Foetal Movement Awareness

Foetal Movement Awareness

Feeling your  baby move is a sign that they are well

Most women usually begin to fell 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 charge as your pregnancy progress.

How often should my baby move?

There is no set number of normal movements.

Your baby will have their own pattern of movement 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 say roughly the same until you give birth

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 labor and whilst you are in labor too.

What are normal movements for a baby in pregnancy?
Most women are first aware of their baby moving when they are 18 – 20 weeks pregnant. However, if this is your first pregnancy, you may not become aware of movements until you are more than 20 weeks pregnant. If you have been pregnant before, you may feel movements as early as 16 weeks. Pregnant women feel their unborn baby’s movements as a kick, flutter, swish or roll.

As your baby develops, both the number and type of movements will change with your baby’s activity pattern. Usually, afternoon and evening periods are times of peak activity for your baby. During both day and night, your baby has sleep periods that mostly last between 20 and 40 minutes, and are rarely longer than 90 minutes.

Your baby will usually not move during these sleep periods.

The number of movements tends to increase until 32 weeks of pregnancy and then stay about the same, although the type of movement may change as you get nearer to your due date. Often, if you are busy, you may not notice all of these movements. Importantly, you should continue to feel your baby move right up to the time you go into labour. Your baby should move during labour too.

Why are my unborn baby’s movements important?
During your pregnancy, feeling your baby move gives you reassurance of his or her wellbeing.

If you notice your baby is moving less than usual or if you have noticed a change in the pattern of movements, it is essential that you contact your local maternity unit immediately so that your baby’s wellbeing can be assessed.

How many movements are enough?

There is no specific number of movements which is normal. During your pregnancy, you need to be aware of your baby’s individual pattern of movements. A reduction or a change in your baby’s movements is what is important.
What if I am unsure about my baby’s movements?

If you are unsure whether or not your baby’s movements are reduced, you should lie down on your left side and focus on your baby’s movements for the next 2 hours. If you do not feel ten or more movements during these 2 hours, you should contact the maternity department.
What should I do if I feel my baby’s movements are reduced or changed?

Always seek professional help immediately from your local maternity unit. Never go to sleep ignoring a reduction in your baby’s movements.(Note: Do not rely on any home kits you may have for listening to your baby’s heartbeat).
Key point

• Feeling your baby move is a sign that they are well
• Every woman should be aware of their own baby’s individual pattern of movement
• It is important to let a doctor or midwife know if you have a significant reduction or sudden alteration in fetal movement

You must NOT WAIT until the next day to seek advice if you are worried about your baby’s movements

If you think your baby's movements have slowed down or stopped contact your midwife or maternity unit immediately (it is staffed 24 hrs, 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 doctor and midwives to know if your baby’s movements have slowed down or stopped

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