Your Baby’s Movements

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
progresses.

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 stopped, contact
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 baby’s movements,
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 important warning
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