. How can a baby be so active inside such cramped quarters?!
I know when I was pregnant I joked that sometimes it felt like my son was salsa dancing; other times playing soccer. Well, Once Upon a Time’sGinnifer Goodwin described her inner-bump bounces by announcing on Twitter, “Presently there are Cirque du Soleil rehearsals being conducted in my womb.” I think we can all relate to that feeling!
Ginnifer, who’s thought to be around the 7-month mark (though she and costar-fiancé Josh Dallas have not confirmed that), has had her pregnancy written into her hit show. So while their characters Snow White and Prince Charming will be expecting their second child together, Ginnifer and Josh will be preparing for their first.
Josh told Good Morning America, “As we saw in the first part of the season, Snow White confessed some secrets to her Prince Charming. She wanted to have another baby. If you saw Ginny now, you would know that hiding the baby bump is going to be difficult so Snow White and Prince Charming are just going to have another baby.”
Unlike pregnant Kerry Washington, who has to wear form-fitting suits while still concealing her bump through creative camera shots on Scandal, Ginnifer told her Twitter followers that Snow White’s cloaks are so spacious that she “can fit a baby AND ace-bandaged ice packs under those royal muumuus.”
Though the cute celeb couple is private, Ginnifer and Josh’s romance played out in the media because they’re costars. In April 2012, they announced their relationship one year after the show’s premiere, then revealed their engagement in October 2013 and their pregnancy in November 2013, through social media. “It is true! There is a bun in my oven! Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart and bump for your loving support. #JoshDallasIsMyBabyDaddy #OverTheMoon,” Ginnifer tweeted.
It looks like these two are getting their fairytale ending in real life too!
TELL US: Where were you the first time you felt your baby kick?
Now Kristen Bell is totally enamored with her 5-month-old daughter, Lincoln. But the House of Lies star would be the first to admit that her motherly instincts didn’t actually kick in until after her daughter was born. She told Flare that while she was pregnant she felt no connection with her baby bump—whatsoever.
“It could have been a water bottle in my belly, that’s how connected I felt to her during my pregnancy,” Kristen confesses. “I kept saying to [husband Dax Shepherd] in all sincerity during my pregnancy, ‘I just don’t know how I’m going to like her as much as I like the dogs [pugs Lola and Mr. Shakes].’”
While it may sound like another one of Kristen’s hilarious jokes, she’s actually very serious. “I love people the more I know them, and
I didn’t know [my baby].” While your initial reaction to that may be, How could you not feel an instant connection with your baby, he or she is inside you?!
I can somewhat relate. Of course I was thrilled to be pregnant, and I couldn’t wait for my little man to be born so I could get to know him, but I didn’t feel that mother-son bond at the moment of conception, like some moms-to-be seem to. I really didn’t feel that bond until I knew his sex. Then it got stronger when he started kicking (we were finally able to communicate, and I could feel he really was in there!), and then when he was born my total obsession with him really started.
So if you’re like Kristen (and me) and you’re not feeling majorly connected to your bump just yet, not to worry! No, you are not the worst mom-to-be in the world! Yes, you will still bond with your baby! Kristen now says that there’s no one on this planet she’d rather spend time with than her little girl. Aww!
TELL US: Did you instantly bond with your bump, or did it take time to feel that mother-baby bond?
Ok, so it’s not exactly on the market, but Huggies has developed a “pregnancy belt” that has given some dads-to-be the ultimate Father’s Day present: the ability to feel his baby kick—not by putting his hands on his baby mama’s bump, but in the dad’s own belly! It took four months to create the belt that “replicates in real time the movements and the baby’s kicks, from mom’s belly to dad’s belly.” (If this thing were at Brookstone, I’m sure it would sell out way faster than those massage chairs!)
As you can see from the video, the dads are overcome with emotion when they feel their babies kick—as was I. I wish my husband had been able to experience that overwhelming love I felt each time our son kicked. After of course I realized that’s what was happening—it took a few times before I knew what I was actually feeling. Early on the sensation felt like butterflies in my stomach, but as my son got bigger and stronger his kicks and elbow jabs were unmistakable. I’m pretty sure he was dancing nonstop—kind of like his mom and dad. While it wasn’t always the most comfortable feeling, every tap brought a smile to my face, knowing that my little one was somehow communicating with me as if to say, “Hi, mom!”
As much as we moms say we wish our guys knew all that we had to go through while pregnant, I was really surprised when my hubby came down with a bad case of sympathy pains. I had morning sickness for months, and there were days when my husband felt nauseous too without any real explanation. His back and knees were also hurting right along with me—and I admit I was not sympathetic at all. Puh-lease! There’s no way what he was feeling could ever compare to my sharp-as-glass pains. Or so I thought.
And while I gained 20 pounds of baby weight with my pregnancy, my husband gained 15. Who could blame him, if he was going on a donut run for me, why not get one—or two, or three—for himself? But getting the post-baby pounds off has proven to be just as hard for him as for me.
So it’s fair to say that my pregnancy wasn’t easy on him either (and I didn’t even mention my emotional mood swings he had to endure!). If he had to suffer right alongside me with pains and belly fat, I wish he had experienced the good stuff too, and nothing beats the warm-and-cozy feeling you get when you feel your baby inside you. All men should feel what these lucky few got to. Come on Huggies, get this belt in stores stat!