Feeling your baby move is a sign that they are well.
When should I start to feel movement?
Most women usually begin to feel their baby move between 16
and 24 weeks
of pregnancy. A baby’s movements can be described as anything from a kick,
flutter, swish or roll. The type of movement may change as your pregnancy
How often should my baby move?
There is no set number of normal movements. Your baby will
have their own
pattern of movements that you should get to know. From 16 – 24 weeks on
you should feel the baby move more and more up until 32 weeks then stay
roughly the same until you give birth.
What shall I do if I notice reduced movement?
If you think your baby’s movements have slowed down or
your midwife or maternity unit immediately (it is staffed 24 hours, 7 days a
week). Do not put off calling until the next day to see what happens.
Do not worry about phoning, it is important for your doctors and midwives to
know if your baby’s movements have slowed down or stopped.
Do not use any hand-held monitors, dopplers, or phone apps to check your
baby’s heartbeat. Even if you detect a heartbeat, this does not mean your
baby is well.
What if my baby’s movements are reduced again?
If, after your check up, you are still not happy with your
you must contact either your midwife or maternity unit straight away, even if
everything was normal last time.
Never hesitate to contact your midwife or the maternity unit
for advice, no
matter how many times this happens.
Why are my baby’s movements important?
A reduction in a baby’s movements can sometimes be an
sign that a baby is unwell. Two out of three women who had a stillbirth noticed
their baby’s movements had slowed down or stopped.
- It is NOT true that babies move less towards the end of pregnancy
- You should continue to feel your baby move right up to the time you go into labour and whilst you are in labour too.
Get to know your baby’s normal pattern of movements
The placenta develops wherever the fertilised egg embeds into your uterus. An anterior placenta is when your placenta is attached to the front wall of the uterus and is a completely normal place for it to implant and develop.
Having an anterior placenta can make baby movements harder to feel initially as they are “cushioned” – it is therefore likely that someone with a placenta in this position will feel first movements later than those with a placenta elsewhere. Most women will first feel their baby anywhere between 16 and 24 weeks, anyone who reaches 24 weeks and hasn’t felt first movements should check in with their midwife.
If you have a placenta in this position, try and focus on your sides and low down, as this is where you are more likely to feel movement. Although feeling movement is often trickier to start with for anterior placenta mums, the same advice for establishing what is normal for your baby individually applies, your baby should still develop regularity with the movement that you feel.
Having an anterior placenta is never a reason to dismiss reduced movements, so always call your midwife or maternity unit if you have any worries.
What can I expect when I report reduced movement?
Less than 24 weeks pregnant
Most women first become aware of their baby moving when they are 16-24 weeks pregnant. If by 24 weeks you have never felt your baby move, you should contact your midwife, who will check your baby’s heartbeat. An ultrasound scan may be arranged, and you may be seen by a specialist to check your baby’s wellbeing if a problem is suspected.
Between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant
You should contact your midwife and they should see you the same day if possible. If they can’t see you, they may refer you to the hospital maternity unit. Your baby’s heartbeat will be checked and you will have a full check up that should include:
- checking the size of your baby by measuring your bump
- checking your blood pressure
- testing your urine for protein
If your baby is smaller than expected, an ultrasound scan may be arranged to check on your baby’s growth.
Over 28 weeks pregnant
You must contact your midwife or local maternity unit. You must not wait until the next day to seek help and you should be seen on the same day. If it is out of hours you may be asked to go to the labour ward and wait to be seen.
- You will be asked about your baby’s movements
- You will have an antenatal check-up including checking your baby’s heartbeat and measuring the size of your bump.
- Your baby’s heart rate will be monitored using a CTG, usually for at least 20 minutes.
You should not be discharged until you are happy with baby’s movements again.
You may also have an ultrasound scan if:
- your baby is smaller than expected
- your pregnancy has others factors that are associated with a higher risk of stillbirth
The ultrasound scan is usually done within 24 hours.
These checks usually show that all is well. Most women who have one episode of reduction in their baby’s movements go on to have a healthy baby.
For more information visit:- https://www.kickscount.org.uk