Can Babies Have Seizures in the Womb? Read This to Find Out
If you are concerned about the way your baby is moving in the womb, you are not alone. Feeling your baby move inside your tummy is an amazing (and weird) feeling for first-time mothers. I remember being in awe when I could actually see my belly move from my baby’s movement. Isn’t it neat?
However, along with these exciting moments, it is common for first-time moms to be worried about their babies are really up to in there. For instance, can babies have seizures in the womb? The unfortunate answer is yes, but hopefully, as you read, you will see this is extremely rare.
When Babies Start to Move in the Womb
Most moms begin to feel their babies move in the womb around 20 weeks gestation. Second time moms may notice movement earlier. In the beginning, the movement may be hard to distinguish. Some moms even mistake it for gas!
As your baby grows, it will become easier to identify the types of movements. Your baby may be flipping in the womb at first. Then, as your baby grows, you will be able to tell when your baby is kicking inside the womb or jabbing you with his/her elbows or even hiccupping. Feeling your baby move is a sign your baby is healthy!
What You May Be Feeling
However, some moms become concerned about the amount of movement their baby is making in the womb. This makes them wonder if something is wrong (such as the baby having a seizure in the womb). This is highly unlikely! Keep in mind that your baby will move more at certain times of the day, as well as after you eat certain foods or have sugary drinks.
Additionally, there are several reasons your baby may be moving a lot or in a weird way. In addition to feeling your baby’s kicks, your baby may be stretching in an unusual way, which may make the mother feel a slight vibration.
There are also other reasons why you may feel twitches that make you think of seizures. For example, babies in utero may experience nervous spasms as their nervous systems develop. Braxton Hicks are also very common, but since they feel (and look) strange, it may raise a mommy alarm. Some moms also have an irritable uterus; this causes the women to have spasms in the uterus.
Still Worried About Seizures? Here are the Facts
As I mentioned earlier, unfortunately, it is possible for babies to have seizures in the womb. However, it is VERY RARE. You should not automatically jump to this conclusion if you feel your baby “twitch” in the womb. A seizure in utero would be extremely forceful and jerky and would involve the whole baby (rather than just a limb).
These seizures in the womb may be perceived by the mother (but they would be obvious seizures with rapid jerking), but they are most easily identified through ultrasonography. According to studies, these types of seizures may begin around 30 weeks gestation and continue after birth.
The Possible Causes and Results
According to National Center for Biomedical Technology, “The most common cause of fetal seizure is a congenital anomaly, mainly of the central nervous system.” Please keep in mind that in this same report, the researchers explain, “Seizures occur in 0.5% of term infants and 22.2% of preterm infants, though fetal seizures are very rare.”
Babies who do experience seizures in the womb tend to experience seizures after birth as well. These seizures are typically indicators of developmental disorders or possible epilepsy. Again, while this information is alarming, most doctors will reassure you that the movement you may be feeling is most likely NOT a seizure.
Pay Attention to Baby’s Movement and Kicks
Mothers should pay attention to their baby’s movements in general. During the final trimester, mothers should pay special attention to their baby’s kicks. Fetal movement is an indicator of healthy growth and development – kick counts are one way to help prevent stillbirth.
Babies should kick at least ten times in two hours (or ten movements in general). Try to find a comfortable spot to relax and then count your baby’s movement. If you notice that your baby does not move ten times in this amount of time, you should contact the doctor. In addition, if you notice little to no movement after 20 weeks, you should contact your doctor.
To Wrap Up
If after reading this article, you are still unsure if your baby’s movements are normal, it is best to call your healthcare provider to receive reassurance. Doctors can do an ultrasound and monitor the baby’s heartbeat to see if there are causes for concern. Ultimately, this will help ease your mind about seizures in utero if you are worried.