Congratulations! In order to ensure the healthiest outcome for your baby it is important to get to know them from the start.
Tracking your baby’s movements
Tracking your baby’s movements are an excellent indicator of its wellbeing and a great bonding opportunity. As your baby develops their number and type of movements will change with their activity pattern. Your baby will have sleep periods that will usually last between 20 and 40 minutes and rarely last longer than 90 minutes, something you could practice in preparation for the newborn days! The number of movements tends to increase until 32 weeks of pregnancy and then stay about the same. It is important to remember that babies should not stop moving towards the end and will continue to move as normal right up until labour and often during birth.
If your partner has had a busy day, they may not have noticed the baby move. Having a time when you can sit down together and feel the baby is a great way share the responsibility of monitoring movement and bond with your baby. Share a bath, cuddle up on the sofa and watch a programme together use this time to count and track on the App
You could also orchestrate opportunities for her to feel the baby move herself. Spoil her! Run her a bath, bring her some chocolate, a cold drink or generally give her the chance to put her feet up and feel the baby kick, flutter, swish and roll!
Encouragement to trust instincts
If your partner ever feels uneasy about the pattern of movement or has any bad feelings encourage her to follow her instincts and contact her midwife or hospital. Never ignore a change of movements or allow her to go to sleep following a spell of reduced or erratic movements. Always encourage her to call her midwife or go to the hospital to be checked.
Listen and empathize
While your partner may complain that her ribs are imitating a punch bag and her bladder is being used as a football, this is a great sign that your baby is well. You may however find yourself on the receiving end of a sharp tongue if you choose this moment to point this out – Just hold your breath and remember your child might be the new Mohammad Ali, Jessica Ennis – Hill or David Beckham!